I wonder, to an extent, if I'm either overselling Florida because of their success the last two years or underselling because of the talent loss, particularly on the defense. After all, it's not that hard to see Florida going undefeated. Then again, you could also see Florida losing to Alabama and then defeating Georgia in late October, which would result in the same record through a different arrangement.
The only nonconference game that should even somewhat concern Florida (outside of the Florida State bout at the end of the year) is the South Florida game. But even that would rely more on the Bulls' ability to upset one good team before closing out the year without even being a serious contender for the Big East Championship. Not that it won't happen, but the odds aren't good.
There are plenty of reasons to like the Florida offense despite losing Tim Tebow. Most of the other major rushing leaders return, as does much of the offensive line. Then again, Tim Tebow is not an easy man to replace, regardless of what Florida fans might say now. And because he was so quick to throw to Aaron Hernandez or Riley Cooper, it means that the other receivers have "experience" without the battle-hardened attitudes and practices that go with it.
And there's no doubt that the defense is not going to be able to carry this team to an undefeated season again. The offense is going to have to win a game or two along the way, though the relatively easy September should allow the defense to get some practice without risking too much. Again, get past South Florida and the Gators will be 4-0 headed to Tuscaloosa for the showdown with the Tide.
The question is whether any of those flaws are enough for one of the other teams in the SEC East to catch up with Florida for more than a game. The guess here is no, but also that any trip to the Georgia Dome will end up with the season record against the Tide sitting at 1-1 -- at best.
Place: 1st in the SEC East
Record: 11-1, 7-1 SEC
Could be: 8-4 to 12-0
Best chance to be upset (aside from obvious): Mississippi State
Bowl: BCS (either Sugar or Orange)
9.4.10 | MIAMI (OH) | WIN
9.11.10 | SOUTH FLORIDA | PROBABLE WIN
9.18.10 | at TENNESSEE | PROBABLE WIN
9.25.10 | KENTUCKY | LIKELY WIN
10.2.10 | at ALABAMA | POSSIBLE WIN
10.9.10 | LSU | POSSIBLE WIN
10.16.10 | MISSISSIPPI STATE | LIKELY WIN
10.30.10 | vs. GEORGIA | POSSIBLE LOSS
11.6.10 | at VANDERBILT | WIN
11.13.10 | SOUTH CAROLINA | POSSIBLE WIN
11.20.10 | APPALACHIAN STATE | WIN
11.27.10 | FLORIDA STATE | POSSIBLE WIN