“… but it does take a lot to get Florida down to as low as six wins.”

David Wunderlich poses the question whether Florida can top its 2021 six regular season-win mark this year.  Here’s how he breaks down the schedule comparison:

  • Non-conference: drop FAU and Samford, add Utah and Eastern Washington. USF goes from road to home, FSU from home to road.
  • SEC rotation: drop home vs. Alabama, add road vs. Texas A&M
  • SEC regulars: home vs. Kentucky, Missouri, LSU and South Carolina; road vs. Tennessee and Vandy; switch sidelines in Jacksonville vs. Georgia

It is a tougher slate of games. Replacing FAU with reigning Pac-12 champ Utah takes a game from a sure win to a very real potential loss. A&M won’t be as good a team as Alabama was last year, but some of that is mitigated by a site change from the Swamp to Kyle Field.

Balance that off against how the Gators wound up managing to lose six games last season, though.

  • Loss 1: 31-29 to future national title game participant Alabama. No shame there.
  • Loss 2: 20-13 at UK, which was a Mullen conservative road play calling special with more than ten offensive line penalties. Plus the Wildcats got touchdown off a blocked field goal return and a short field following a pick.
  • Loss 3: 49-42 to LSU in a “Todd Grantham what the **** are you doing?” special. Plus, they still almost came back to tie it late despite losing the turnover battle 4-0.
  • Loss 4: 34-7 to Georgia. It was never going to be a win, but it would’ve been closer if not for an epic offensive meltdown before the half.
  • Loss 5: 40-17 at South Carolina. The Gators let UGA beat them twice by not showing up the next week.
  • Loss 6: 24-23 in overtime at Missouri. One last Mullen conservative road play calling special to send himself off by.

I do like that “The Gators let UGA beat them twice” line, by the way.

By the way, it’s pretty clear that somewhere along the way, Mullen lost the team and that contributed to the six-loss season.  I hate to admit it, but talentwise, Florida was a better team than its record showed.  The question is how quickly — okay, whether, if you prefer to phrase it that way — Napier can get buy in from his team.  (Remember, even Smart needed a season for that.)  And he’s got to get that when the schedule toughens up.

I’m not seeing nine wins for now, so the question is whether the Gators can cobble seven or even eight wins together.  I have a feeling the answer to that lies in whether the SEC East is improving or if that’s just a mirage.

49 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators...

49 responses to ““… but it does take a lot to get Florida down to as low as six wins.”

  1. Salty Dawg

    I’ll let Ranger Russ take over from here. Floor is yours, RR.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Gaskilldawg

    The Utah game will be a clu. If UF -beats Utah it can be good enough to win 9.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Russ

      Florida ain’t beating Utah.

      Liked by 3 people

      • originaluglydawg

        I hate to say it, but I think Florida wins.
        I hope you’re right and I’m very wrong.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Gaskilldawg

          OD, sure UF can win the Utah game. But, UU is a defending P5 conference champion with a very good coach and a returning QB. UU’s coach usually produces good defenses..
          UF has had 15 spring practices and will have 15 summer practices to get AR15 able to be proficient in a totally new offense.
          UF will have the home crowd and the heat but it will not be clicking on a 4s against UU.

          Like

  3. Gotta love Wunderlich carrying the moral victory water.

    Honestly, there’s a solid chance that this year’s UF squad doesn’t even resemble last year’s. Different coach, different mentality, different motivations, different opponents (meaning even where the emblem is the same, the team is different).

    Still think they’re fighting for 4th in the division, but I don’t expect this team to look like the one with a heroic comeback against Samford.

    FTMF

    Liked by 8 people

    • D.N. Nation

      “Gotta love Wunderlich carrying the moral victory water.”

      Year2 live-tweeting complaints about Kirby during the UGA championship celebration in Sanford was (chef’s kiss). All it took was UGA winning it all for all these haughty SB Nation supergeniuses to reveal themselves as nothing better than Rivals.com hot-takers.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Gaskilldawg

      I love your last sentence.

      Like

  4. siskey

    I think that Kirby is held in such low esteem by the Gators that they believe that Napier will be a plug and play and that in a year or two they will have “rightfully” overtaken us. I think at best it will take them much longer to catch up with us than a few recruiting classes and at worst Napier will have less time than Mullen. When we’ve won say 5 in a row in Jacksonville it’s going to be interesting to see if they give Kirby any credit.

    Liked by 4 people

    • 81Dog

      Mullen may have been their Ray Goff. Napier could well be their Donnan. They’re us in 1994, they just can’t admit it, especially the ones who grew up in the 90s. The older ones remember, and they’re scared, like people who grew up dirt poor, had a little success and got spoiled, then hit a streak of bad luck. They’re teetering on the verge of going back to being poor, and they keep telling themselves the next investment will bring them back to flush.

      Nobody is coming to save you, Handbags. The wheel has turned, and now you are all back to being scared and hoping you can win, while our guys have the confidence talent, hard work, and discipline create. They aren’t scared. They aren’t taking anything for granted. UF wants to catch up? Good luck with that.

      Liked by 8 people

      • NotMyCrossToBear

        I get the 1994 reference. I graduated in 94 and I think that has a lot to do with why I was so scared to get rid of CMR. Obviously very happy now how it turned out. I was just grateful to be competitive for many years but now with the hardware I can relax a bit and enjoy the ride.

