What starts out as a fair reference to Florida’s 2020 schedule edge turns into a victory lap for the coaching excellence of the Portal Master™.
There is certainly some legitimacy to the thought that the Florida Gators football schedule for 2020 is easier than it has been in some time and some have said it is the easiest in the Southeastern Conference this year. All the teams on that schedule have to be coached by someone and sure enough it turns out that only three of the SEC’s top eight coaches are coaching any of the eight SEC teams the Gators are facing in 2020.
The ranking of the list of coaches I am drawing from comes from Athlon Sports’ magazine and the annual summer blitz that they offer for college football fans has Florida head coach Dan Mullen riding second on that list of coaches this time around. With Alabama’s Nick Saban in the pole position of the coaching rankings and the Crimson Tide not on the schedule in 2020 that means Mullen is ranked ahead of every other coach on the schedule.
The top name on the list is Georgia’s Kirby Smart who resides just behind Mullen in the ranking at No. 3 in the SEC.
In head coaching matchups, Dan Mullen is 0-3 against Kirby Smart. According to ESPN’s preseason FPI, Florida has a projected 37.3% chance of beating Georgia this season.
At the No. 4 spot is a guy that started out middle of the pack in his first few years at his current program including a 6-2 mark as the interim coach at LSU when Les Miles was let go in 2016.
In head coaching matchups, Dan Mullen is 2-2 against Ed Orgeron. Also, unlike Mullen, Coach O wears a national championship ring he earned as a head coach. According to ESPN’s preseason FPI, Florida has a projected 45.6% chance of beating LSU this season.
And the third and last of the top coaches of teams that the Gators and Dan Mullen will face in 2020 is Kentucky’s Mark Stoops at No. 7.
In head coaching matchups, Dan Mullen holds a 5-2 record against Mark Stoops. One of those two losses, though, came in the Swamp and ended a 31-game losing streak. (FPI likes Florida’s chances against Kentucky, to be fair.)
You can see why the Portal Master™ enjoys the reputation he has among the Gator faithful. Athlon, too.