The Florida Gators got off to a rocky start this season, losing in Week 2 to Kentucky — their first loss to the Wildcats in 31 years.
However, since that loss (which looks better in hindsight based on what the Wildcats have done), first-year coach Dan Mullen has turned things around in Gainesville. Currently, the Gators are the No. 14 team in the country and are coming off of wins against LSU and Mississippi State.
After calling the dramatic win over LSU last weekend, CBS broadcaster Gary Danielson spoke with Saturday Down South. He said the last two weeks have been nice for Gator fans, but he thinks they signal better things to come in the future.
“After these last two wins, Gator fans should not even worry about 2018,” he said. “I don’t know how it’s going to turn out, but I don’t think this year’s Florida team is going to win a national championship. But I do think that what Dan brings to Florida is the belief that he can build them back again into a national championship contender.”
Danielson said Mullen’s attitude is evident around Gainesville. He added that it feels like the Gators have the swagger they had back when Steve Spurrier was coaching the squad.
“His cockiness — call it arrogance if you want — I’ve seen it. He is that way. It’s perfect for Florida,” Danielson said. “Remember what they were under Spurrier, OK? He has brought them back. Florida was always that way and now he’s leading it back that way. Players will be attracted to it. These last two games, if I was a Florida fan, I’d say ‘I don’t care how the rest of this year turns out — I know we got the right guy to build us back into what we want to be, and that’s to contend for the national title.’”
Things do seem to be going well in Gainesville right now, and Mullen is only getting started. However, tougher tests loom on Florida’s schedule. After playing Vanderbilt this weekend, the Gators have a bye. Then, they head to Jacksonville for their annual rivalry game against Georgia.