2014 Gator Football Predictions

The Our Two Bits Team has been pathetic at providing you all with content this summer. We’re sorry. It’s hot, and we’re tired. Anyways, with Gator football kicking off its 2014 season in less than two weeks (!!!) the OTB team put together 2,000 words with our sure to be incorrect predictions for how the Orange and Blue will do this fall. Enjoy!

Paul Sjoberg:

Finishing record: 8-4, Second in the SEC East

Wins: Idaho, Eastern Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Georgia, Vandy, Eastern Kentucky

Losses: Alabama, LSU, USC, FSU

Will Muschamp is a defensive coach searching for his “offensive” match. Let’s face it. The offensive coordinator job has been a dead man walking under Muschamp’s tenor year in and year out. So I won’t be around the bush. If Kurt Roper is the “ying” to Muschamp’s “yang” then the Gators go 9-3, or maybe even surprise some people going 10-2.

But honestly I think our schedule has 8-4 written ALL OVER IT! If a couple of losses are close losses against GREAT teams and the offense looks much improved then Muschamp keeps his job for another year. If the “offensive” stench continues then fans can start obsessing over the “next” Gator Football coach (Kliff Klingsbury?). Maybe even recycling a few of the old standbys (Shanahan, Spurrier, Stoops)?!

Just continue to pray and hope beyond ALL hope that the Gators stay healthy. Would love to see us get a fair shake from the injury gods.

Blake Edwards, Formerly known as The Unsportsmanlike Gentleman:

Finishing record: 9-3, First in the SEC East.

I’m trying so hard to be optimistic that my ears are bleeding as I type this. My fingers didn’t want to type nine wins, they kept hitting six, but that has more to do with demonic possession than my opinion on Florida’s season. Anywho, the majority of experts, pundits, analysts, journalists, bloggers, radio hosts, TV personalities, Twitter folk, message board folk, and man and woman on the street all seem to think that Alabama, Georgia, LSU, and South Carolina will easily replace a really good quarterback.

Florida’s defense will be fine as usual, so a first year quarterback against Florida’s defense does not favor the opponent’s offense. HAIL SATAN! Er, whoa, um, sorry about that. Not myself. Anyway, the concerns for Florida are health and the offense. Assuming they stay relatively healthy, the offense will be improved since it won’t take much. There’s enough talent at the skill positions to move the ball efficiently and score.bamaflorida

The biggest concern I have about the team as a whole is the offensive line. The starting five should be serviceable, but if injuries besiege them again, you can lower my prediction of nine wins to six six six…gah, sorry about that. Darn fingers. Please leave me be, spirit! Back to Florida, I just don’t trust the depth along the line yet.

I’m not saying they don’t have talent, but they’re young and inexperienced and it scares me to the point that I just want to pull the bed sheets over my head and hope it all goes away, like when I was possessed by The Devil. Only the bed sheets didn’t protect me from El Diablo. I just hope the line does a better job of protecting ALL HAIL SATAN AND HIS KINGDOM! LEEF YM REWOP EDISNI OUY. EHT SSENKRAD SESSESSOP OUY. REHTEGOT EW LLAHS NGIER ROF YTINRETE!

Lucas Dolengowski

Finishing record: 9-3, First in the SEC East

Maybe it’s overconfidence in Kurt Roper’s new offense, or maybe it’s just wishful thinking that there won’t be any catastrophic injuries, but I’m picking Florida to go 9-3 (6-2 SEC) and win the East. I’m predicting a loss up in Tuscaloosa and expecting one loss and one win between the Tiger games, leaning more towards the win being against Mizzou.

I fully believe this is the year Will Muschamp gets over the hump and defeats Georgia in the World’s Largest Scoreboard Party. Uh, I mean cocktail. I think the Dawgs will go as far as their defense takes them, which I see as 5-3 in the conference with losses at South Carolina, either at Mizzou or Arkansas, and finally to the Gators. Missouri will be good once again this season, but not having Michael Sam and Kony Ealy on the pass rush (along with the loss of Dorial Green-Beckham) will really hurt. I’ve Missouri them going 6-2 in the conference with defeats at the hands of USC and UF.

