Greg McElroy explains why he doesn't think Florida is a top 10 team
Florida has built some optimism following a 10-3 record in 2018 and Dan Mullen’s second season featuring 13 returning starters.
That’s most of the reason why the Gators were ranked No. 8 in the first USA Today Coaches poll, which was fourth in the SEC behind Alabama, Georgia and LSU. The 41-15 win over Michigan in the Peach Bowl also helped.
ESPN analyst Greg McElroy, though is not exactly on board with the preseason momentum. On a recent airing of College Football Live, the former Alabama quarterback explains why he’s pumping the brakes on the top 10 excitement. He even goes as far as expecting a regress from 2018.
“I really like what Florida was able to accomplish last year,” McElroy said, per 247 Sports. “It was truly remarkable to think that in Dan Mullen’s first year, they can get to 10 wins. Feleipe Franks showed growth at the quarterback spot but really, that team was built almost all around their defensive playmakers.
“They lose Jachai Polite, who is a superstar. CeCe Jefferson was outstanding for many years, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson in the back end and four of their top five offensive linemen from a year ago. I understand why people look and say, ‘Dan Mullen, he’s going to coach them up. He’s going to get them right.’ But I think this Florida team is going to regress a little bit from where they were a year ago.
“They overachieved a bit, and they had a couple of games that were borderline miraculous. Double-digit comebacks against South Carolina and Vanderbilt, I have a hard time envisioning Florida, in an ever-improving SEC East, getting back to that 9-3 regular season mark which would probably land them in the top 10.”
Florida opens its season on Aug. 24 in Orlando against Miami.