If two weeks ago you asked me if Florida had a decent shot at the national championship, I would've said, "Of course, why not?" We all know they are returning the only sophomore Heisman winner ever, and an ALL-SEC linebacker in Brandon Spikes.
Florida surely looked to be one of the toughest teams to beat this upcoming season, but their biggest question mark coming into this year lies in the secondary.
After the transfer of Jerimy Finch (the top-rated safety in the '07 class), the dismissal of Jamar Hornsby (who was kicked off the team for using the credit card of a deceased Florida student), and a four-star safety recruit who is likely to attend a prep school in New York due to academics, the Gators are left with holes to fill.
To add to the question marks the Gators were hit by a brick wall last Saturday when they lost their starting junior safety Dorian Munroe and back up senior safety John Curtis. Munroe suffered an ACL tear in his right knee and Curtis suffered an ACL tear in his left knee.
Both will miss the entire 2008 season.
These two shots in my opinion just knocked Florida out of a championship run. Even without all the injuries and dismissals the Gators' road to a title was far from a cake walk.
Before you make the national title game you have to get through a brutal SEC schedule that features games against Tennessee, LSU, Georgia, and South Carolina, and ACC games against Miami and the season finale at archrival Florida State.
So the task of running the table there looks almost impossible on paper, and now is an even a harder task with new blows to the defense.
Sorry to say Gator fans, I see possibly the same result as last season minus the upset loss in the bowl game.
Florida is still going to be one of the elite teams this year and are projected to be at the top of the SEC along with Georgia. With a weak secondary though, you can only go so far with "Superman" at quarterback and a strong D-line. Without safeties how are you going to stop the pass and the deadly deep ball?
Keep an eye on the Jacksonville showdown against Georgia though; the winner of this game should end up in Atlanta and maybe in the title game.