        Liked by 5 people

  5. Anon

    That usc loss —-inexplicable

    Liked by 1 person

  6. 81Dog

    They just gave 5 walkons scholarships. That isn’t normally a harbinger of success. They have some talent, what they don’t have is talented depth. And while I expect Napier will be more focused than MuLLLLLLen was, I don’t think any of the other SEC teams on the schedule will be mailing it in, either. FSU needs a W as bad or worse. Utah is going to cone in and kick their asses. Add in the usual hiccups that come with a new coach’s first season, I’d say 6 wins is a distinct possibility. They may be more competitive than last year’s collapse, but I’m interested in seeing how the Handbags start colon spasming if things start slower than they like. I’m all for rolling into Jacksonville and removing all doubt. They act like catching up with us is a given, won’t even take long, could happen this year. Passing us in a couple of years is a lock, too. Ain’t nobody resting on their laurels. They’re chasing a moving target.

    FTMF.

    Liked by 6 people

  7. The word “potential” is doing some seriously heavy lifting in Wunderlich’s assessment of the Utah game. I mean, the Utes are not some replacement-level G5 sacrificial lamb, folks—this is a squad returning 13 starters from a team that came within an eyelash of knocking off tOSU in the Rose Bowl. Yet I’ve seen more than a few pundits (both Gator partisans and people who should know better) treating it as a virtual tossup. If I were a Florida fan I’d be budgeting that game as an L and just hoping we could make up some ground against the Mizzous and South Carolinas of the world.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Dylan Dreyer's Booty

      “…budgeting that game as an L …”
      WTH – fans don’t ‘budget’ losses. As a non-fan of UF I would be scared to predict much about the game with Utah either way. They are clearly a good team (and the last version of UF wasn’t a good team), but there’s a difference between throwing a scare into tOSU in a bowl game that they didn’t really care about and coming into the swamp in the heat and humidity that you an expect in Gainesville on September 3, especially when you have a new coach that is going to feel the need to make a statement. Utah is fortunate that it is a night game.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Castleberry

    I disagree with him about Georgia beating them twice. We broke them.

    We made them never want to play us again. We didn’t say shit to their undisciplined asses. I’m talking about fcking breaking btches on defense and offense.

    Liked by 9 people

  9. My bold pre-Memorial Day prognostication…FU quits giving a shit much earlier this season than those sacks-o-trash ditch lizards did last season. After the Mormon Tabernacle Choir strolls into their humid trailer park and ever so politely stomps them into fashionable boots and belts, the friggin wheels fall off… losses to A&M , us, LSU, UK will all look preordained. Pepper in an additional loss or 2 to FSU or Mizzou or TN and the natives of Hogtown will be going apeshit…I can’t wait to see it 🍿

    Liked by 6 people

  10. 69Dawg

    The only advantage UF has over the Utes is the weather. The boys from out in west are not used to steam heat. If UF can make a 4 quarters game out of it the the Utes may melt. I’m beginning to sound like Lenard’s Losers.

    Liked by 8 people

    • Bulldawg Bill

      69, Just got back from out there and I gotta tell you, it may be dry out there, but hot is hot. Weather won’t matter.

      Like

    • originaluglydawg

      I’m thinking the same way. I hope Utah stomps a mudhole in their asses but I think the steambath and smothering crowd of turd fans will carry the day.

      Liked by 3 people

      • HirsuteDawg

        “smothering crowd of turd fans” You could not have described them more elegantly. I’m laughing at the image.

        Like

  11. Russ

    I see 8 wins as the general target with 9 their max (or 10 counting a win in the Carquest Bowl) and 6 their minimum if they implode.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Bulldawg Bill

      Aw, c’mon, Russ! Think positive! I’m looking forward to seeing a total shit show down there and a clean swirl in the Toilet Bowl. Courage, man!!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Bulldawg Bill

    BTW, any word on the whereabouts of Agent Grantham?

    Like

  13. D.N. Nation

    “Replacing FAU with reigning Pac-12 champ Utah takes a game from a sure win to a very real potential loss.”

    Very real potential loss? Dude’s acting like the Gators are facing a spry G5 team. Utah was by far better than Florida last season and will probably be better than them again this season. Forget “potential loss,” this is “likely loss” IMO.

    The wheels on the Gator bus could easily fall off from the very start. Utah/UK/USF/@UT is a tough start if those players are as turd-witted as they were last season.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. practicaldawg

    The first few weeks are critical for them. I don’t remember a season when Florida hasn’t scheduled G5 teams for the first month of the season, so they are going to be in new territory. If they lose to Utah and Kentucky, Napier probably loses this team faster than Mullen.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. uga97

    Gators go 6-7 to ending the year with losing season bowl loss thud. Billy knows he can cash in that coveted 1st year coach mulligan and tamper expectations with the FU base.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Dawg in Austin

    6 wins is their floor. Just not quitting on the season gets them another win. Playing for a new coach may get them another one. I can’t see them better than 8-4 either.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. MGW

    Florida is going to get f’n smoked by A&M.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. archiecreek

    Got one question, just one for Wunderlicker and the fuqing ditch lizards….
    Has Chaucey woke up yet after Swift knocked him into la la land???

    Liked by 3 people

  19. MGW

    Generally SC, UK, Vandy, and Mizzou are only ever “up” because Florida UT and/or Georgia are down. So… ball’s in Florida’s court. Suck or don’t suck.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Munsoning

    How do the turds get 7 home games this season?

    Like