2021 Preseason Ranking
AP (13), Coaches (11)
Final Record: 6-7
What Went Wrong?
Talk all you want about how things got loose under Dan Mullen, or how there wasn’t enough discipline, or any of the other reasons he was let go after a disappointing 2021, but there were two key parts in all of this …
Kyle Pitts, Kadarius Toney, Kyle Trask, Marco Wilson, Evan McPherson – in all, eight very good Gators were gone to the 2021 NFL Draft.
The Gators not only lost a ton of talent, but they had to completely change their offensive identity from a high-powered passing attack to more balance and power. 2021 was a rebuilding year in a lot of ways, and …
Second, if the Gators get in on that two point conversion try against Alabama and end up pulling off the comeback in overtime, Mullen might still be there … maybe.
Who knows how the team would’ve reacted if it started the season 4-0 with wins over Bama and Tennessee, but after the victory over the Vols it lost five of its next seven games, there wasn’t any consistency, and three close losses – and a blowout against South Carolina – sealed Mullen’s fate.
Why 2022 Will Be Better: Returning Talent
Getting Billy Napier as the next head coach was very, very big.
Mullen was better than he’ll get credit for, but Napier has the upside to be truly special as a young head coach who appears to be as ready as it gets for the modern era of college football.
More than that, the shift in last year’s Gator offense – it was fourth in the SEC in rushing and finished 15th in the nation in total O – should help the new staff hit the ground running.
Napier brought over a few players from his great Louisiana teams – watch out for RB Montrell Johnson – QB Anthony Richardson is one of the stars among the NFL scouting circuit, and there’s enough experience on the defensive side to hope for a quick improvement.
This is supposed to be a national championship-level football program. It’s supposed to beat Utah. It’s supposed to beat Kentucky. It’s supposed to be able to battle with Georgia and give Tennessee and Texas A&M more than just a fight on the road, and …
Yeah, the schedule is a problem.
There are only four road games, but hosting South Carolina and LSU doesn’t make things easy.
Whatever. It’s Florida. It’s supposed to be good enough at college football to win more than six games no matter what the schedule is.