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Florida Football: 2012 Gators Destined to Play in SEC Championship Game?

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Florida Football: 2012 Gators Destined to Play in SEC Championship Game?
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

There are several legitimate reasons why it makes sense to count this as rebuilding Year 1 for Gator football. Yet, some expect Florida to find its way back to the SEC title game this season.

Why is that?

Florida went 7-6 in 2011 in Year 1, transitioning from the Urban Meyer, Tim Tebow-charged, read-option attack. They are changing offensive coordinators—and schemes—again this year, as well as breaking in two quarterbacks.

Georgia and South Carolina finished last year in the top 10, and both teams open this season there as well. Yet somehow, Phil Steele's Preseason 2012 magazine, touted as the most accurate in the industry, picks the Gators to win the SEC East.

Steele isn't the only one picking them that high. There are others—inside and out—of their fanbase who feel the Gators will be right back in the hunt this year.

With that in mind, let's look at the five reasons many expect the Gators to play for the SEC championship this season.  

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