A look at the preseason listings of the experts and the Gators were put all over the map, but nowhere in the top 25.
Athlon’s Sports should be give credit. They were actually one spot off in picking the Gators just outside the 25 at number 26. But the annual football magazine picked Florida to finish third in the East and the Gators won the Eastern division.
The second closest to getting it right is the preseason AP Poll who had the Gators outside the Top 25 and #37 with just four votes and also finishing third in the SEC East.
The next closest would likely be Lindy’s. Another annual magazine with a huge fan base, Lindy’s had the Gators coming in at #38 nationally, but finishing fourth in the SEC East.
Phil Steele, who undoubtedly puts as much work into his publication as anyone out there and will give you more than you want to know when it comes to roster breakdowns and statistics, had the Gators coming in at #40 in his power poll. He also had the Gators finishing fourth in the East before the season started.
The Coaches’ poll, of which we are talking about today and placed Florida 25th in the final poll of the season, tallied the Gators to finish 47th overall with just two votes from the coaches and to finish 4th in the SEC East.
Finally, The Sporting news had the Gators unranked and finishing 4th in the SEC East when the season began, like so many others.
How can all the experts be wrong? Well, there were certainly a lot of unknowns. But these people get paid to know the rosters and know the schedules and what these teams are supposed to be capable of. In their minds, the Gators were supposed to lose to three teams in the East this year and that didn’t happen.
Florida lost four games this year, three at neutral or opponent’s sites, all four to teams in the top 17 in the Coaches’ Poll. They beat three teams (Ole Miss, Georgia, and Tennessee) that were bowl game winners and all finished inside the Top 25 of the Coaches’ Poll.
There is zero doubt this team played above the preseason expectations set forth by almost all of the experts. So I ask was this a successful season? Are you a glass half empty or full kind of person?
I know where I sit on this, and I will be drinking for a while.