Florida Gators Football 2011: After the UAB Game We Will Know

Jim FolsomContributorSeptember 7, 2011

GAINESVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 03:  Head coach Will Muschamp of the University of Florida Gators watches the action prior to game against the Florida Atlantic University Owls at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 3, 2011 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Last year about this time I wrote a couple of articles about how I could tell all I needed to know about how the season will be after watching the first two games. And I was right. People always say "well they don't play anybody in the first two games." And that is true. But, I can still tell. How?

Simple. Even if the Gators are playing a nobody the first two weeks, I can tell you how good they are by how many points they give up and by how many unforced mistakes they make on offense. If you recall last year's Miami/Ohio game, the offense couldn't get out of its own way and the defense was getting driven on. I wrote after that game that the Gators would lose and lose often. I was right.

Go back into the last twenty years or so since the Gators started scheduling these two cupcake games to start the season and look at the scores. Lopsided wins pretty much across the board yes, but upon closer inspection you will see games where teams like Troy, Marshall, UCF. and Miami (Oh.) were able to put some points up. Go check the records of Florida in those years.

Then look at years when UF beat people up in the first two weeks. Look at years when UCF was shut out 42-0 or Hawaii was beaten 56-10 or other seriously lopsided scores and see where UF ended up. Last week's 41-3 romp over Florida Atlantic is a good sign. Last week, the defense late into the first half at one point had given up nine total yards and zero first downs.

Another strong showing like that this week against UAB and we could be looking at another SEC East  Division title this year. Florida has enough game breakers on offense to put some points on the board. From what the defense showed last week, they should not need too many in most games. And these guys didn't have Sharif Floyd last week either.

So write this down now. If UF holds UAB  to under 13 points on Saturday, the Gators will be playing in Atlanta in December.