SDS Roundtable: Florida's over/under is 9.5 wins. How many games will the Gators win?
Each SDS roundtable discussion involves the SDS staff providing individual answers and comments to questions covering a wide range of sports and non-sports topics. In this discussion, we ask the question: Can Florida win 10 games for the 3rd consecutive season under Dan Mullen?
A bit of background …
Dan Mullen is trying to become the first Florida coach to win 10 games in his first 3 seasons. The Gators return a breakout standout in QB Kyle Trask, whose rise to potential first-round pick in 2021 has been nothing short of remarkable. The biggest question surrounding the offense is how will Mullen replace all of that production at wide receiver? If we’ve learned anything about Mullen during his 11 years as a head coach, it’s that his offense will find a way. With that in mind, can the Gators surpass the over on their projected win total and win 10 games again?
Jon Cooper, SDS co-founder
Right now, I could see Florida finishing 9-3 or 10-2 in 2020. The nonconference slate of Eastern Washington, South Alabama, New Mexico State and Florida State should be 4 wins. Conference bouts against Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and Missouri should also be wins.
The key in those games will be the trip to Neyland Stadium on Sept. 26.
This game against the ever-improving Volunteers might be a catalyst for how October and November finish. Historically, the winner of Florida-Tennessee went on to win the East; however, with Georgia’s dominance and the Volunteers’ recent slide, things have shifted in the East. Nonetheless, this game is crucial for Florida.
Games against LSU and Georgia are toss-ups right now, but I would take the over of 9.5 wins.
Neil Blackmon, Florida columnist
Come hell or high water, Dan Mullen will get to 10. The real question is can he get to 11 or 12.
With a senior quarterback, plenty of firepower and 7 returning starters on defense, Florida certainly feels like a program that could take the next step after back-to-back New Year’s 6 bowl victory seasons.
The schedule is also favorable: defending national champion LSU visits The Swamp, a rebuilding Ole MIss take the place of Auburn, and Kentucky, Missouri and South Carolina all visit The Swamp. The 2 games to circle? An early tilt at Tenneseee, who is looking for a signature win in the Pruitt era, and the Cocktail Party. If Florida loses both- it will be a disappointing season. But it will still be one with 10 wins.
Connor O’Gara, Senior national columnist
Give me the over.
Florida just had the ultimate mid-season curveball, and it still managed to go 10-2. That’s incredibly impressive. Kyle Trask should take another step up after an entire offseason (or whatever this is) with the first-teamers. He still has plenty of weapons to work with, and he’ll have a more experienced offensive line than the one that was a liability at times last year.
Florida could take a minor step back defensively after losing a couple of underrated studs in C.J. Henderson and Jon Greenard, but Todd Grantham showed that their floor on that side of the ball is higher than people realize. The schedule sets up well, too. Three of the final games vs. Power 5 foes will be against first-year coaches. Plus, only 2 of Florida’s games are against teams who hit 9 wins last year, and neither of them are road games. LSU and Georgia are both dealing with massive turnover, too. The Gators could theoretically lose both of those games and still hit the “over.”
That’s an easy one.
Adam Spencer, Newsletter editor
I think this could be the year the Gators once again challenge Georgia for SEC East supremacy. The Vols are still a year or 2 away from working their way back into the division title mix, so to me, that means the winner of the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party will once again be heading to Atlanta. I count 10 wins on the Gators’ schedule, and then a toss-up against Georgia.
I think they’ll split against LSU and at Tennessee. Even if they go 1-1 in those 2 games and lose to Georgia, that’s still a 10-2 regular season. Having their starting quarterback returning can’t be understated. Kyle Trask is perhaps the best returning QB in the SEC and knows the Gator offense. That’s something that can’t be said for Jamie Newman at Georgia and Myles Brennan at LSU.
This should be a comfortable over.
Chris Wright, Executive editor
The schedule sets up nicely for another run at 10 regular-season wins, but it’s not automatic.
I’m interested to see the Week 4 showdown at Tennessee. Are the Vols honestly on their way back? That game will reveal plenty. If Florida stumbles, a 10-win regular season becomes much more difficult, perhaps unattainable.
The game everyone has circled, of course, is the Cocktail Party. A third consecutive 10-win season will ring a bit hollow if it also includes a 4th consecutive loss to Georgia. Without question, that is the most important game on the Gators’ schedule.
It’s probably more important that the Gators beat Georgia than win the East. Considering Georgia plays at Alabama, the Gators could lose the Cocktail Party and still back their way into Atlanta simply because the Dawgs’ SEC slate is more challenging. That’s not what Florida wants, not in a near where Georgia is practically reinventing itself on the fly.
I think Kyle Trask gets it done in Jacksonville, cementing himself as an SEC Offensive Player of the Year contender.
- LSU’s over/under is 9.5 wins. How many games will Tigers win?
- Alabama’s over/under is 10.5 wins. How many games will Tide win?
- Auburn’s over/under is 8.5 wins. How many games will Tigers win?
- Texas A&M’s over/under is 9.5 wins. How many games will Aggies win?
- Who wins more games in 2020: Ole Miss or Mississippi State?