I have the Gamecocks losing at Auburn for their first SEC loss, which will set up November 15th as a winner-goes-to-Atlanta matchup in The Swamp. I think the defense will find a way to contain Mike Davis and supply pressure to Dylan Thompson as they eke out the Head Ball Coach for a berth in the SEC Championship.

I find it difficult to see the Orange & Blue taking down FSU up at Doak with a healthy Jameis; however, it is a rivalry game and I’ve seen much weirder things happen. The Gators might drop a close one in the Georgia Dome too-probably against Bama.

Bowl game: Florida vs. Texas in the Will Muschamp-Charlie Strong ALL THE STORYLINES (Cotton) Bowl! Coach Boom takes down his former employer and keeps his job with a 10-4 final mark.

Morgan Moriarty

Finishing record: 7-5, Third in the SEC East

Okay yes, I realize I have the lowest expectations of the OTB Team for this Florida Gator team, but I’ll serve the Ms. Rational role within this post.

First off, I’m penciling in losses at Florida State and Alabama. There’s simply way too much talent returning in Tuscaloosa and Tallahassee on both sides of the ball. I know Alabama still doesn’t have its quarterback situation figured out yet, but with the deep running back corps and wide receivers the Tide has, whoever the starter is simply has to be a game manager under Lane Kiffin. And yes, to your dismay, Kiffin will excel as a coordinator at Alabama this season.

muschamp stare

The LSU game will be close, but the Tigers’ experienced offensive line will benefit whoever their starting quarterback is. Not to mention they have a true freshman running back in Leonard Fournette who was compared to both Michael Jordan and Adrian Peterson during SEC Media Days. A kid who is getting that much praise and he hasn’t even played a down of college ball yet? Must be pretty darn good.

I think Florida is capable of beating Missouri, especially with that game being at home. The toss up game for me is South Carolina. I do have SC winning the East, but that’s if Dylan Thompson can prove to be legit. Mike Davis is one of the best running backs in the country, so he’s not a concern.

It seems that Muschamp should in his fourth try finally beat Georgia this season, but it’s going to be no easy task. The Dawgs have, in my opinion, the best running back in the country in Todd Gurley. Don’t believe me? Just watch the final seven minutes of last season’s game in Jacksonville—maybe then you’ll believe me. He single-handedly ran down that entire clock to seal the Dawgs’ victory last year.

Pair that with a potential healthy Keith Marshall and the Dawg’s backfield is lethal. Replacing Aaron Murray at quarterback is tough, but Hutson Mason is a fifth year senior and has a skill set scarily very similar to Murray’s. Not to mention Mark Richt hired Jeremy Pruitt, one of the best defensive coordinators in the country this offseason.

Seven wins doesn’t cut it for Will Muschamp, and Jeremy Foley is forced to let Coach Boom go—which conveniently puts Kliff Kingsbury as a dark horse to replace him. (I know this will never happen, but LET ME DREAM PEOPLE!)

Shawn Kopelakis

Finishing Record: 8-4, Third in the SEC East

The health of this team so far this preseason [knocks on every piece of wood in a 25-mile radius] and the general feeling that “we can’t play any worse than last season” has me cautiously optimistic for 2014.

With this defense, just by being semi-competent on offense for 5-6 drives per game will give the Gators a chance to win all but two games on the schedule: ‘Bama and That Team Out West. Georgia is the lynchpin for the whole season and it is no understatement to say Muschamp must win that game to survive the firing squad.

I’m not a big believer in Jeff Driskel, but I think Kurt Roper’s offense will make him and the offense better. I see an 8-4 season with a 5-3 SEC mark, including the key win in Jacksonville. Despite the four losses, I think we’ll actually enjoy watching most of Florida’s games this year, which will be a whole lot of fun after the pain and agony of last season.

Losses to the Tide, Tigers, Cocks and Noles will keep Florida from returning to prominence, though, and force Jeremy Foley into another tough decision to keep plugging away with Muschamp or to blow it up and start over.

Scott Francis

Finishing Record: 11-3, First in the SEC East

This upcoming season has been called the #RevengeTour, but perhaps a better moniker would be the, “If this, then that” year. No doubt we’ll be better, we can’t be much worse. However, I think we are back to the norm of our season hinging on the four games that could go either way. This year, those are: Missouri, LSU, Georgia and South Carolina. Here’s how I see it.

driskelmia

Week 1 vs Idaho: We win and either cover or almost cover. Florida Football is fun again. Yay!

