One of the most interesting topics of the offseason has been the ever-growing confidence by the Florida Gators about winning the SEC East.
Under UGA coach Kirby Smart, the Bulldogs have reeled off three SEC East championships in a row after three straight wins overs over the Gators.
Apparently that streak will end this season, according the Gators and many in their media contingency.
This week, Mike Bianchi, the columnist for the Orlando Sentinel who has been a strong supporter of Dan Mullen, wrote this:
“In 2020, I believe everything is set up for Mullen’s Gators to not only win the SEC, but advance to the College Football Playoff and perhaps even win the national championship.”
Bianchi bases his confidence on how Florida finished this past season: He pointed out that the team’s two losses were to No. 1 LSU and No. 4 UGA, and that the Gators played the national champions as “tough as anybody last season” in the 42-28 loss – as if was a moral victory.
More from Bianchi: “There’s a chance Florida could be favored in every game it plays in 2020, with the possible exception of Georgia. LSU, which loses a ton of talented players and coaches, has to come to Gainesville this season. And as for Georgia, let’s not forget that the Bulldogs —Florida’s perennial nemesis in the SEC East — has to go to Alabama next season. Ouch!
Bianchi was also impressed with Mullen’s recent halftime speech to Florida fans at a Gators’ basketball game. “I came here to bring back the Gator standard, and that means having teams that are competing for and playing for SEC and national championships all the time,” Mullen declared. “And that’s how it’s going to be!”
It’s also important take account that Bianchi was sky-high on Florida’s chances of breaking UGA’s stranglehold on the SEC East around this time last year. After the Bulldogs defeated Florida for the third year in a row last October, Bianchi back-tracked and wrote: “Not yet. Not yet, Gators. You’re getting a little bit closer, but you’re not in Georgia’s neighborhood just yet. You’re still in the cruiser-weight class and Georgia is in the heavyweight division.”
Will UGA still hold the belt after the 2020 meeting with the Gators? Post your predictions below.