Florida almost got there in 2019, finishing 11-2 with its lone losses coming against LSU and Georgia. It gets another chance at the SEC title in 2020 with a similar schedule.
The early preseason over/under for the Gators sat at 10 wins with +15 to 1 odds to win the National Championship and 5 to 1 odds to win the SEC, slightly behind Georgia.
It’s been a good start for Dan Mullen’s tenure and a lot of that was due to quarterback Kyle Trask last season, averaging 8.3 yards per attempt for 25 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Offense on Track
Once a problematic offense, Florida averaged 430.5 yards and 33.2 points per game. Outside of Trask, the offense has the tools to really pop this season, especially if Trask can take another step.
The line may be the biggest question, but it returns three starters and shouldn’t be a major detractor after allowing 25 sacks last campaign. Dameon Pierce (305 yards, 4 TDs) is the expected starter in the backfield, but Miami FL transfer Lorenzo Lingard could easily steal that position after receiving immediate eligibility.
Receiver is also set even with some new faces. Tight end Kyle Pitts (649 yards, 5 TDs) is one of the best around, while Trevon Grimes (491 yards, 3 TDs) and Kadarius Toney take over as the top wide receivers.
2019 Defense Was Stellar
While the defense has some high-end pieces to replace, coordinator Todd Grantham is still there and so is plenty of talent from a group that allowed 299 yards and 14.4 points per contest. The hope is that he can get new starters playing at a high level despite a lack of a full offseason.
That means a deep secondary which includes cornerbacks Kaiir Elam and Marco Wilson, but also guys up front to keep the pass rush rolling.
Georgia transfer Brenton Cox is expected to help right away on the end, while Zachary Carter, Kyree Campbell and Tedarrell Slaton have familiarity with the system up front.
This defense may not be as good as last year, but it’ll still be one of the best in the country if new guys can step up.
Looks Like 10 Wins Minimum
The schedule is there for Florida to start 5-0 before its home game against LSU. Plus, without Joe Burrow around, the Gators opened as favorites in that contest even if home-field advantage is limited.
From there, the only other possible loss is the Georgia game in Jacksonville. Mullen is hoping to break the Georgia trend this season after Jake Fromm ripped them apart in last year’s 24-17 result.
Florida’s over/under sits at 10 wins, but it’d be surprising if it lost more than two games. Sure, trips to Tennessee and Florida State won’t be easy, but with Trask leading the way, this team has everything it needs to beat mediocre competition.
Getting over the hump will require a win over LSU or Georgia and that could lead to a spot in the SEC title game.
2020 Florida Gators Schedule
Sept. 5 vs. Eastern Washington
Sept. 12 vs. Kentucky (early preseason line FLA -14.5)
Sept. 19 vs. South Alabama
Sept. 26 at Tennessee (FLA -7)
Oct. 3 vs. South Carolina
Oct. 10 vs. LSU (FLA -3.5)
Oct. 17 at Ole Miss
Oct. 31 vs. Georgia (TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville) (FLA +3.5)
Nov. 7 at Vanderbilt
Nov. 14 vs. Missouri
Nov. 21 vs. New Mexico State
Nov. 28 at Florida State