Week 2 vs EMU: We win with lots of rushing yards out of vanilla formations.

Week 3 vs Kentucky: Another year, another win. Hell, they went 0-3 against Florida in the sport that they ARE good at.

Week 4 at Alabama: While I have penciled this in in DARK pencil as a loss, there is an “If this, then that” component to this one. We have a chance if we can maintain some possession and keep the defense off the field and if Alabama doesn’t have their QB situation all figured out at this point, our defense could create some havoc and and we could steal one. However, this game CAN’T be at night in Bryant Denny.

Week 6 at Tennessee: If Justin Worley is still their QB, they’re toast. If Josh Dobbs has taken the reigns by then, they’ve got a puncher’s chance. Ultimately, I don’t think Tennessee is ready yet. They’ve eventually got to break this streak. This isn’t the year.

Week 7 vs LSU: The first of the “either way games”. I actually don’t think much of LSU’s offense and where they are at the QB position, but then again, they played for a National Title with the PuPu Platter of Lee and Jefferson splitting time a few years ago. Given that we played them pretty tough last year when they were good and we were offensively anemic, I think we take this one by 10 or more. Big day for Austin Hardin in this one.

Week 8 vs. Mizzou: I went out to Columbia last year and I left saying that they were the only team last year that legitimately kicked our ass all over the place. I left saying they could win the SEC. They aren’t the same team this year.  Maty Mauk will be good, but without that NBA-like stable of receivers and losing a lot on defense, I think their status is a bit overstated this year. Gators win handily.

Week 10: Georgia: Nothing has changed how I’ve felt about this game. It is the ultimate toss up and the ultimate “If this, then that” game. If we don’t turn it over 6 times, if we don’t let Gurley gain 750 total yards in a half, etc. I think the difference here is the bye week. And no more Aaron Murray, either. That SOB was a Will Hill INT away from possibly being 4-0 in his career vs. Florida. He’s gone, and I think Florida snaps the mini-streak and gets Muschamp his biggest win at Florida.

Week 11 at Vandy: Last year was some bullshit and we all know it. They’re not terrible, but order is restored in the universe here.

Week 12 vs South Carolina: Everything in me says that Carolina is not as good as everyone thinks. They just lost 2 of the best players in program history in Jadeveon Clowney and Connor Shaw. Mike Davis is good, but I don’t think he’s a strong enough leader to carry a team of this make up. Florida wins.

Week 13 vs. EKU: I won’t blow off this pick since, you know Georgia Southern, but Florida wins and back up quarterbacks see action.

Week 14 at FSU: OK, so I have an unreasonable hunch that Jameis Winston is going to get injured this year. There is no basis for it, just a feeling. Maybe it’s because all returning Heisman Trophy winners get hurt. Anyway, it’s rare for me to pick us to win at this place without us flat out having a better team, which I’m not sure we do. Florida gets the short end here. If you’re keeping track, Florida is 10-2 (8-1) after the FSU game. Oooooh baby!!

This sets up a rematch against Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. Unfortunately, that loss puts us out of College Football Playoff contention.

We follow that up with a pedestrian win over Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl to finish 11-3. Most importantly, it will be more entertaining to watch than the past 2 seasons.

Dustin Davis

Finishing Record: 8-4, Third in the SEC East

Let me start by saying that the two SEC institutions from which I hold a degree, Arkansas and Florida, went a combined 8-17 last year.  I haven’t seen either of my Alma Maters win since October 5th, 2013—consequently, Florida beat Arkansas on October 5, so it almost feels like that day of my life never happened.  My prediction is clearly skewed by wanting—no—NEEDING one of these teams to win.  The Hogs are still recovering from an incident involving a motorcycle and He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named. Needless to say, I’m pinning my hopes on the Gators this year.

Unfortunately, the Gators have a brutal schedule.  I think the defense will be solid again and the offensive success will depend on the offensive line’s ability to protect as well as Driskel’s ability to produce.  I’m choosing to be optimistic because if I get any more depressed about football my wife will have to start hiding the vodka and Lady Schick razor blades.

dunbar

I’ve got the Gators starting at 3-0 before getting their teeth kicked in at Bama.  We find a way to split the next four games.  We upset South Carolina at home because well, I don’t have a good reason, but it sounds like fun.  The Gators go to Tallahassee and lose despite sending crab legs with cocaine laced butter to a certain quarterback’s room the night before the game.

