2009 SEC Predictions: Florida Gators

Jesse MitchellCorrespondent IAugust 10, 2009

GAINESVILLE, FL - APRIL 18: A fan of the University of Florida Gators watches play during the spring football Orange and Blue game April 18, 2009 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

And now to continue my "danged if I do, danged if I don't" series of attempting to predict the records in the most dominant conference in college football. Too bad I can't predict every team to go 12-0 and win the championship.

So, just present the facts, right?


So we move on to the Florida Gators. The pundits, experts, and all the rest have all chosen Florida to repeat as National Champions, and the rest of us should just go home and not play the season...it is a forgone thought.

But to steal a phrase from the coach, "not so fast, my friend."

I am in agreement with Urban Meyer in saying that it is really easy to lose focus in a situation like this, and if you lose focus for just a second in the SEC, you will find yourself beat.

Florida themselves can attest to that.

If, however, they remain focused, Florida does have a real chance to win it all again. They return a good number of the people that made them great last year, and they should only be better.

You must remember, though, that the rest of the SEC figures to be better as well.

Florida does have an easier schedule than last year, and luckily do not have to play Ole Miss or Alabama in the regular season. Plus, they have a soft non-conference schedule as well.

The two key games for the gators this year will be the difference between another NCS, or a possible BCS bowl.

They must win at least one of them, and need to win both.

Those two key games are at LSU and against Georgia.

If they can win both of these games, they should be a shoe-in for the title.

The only non-conference game they should have to be worried about is against Troy. Troy returns almost everyone from last year, and they did alright against the SEC as well. They darn near beat LSU at home.

Hopefully, Florida does not look past them.

The team has circled Tennessee on the calendar on Sept. 19, and have publicly said they want to score 100 points on them.

They just might do it, but they must keep in mind that Tennessee will also field one of the better defenses they will see this year.

And then, there is always Florida State.

Rivalry games are so hard to pick because in those games, records do not matter, coaches do not matter, it is just pure hatred on the field.

Bobby Bowden looks to have the best team he has had in several years when they take the field on Nov. 28.

I do not see any real problems with the rest of their schedule, but in the SEC, no win will be easy.

Florida will pull it off.

They should go on to the SEC Championship, where they will face either Alabama or Ole Miss, with the winner going on to face maybe Texas in the NCS game.

All signs point to 'Bama, but I am going to hold out on this one, because if Ole Miss lives up to all the hype, they get to play 'Bama in the regular season. 

The winner of that matchup will go on to face Florida in the Championship game. I will go out on a limb and say if it is Alabama, Florida will lose that game. But if it's Ole Miss, they will win.

They are still looking for a little revenge, after all.