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2011 Florida Gators Football Preview

Sweet way to end the season with a win over Ohio State in the Gator Bowl. It's like 2007 BCS Championship Game all over again.

2011 Florida Gators Preview

Last Year: 4-4 (2nd SEC East) - 8-5 Overall

Starters Returning Offense: 6

Starters Returning Defense: 3

Starters Returning Special Teams: 0

They will be asking, "Urban Who" if: The young players who are getting their chance to show what they can do make an immediate impact, especially on defense. If Florida can figure out ways to get the ball to their playmakers like Chris Rainey, Jeff Demps and Quinton Dunbar, they have the speed and skill to score every time they touch the ball. The Gators must remember how to win the close games, like they did in their glory years under both Meyer and Spurrier. If they can figure out how to win again, there is a good chance they could make it back to Atlanta in December.

Florida Gators

They will be nothing but a Croc if: The new coaching staff and players fail to get on the same page. The Gators have to address issues on both sides of the ball as the defense has to be rebuilt, and John Brantley must improve from last season, as well as his dreadful performance in the spring game. It will be a tough road as the offense will be learning on the fly under Charlie Weis, but he is a good one to learn from.

Schedule: Not what first year coach Will Muschamp would have liked, but sooner or later he was going to be thrown in the fire so it might as well be now. After four games in which the Gators should get their sea legs, they face an October gauntlet of SEC heavies starting with Alabama in Gainesville, then three straight games away from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium featuring LSU, Auburn and Georgia in Jacksonville. Florida will go to South Carolina and finishes with Florida State, who suddenly is back at the top of their game.

Intangibles: The biggest one is nobody in the SEC knows what to expect from Will Muschamp, or what offensive guru Charlie Weis will bring to the field. Overall, Muschamp put together a solid staff that might make a few teams sweat it out over the course of 60 minutes. The other thing to think about is five years ago when everyone was wondering what Urban Meyer would do with an unknown team, and didn't give them much of a chance to do much in the SEC. They wound up as National Champions.

New Florida coach Will Muschamp
New Florida coach Will Muschamp

Coach Scooter's Prediction: 3rd in the SEC East

I really like the hire as Will Muschamp should do a great job in Gainesville. His staff is solid, and there are no shortages of talent in the state that want to be Gators, so they should be set for years to come. I think this year will be one that will see the team adjusting to a new coaching staff, new ways of doing things, and new game plans. Those successes do not come over night and, similar to Urban Meyer's first year, there will be some growing pains. I am not sold on John Brantley yet, and with a defense that lost almost everybody, I just don't see them overtaking Georgia or South Carolina this year.

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2011 Alabama Crimson Tide Football Preview | 2011 Auburn Tigers Football Preview | 2011 Arkansas Razorbacks Football Preview | 2011 Georgia Bulldogs Football Preview | 2011 Kentucky Wildcats Football Preview | 2011 LSU Tigers Football Preview | 2011 Mississippi State Bulldogs Football Preview | 2011 Ole Miss Rebels Football Preview | 2011 South Carolina Gamecocks Football Preview | 2011 Tennessee Volunteers Football Preview | 2011 Vanderbilt Commodores Football Preview |

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