Billy Heilman

Finishing Record: 9-3

I’m hoping for 9-3 and I can’t envision anything better than that no matter how hard I try.

Florida will be much improved but have too many SEC teams on the schedule, which is a pretty common problem amongst SEC teams.

In addition to the 2 “gimme” losses of Bama and FSU, I think they drop the home game against USC. I like us to beat UGA coming off a bye, even though the Dawgs got smart and started taking a bye week before the game also. The stretch that worries me is the LSU and Missouri back-to-back games. I feel good about those games bring at home, but if the season is going to fall apart, this is where it will be.

 

 

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7 Responses to 2014 Gator Football Predictions

  1. snowprint says:

    I think everyone is too optimistic. The Gators are a bad team. Jeff Driskel is an awful quarterback. The only reason UF won 11 games with him is they were smart enough to not let him be anything more than, as Muschamp put it, a “caretaker.” They relied on a dominant defense and great special teams to win. We saw what happened in the Sugar Bowl when they were stupid enough to let Driskel try to become a “real” quarterback.By the way, the Gators ran the spread in the Sugar Bowl, and Driskel still sucked. It’s not the system, it’s the players, silly rabbit! We saw how bad he sucked before his injury last year. One play defines who Driskel is, and it’s not one you probably think of. The play I’m speaking of is his first fumble against mighty Toledo. He stares directly at a corner coming on a blitz, it didn’t come from his blind side. What does he do? Nothing! he stands there like a deer in headlights and meekly coughs up the ball when the guy touches him. I’d like to see someone explaim why that wasn’t his fault. It’s amazing the myriad of excuse that are made for this guy. The simple explanation is that he can’t play a lick.
    UF doesn’t have a great defense or special tams this year, so the coaches are going to put their faith in Jeff Driskel. Big mistake. I don’t think UF has the talent to beat a single good team on the schedule this year. They have four dogs and the two teams from Tennessee, which may be bad as well. But the Gators don’t have the talent level to beat any other team. As pointed out, the Gators are horrible at quarterback, have a bad offensive line, mediocre receivers on offense, and average running backs. You can argue with that, but if you do, it’s not based on anything but “potential.” There’s not one offensive lineman that played well last year. Humphries was terrible, ditto for everyone else, and Green didn’t even play. It’s the same story, different year, with the receivers, haven’t you heard they are going to be great before? The running backs were average, at best, last year. Don’t crow about Taylor, he wasn’t anything special. A great back would have carried the Gators to victory over Georgia Southern last year. The holes were there, the Gators didn’t have a back quick enough to exploit them. Just like the center, the Gators are relying upon a transfer from the ACC to be their savior at tight end. Roper is not a miracle worker, you have to have good players to have a good offense, the Gators don’t have good players.
    As for the defense, they were far from great last year. Yes, the statistics tell a different story, but did the Gators ever make a timely stop or turnover against a good team last year? If the Gators did score to grab the momentum, the defense, nearly always, just laid down and let the other team score immediately after to squelch any momentum gained. It’s pretty frustrating to a struggling offense to see the defense always fold after they did eke out a score. Don’t use the excuse of the Gators being tired on defense, UF was 2nd in the nation in time of possession, which means the defense was more rested than, all but one, team. No one was great on defense last year. Durkin, the defensive coordinator, said Fowler came close to being dominant in some games but vanished in others. By the way, it was him, not Morrison, that blew his assignment on Gurley’s long touchdown pass. Hargreaves started out with a bang, but fizzled during the Gators losing streak. It was him that was burned on the long pass by Missouri that set the tone of the game. It was Hargreaves that dropped a potential gift pick-six that may have turned a loss into a win over Vanderbilt. It was him who Georgia picked on. You get the picture.
    So what is the basis for UF winning more that six games? Hope and dreams? What the coaches say? I know it’s not based on reality. UF hasn’t won against a good team since November of 2012. It’s not because of injuries. UF was healthy against Louisville and Miami, and they still lost. Anyone who watched them win 11 games in 2012 were amazed the Gators won, they were still horrible on offense. I live in the real world, until proven different, the Gators remain a bad team. We won’t know if I’m right until September 20. So keep the pipe dream alive until then. After you come back down to Earth, let’s start discussing who the next coach will be.

