Florida Football: Game-by-game predictions for 2015
Celebrating the start of fall practice this week, there’s no better time to begin our SEC game-by-game predictions series breaking down each and every contest during the regular season.
We pride ourselves on knowing college football’s most competitive conference as well as anyone and as one reader pointed out this summer using a weighted point system based on accuracy against other preseason prognosticators, our annual ‘Crystal Ball’ ranks among the nation’s most precise.
We called a couple big-time upsets last fall including Mississippi’s win over Alabama, but whiffed on South Carolina’s abrupt fall from grace in the East along with Mizzou’s second consecutive division title.
We’re ready for another exciting season of SEC football, aren’t you?
2015 CRYSTAL BALL SERIES
THE 2015 BATTLEFIELD
Sept. 3 vs. New Mexico State (W): Gator fans are praying this season’s opener isn’t rained out. They need this one.
Sept. 12 vs. East Carolina (W): Florida beat the Pirates on a neutral field in Birmingham to end the 2014 season and welcome them to Gainesville without offensive weapons Shane Carden, Justin Hardy and Cam Worthy.
Sept. 19 at Kentucky (W): The Gators find a way to continue their lengthy winning streak against a division rival in a matchup the Wildcats will desperately need as far as bowl eligibility is concerned.
Sept. 26 vs. Tennessee (L): The 10-year skid and ongoing jokes associated with losing to Florida will finally cease for the Vols.
Oct. 3 vs. Ole Miss (W): One of our big upset picks in the SEC this season, Jim McElwain’s lone ‘signature’ win comes at the expense of the nationally-ranked Rebels.
Oct. 10 at Mizzou (L): Expect a hard-fought game unlike last year’s snoozer.
Oct. 17 at LSU (L): A second consecutive road game against a Top 25 team proves fatal for the Gators.
Oct. 31 vs. Georgia (Jacksonville, L): Much like last season, this game will mean more for the Bulldogs than it will for the Gators from a division title perspective, but Florida will prove its up for the challenge … and lose by a Marshall Morgan field goal in the closing seconds.
Nov. 7 vs. Vanderbilt (W): Easy win at home for the Gators sandwiched between division losses.
Nov. 14 at South Carolina (L): The Gamecocks will be clinging to postseason hopes by a thread and this one’s a must-win. The Head Ball Coach beats his former team for the third consecutive fall.
Nov. 21 vs. Florida Atlantic (W): The tune-up before the regular-season finale helps the Gators reach bowl eligibility.
Nov. 28 vs. Florida State (L): The Seminoles could be in the College Football Playoff hunt if they escape Clemson unscathed this season, all the more reason to finish off the regular season with a victory over their arch rival.
2015 PROJECTED FINISH: 6-6, 3-5; Fifth in the East
THE LOWDOWN: Earlier this summer, we mapped out a way for the Gators to win eight games this season despite obvious talent deficiencies and inexperience, but it’s not going to happen. Florida’s still a year away from being a solid football team offensively and this week’s news of Antonio Morrison’s knee injury is deflating to a star-studded defense. Starting the season 4-0 with a win over Tennessee would put this team in great shape hosting Ole Miss, but it appears the Vols will finally leap the Gators in the East this season.