Florida will begin the season ranked No. 16 in the Coaches Poll.

But ESPN’s Tom Luginbill thinks the Gators could be in the College Football Playoff committee’s final four if Jim McElwain’s squad gets improved play from one key position.

Luginbill was on “The Paul Finebaum Show” Monday when he called the Gators a potential playoff team if a quarterback emerges.

Florida’s offense struggled last season with Luke Del Rio and Austin Appleby splitting time at the position. Del Rio missed significant time due to multiple injuries and did not participate in spring practice. As spring practice came to a close, redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks had distanced himself from Kyle Trask and was acknowledged as the leader to land the starting job. Former Malik Zaire, a dual-threat quarterback, transferred and joined the team in June.

In the past, Luginbill has doubted Zaire’s ability to learn the playbook. Franks, a 4-star prospect in the 2016 class, has the size (6-foot-5, 227 pounds) and strong arm typical of a pocket-passing quarterback. With many of the team’s starters returning at at offensive line, running back and wide receiver, the quarterback position is thought to be the only thing holding back Florida on offense.

Luginbill’s ESPN colleagues Phil Steele and Trevor Matich have made similar comments recently.