Based on the debut seasons of Jimbo Fisher and Dan Mullen at their respective schools last season, Texas A&M and Florida both appear poised to become programs capable of challenging for the conference title on an annual basis in the near future.
It may be too soon to expect either team to win the conference crown in 2019 but if each program continues to make strides on the field, that’s not an unrealistic goal for each heading into the second year under new leadership.
So which team should we expect to have the better 2019 season? That was a question asked of ESPN college football analyst Tom Luginbill on Wednesday during his weekly appearance on JOX 94.5 FM radio show “The Roundtable” out of Birmingham.
Luginbill’s answer? He’s going with Texas A&M over Florida.
“But, I’ll tell you what, if I was going to go path, I would take Florida. Because to get to where they want to be or to have a chance to get to Atlanta, the path for Florida given the state of the SEC East right now is much smoother than it is for Texas A&M,” Luginbill said on the show. “I just think Texas A&M in Year 2, Kellen Mond and that offense back, most of their wide receivers back, they are going to have a pretty good football team.”
The ESPN college football analyst then explained why he may be a bit more down on Florida than many are looking ahead to the 2019 season despite the fact the Gators won 10 games in Mullen’s debut season in Gainesville.
“I think the jury is still out for me on Feleipe Franks and when I say that, I’m coming from a place of experience,” Luginbill continued. “I saw Florida four times last year alone — I almost feel like I’m the official spokesperson for the Florida Gators. I saw them from the beginning of the season and I had them again when they just walloped Florida State and Feleipe Franks made huge strides — as did the rest of the offense.
“I just don’t know if I trust him yet. With the losses they have on the defensive front, the fact that they are going to play a lot of true freshmen, I’m a little bit worried about their youth on defense in a little bit of a transition year for Florida. I think they will be better on offense but I think Texas A&M as a team will be better overall.”