Check out the advanced-stats glossary here. Below, a unique review of last year's team, a unit-by-unit breakdown of this year's roster, the full 2016 schedule with win projections for each game, and more.
1. A black hole of quarterbacking
Head coach Jim McElwain took on a job that simultaneously had a low bar and a really high one.
The Gators are one of the most successful programs of the last 20 years, having three national titles with nine AP top-10 finishes. Among the four hires before McElwain were UF's two best coaches ever.
At the same time, the last hire didn't do particularly well. Will Muschamp recruited well and consistently fielded a great defense, but offense was an afterthought. Since Tim Tebow left after 2009, the Gators have only once ranked better than 57th in Off. S&P+; considering the recruiting rankings, that is unfathomable.
Still, the Gators were becoming interesting last year. During a 6-0 start, they were really bad at running the football, but redshirt freshman quarterback Will Grier was rounding into form. He was incredible against Ole Miss (24-for-29, 271 yards, four touchdowns) and good enough against Missouri early and Tennessee late to assure six wins.
The next loss of Grier's career will be his first.
Unfortunately, he will suffer that loss (or not!) in a West Virginia uniform. He was suspended for using performance-enhancing drugs following the Missouri win, then elected to transfer. Embattled backup Treon Harris took over and did alright for a little while -- long enough to secure the SEC East title, anyway -- but the offense again collapsed down the stretch, scoring more than 20 points just once in the final six games and scoring a total of 24 in the last three.
Harris recently announced he was transferring, too. So after getting an exciting glimpse of Grier, Florida will start either Oregon State's 2014 backup, a part-time Purdue starter, or a true freshman. It will probably be the former -- sophomore and two-time transferee Luke Del Rio -- but I listed four because, well, Florida tends to start more than one QB per season. Due to injury, transfer and general ineffectiveness, the Gators have been drastically unstable under center.
The SEC East has dealt with an inferiority issue for a while. It has lost seven straight conference title games and hasn't had a collective winning record in the conference since 2008. Including the SEC Championship, it has gone 6-24 against West teams over the least two years.
The blame for this obviously goes beyond Florida; the Gators went 8-0 in the SEC's regular season in 2009, then 7-1 in 2012. Fellow 1990s power Tennessee hasn't managed a top-10 finish since 2001. Georgia has been up-and-down, South Carolina couldn't maintain its 2011-13 form, and Missouri is all over the place.
Still, East inferiority correlates pretty well with Florida falling from elite status. The East boasted a constant top-5 program, a stabilizing force to balance Georgia's and Tennessee's ups and downs. Now it does not.
The best-case scenario is that Del Rio not only secures the job but holds onto it. He might struggle at times, but if he can simply prove he's worthy of the job, Florida's future begins to look pretty exciting. The Gator offense is almost senior-free, with sophomores and a JUCO transfer leading the way at running back, sophomores and juniors at receiver, and sophomores and juniors on the line.
However the offense performs in 2016, it could improve in 2017 and again in 2018. And the defense doesn't really look like it plans on dropping off anytime soon. But we've seen this potential trajectory before, and it only lasted until the next quarterback implosion.
|Record: 10-4 | Adj. Record: 10-4 | Final F/+ Rk: 27 | Final S&P+ Rk: 18|
|Date||Opponent||Opp. F/+ Rk||Score||W-L||Percentile
|5-Sep||New Mexico State||118||61-13||W||96%||100%||+27.0||+11.0|
|14-Nov||at South Carolina||88||24-14||W||82%||92%||-5.7||+2.5|
|Points Per Game||23.2||100||18.3||11|
2. Strain, then collapse
I don't want to overstate Grier's early-season performance. He was incredible against Ole Miss and NMSU, but in four other games he managed a much more mediocre 120.7 passer rating. And even with those strong performances, UF's per-play yardage was average at best.
Still, the offense was promising enough to get out of the defense's way. The potential was clear. And then it wasn't.
- First 6 games:
Record: 6-0 | Average percentile performance: 88% (~top 15) | Performance vs. S&P+ projection: +9.1 PPG | Yards per play: UF 5.6, Opp 4.4 (+1.2)
- Next 4 games:
Record: 3-1 | Average percentile performance: 76% (~top 30) | Performance vs. S&P+ projection: -3.0 PPG | Yards per play: UF 5.3, Opp 4.5 (+0.8)
- Last 4 games:
Record: 1-3 | Average percentile performance: 40% (~top 75) | Performance vs. S&P+ projection: -18.5 PPG | Yards per play: Opp 5.1, UF 4.1 (-1.0)
Harris did his best. In his first two games succeeding Grier, Florida scored 55 points, and he threw for 426 yards with no interceptions. But there was no efficiency in the passing game (his completion rate was 15 points lower than Grier's), and that did too much damage even as Harris' mobile presence aided the run game.