  2. snowprint says:

    P.S. I am wrong. The Gators did have one great player on defense last year. Dominique Easley. But they still lost to the only good team they played with him in the lineup.

  3. W says:

    Too long, didn’t read

  4. Allen says:

    While the very long-winded comment obviously comes from a dark place — I agree with you more than the “reporters” covering the Gators. Drisk is a bum — and if he makes some shit happen this year I’ll be the first to say “I was totally wrong about him. Go Gators!” I’ve given up on him being special (or even just good) but maybe that’s because I’ve always been more of a Jacoby Brissett fan. I’ll be watching NC State closely as Jacoby gets his own team. I’m also not a Coach Boom fan — his loud-mouthed, evil villain staring, tough Texan talk doesn’t impress me at all. While I want to be optimistic (I’ve been a member of the Gator Nation for almost two decades) I can’t ever forgive what happened last season and want him gone — but when you say those things to fellow Gator fans they ban you from their blogs and dismiss you as “ignorant” or “ill-informed.” Blame the injuries (as all the ESPNimrods and bloggers covering Florida have) all you want — that team was soft, disorganized, mismanaged and overmatched everywhere on offense. And there is absolutely no excuse for that when you have just as many 4 and 5-star recruits as everyone else.
    That being said — I categorically disagree with you when you say Florida isn’t “talented.” That’s simply crazy talk. VHIII is one of the most exciting players I’ve seen in Orange & Blue — and reminds me of a mix of Percy Harvin and Reggie Fucking Nelson. Tony “Woof” Morrison and Chucky Easley are also solid and will make plays. That D will be good, no question. I’m also interested to see if this Debose kid is even close to as good as I’ve always been told he is. I’m also pumped to see VHIII and that Tabor kid play opposite each other in the secondary. With the bevvy of new QBs this year those two will get a handful of highlight reel INT returns and should see some bloated stats. So, here’s to another season trapped in the Legion of Boom era … In all kinds of weather and all that shit … Go Gators!

    But, at the end of the day, as I said earlier, I agree with you — Boom sucks, Drisk is a bum and still can’t complete a pass of more than 15 yards. I’m so torn as a Gator fan — I hate Boom but know another loss to UGA and he’s fired. But I can’t take another fucking loss to Georgia — I can’t. I don’t have it in me. I’d rather see Famous win another Heisman and Free Seafood University win another title than to lose to Georgia. Is that irrational? Of course it is, but I can’t take another loss at the LOCP. And this Kingsbury talk is also crazy — he smells like cheap Lane Kiffin to me. Stay way from him, please Jeremy.

  5. E. M. Koch says:

    One may greet or disagree with the predictions, observations and comments of Snowprint but I was just wondering why the critics always fail to address the substance of his comments; the response is typically bitter and personal. Remember AD Foley hired the current head coach. Snowprint did not hire him. AD Foley backed the current head coach after a 4-8 season. Snowprint did not. Snowprint is simply expressing an opinion; Snowprint is not in any way responsible for disgraceful state of the Gator football program.

  6. snowprint says:

    If Muschamp is right, the Gators could beat Alabama. I think Alabama is overrated this year and I see them losing multiple games in the regular season. Muschamp has said that Driskel will be a great player this year. He says that Florida is the favorite to win the East. He also says that Florida is going to be a very good football team this year. I think he’ wrong. Let’s hope Foley holds him to his word, if the results don’t match his words, he should be sent packing. The big worry I have is that Foley has this huge ego that may prevent him from firing Muschamp, even if UF loses to Georgia and only wins seven games. Why? Because if he fires Muschamp, it is proof that he failed when he hired him. I think Foley thought he was the smartest guy around when he hired Muschamp, he still thinks so. I read recently how he was comparing Muschamp to Billy Donovan. If any of you have ever seen “The Caine Mutiny”, I think you’ll find the resemblance between Foley and Capt. Queeg enlightening. Foley is also recalling his greatest triumph when he hired an unknown Billy Donovan, he’s justifying his hire of Muschamp with “geometric precision’ etc. The only difference is he probably was not caressing ball bearings while doing so.

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