The landscape has changed for Florida Football in Tebow's absence.
The Florida Gators came into the 2010 season ranked third in the country. Third, after losing their senior starting quarterback, Tim Tebow, and other notables. Brandon Spikes, Aaron Hernandez, the original Pouncey center, anyone?
This team reminds people of a young team, and looks like a young team. Why? Because they are a young team. I count myself as a Florida fan, but any fan, regardless of team allegiance, would be fooling themselves if they expected results similar to '06, '08, and '09.
Reality check. This is more like 2007, a year where the Gator football team lost to Michigan in the Citrus Bowl, with a young starting lineup.
"John Brantley is a junior, though!"
Yeah. John Brantley has only previously played in garbage time, cleaning up after Tebow and the other starters massacred the opposing side.
Brantley is a redshirt, meaning he sat out entirely for a season.
The future is bright for this team, but to expect championship caliber results from such a young group is unrealistic. Especially from a young team that plays in the SEC. Any SEC team plays tough-especially Alabama, who the Gators play in about two weeks.
Florida struggled to beat a team [Tennessee] that was trounced by Oregon. They [the Gators] finally showed their teeth-but only against a lackluster Kentucky team, with freshman Trey Burton scoring the large majority of Florida's points, lining up in whichever position necessary. 6 touchdowns-5 rushing and 1 receiving. He was named the SEC Freshman of the Week, after a record breaking performance that fell one touchdown shy of the national record.
There is always hope until there is a loss, which is likely in store for this young team. Florida fans or anyone in general need not be shocked. Those who are finally saying "Florida sucks!" need to quiet down, because Florida has been a consistent power under the tenure of Urban Meyer. It's easy to criticize a young team that has a lot to learn, and it's easy to be disappointed when you're used to being at the top of the food chain.
Any team can win on any given Saturday or Sunday, and we need to remember to take it on a game-by-game basis. In a season where Virginia Tech loses to James Madison, and the Boise State Broncos are getting a legitimate shot at the National Championship, I'm sure we won't forget.