The wheels were threatening to come off. Florida was a bit unlucky to beat Vanderbilt, South Carolina, and FAU by only a combined 18 points -- statistically, the Gators were far superior in these contests -- but the offense was still clearly laboring. Averaging 5.3 yards per play against South Carolina is bad; averaging 4.1 against FAU is horrific.
A banged-up defense was still strong enough to shut opponents down, but it was foreboding. And it wasn't exactly a surprise that when the competition picked back up, the Gators had no chance.
|FIVE FACTORS -- OFFENSE|
|Raw Category||Rk||Opp. Adj. Category||Rk|
|EFFICIENCY||Succ. Rt.||38.6%||100||Succ. Rt. +||107.5||36|
|FIELD POSITION||Def. Avg. FP||26.2||4||Def. FP+||24.7||5|
|FINISHING DRIVES||Pts. Per Scoring Opportunity||3.8||114||Redzone S&P+||102.9||62|
|Q1 Rk||20||1st Down Rk||50|
|Q2 Rk||32||2nd Down Rk||48|
|Q3 Rk||100||3rd Down Rk||86|
Note: players in bold below are 2016 returnees. Players in italics are questionable with injury/suspension.
|6'4, 240||Sr.||3 stars (5.5)||0.8604||119||207||1260||8||8||57.5%||11||5.0%||5.5|
|Luke Del Rio
|6'1, 211||So.||3 stars (5.7)||0.8560||8||18||141||0||0||44.4%||0||0.0%||7.8|
|Feleipe Franks||6'6, 219||Fr.||4 stars (6.0)||0.9721|
|Kyle Trask||6'4, 238||Fr.||2 stars (5.3)||0.7984|
3. No pressure, Del Rio ... just the weight of the program on your shoulders
Del Rio is certainly doing his best to allay concerns. He completed 10 of 11 passes for 176 yards in the spring game, and while that happened against the second-string defense, it was awfully impressive.
Del Rio is the son of Oakland Raiders head coach and former All-American linebacker Jack Del Rio; he seems to have all of the lives-in-the-film-room qualities we expect from the stereotypical son of a coach. If he can pick up where Grier left off, providing any sort of pass efficiency to deflect attention from the run game, then Doug Nussmeier's 2016 offense might have a chance of breaking the Off. S&P+ top 50.
Or at least, if QB is steady, Florida can move on to its next problem: youth. No returning running back has more than 181 career rushing yards, and the passing game must replace four of last year's top seven targets. Potentially the three most effective receiving options return, but inexperience is a massive concern.
|Jordan Cronkrite||RB||5'11, 204||So.||4 stars (5.8)||0.9020||44||157||3||3.6||2.8||34.1%||1||0|
|Jordan Scarlett||RB||5'10, 213||So.||4 stars (5.8)||0.9442||34||181||1||5.3||7.5||35.3%||0||0|
|Brandon Powell||WR||5'9, 184||Jr.||4 stars (5.8)||0.8784||14||31||0||2.2||1.4||14.3%||2||0|
|Case Harrison||RB||6'0, 188||Jr.||NR||NR||5||17||0||3.4||1.8||40.0%||0||0|
|Mark Herndon||RB||5'9, 209||Sr.||NR||NR||4||12||0||3.0||4.9||25.0%||1||1|
|Mark Thompson||RB||6'2, 237||Jr.||4 stars (5.9)||0.9315|
|Lamical Perine||RB||5'11, 221||Fr.||4 stars (5.8)||0.8699|
|Rivals||247 Comp.||Targets||Catches||Yards||Catch Rate||Target
|Antonio Callaway||WR||5'11, 197||So.||4 stars (5.8)||0.8869||74||35||678||47.3%||19.6%||9.2||58.1%||37.8%||2.20|
|Brandon Powell||SLOT||5'9, 184||Jr.||4 stars (5.8)||0.8784||45||29||390||64.4%||11.9%||8.7||53.3%||48.9%||1.70|
|DeAndre Goolsby||TE||6'4, 244||Jr.||3 stars (5.7)||0.8656||24||17||277||70.8%||6.3%||11.5||87.5%||58.3%||1.85|
|Jordan Cronkrite||RB||5'11, 204||So.||4 stars (5.8)||0.9020||9||6||89||66.7%||2.4%||9.9||88.9%||55.6%||1.66|
|C'yontai Lewis||TE||6'4, 231||So.||3 stars (5.5)||0.8458||9||4||75||44.4%||2.4%||8.3||66.7%||33.3%||2.67|
|Ahmad Fulwood||WR||6'4, 208||Sr.||4 stars (5.9)||0.9494||9||6||61||66.7%||2.4%||6.8||66.7%||44.4%||1.55|
|Chris Thompson||WR||6'0, 170||Sr.||3 stars (5.6)||0.8544||8||5||48||62.5%||2.1%||6.0||75.0%||37.5%||1.70|
|C.J. Worton||WR||6'0, 196||Jr.||3 stars (5.7)||0.8756||7||4||69||57.1%||1.9%||9.9||71.4%||57.1%||1.85|
|Kalif Jackson||WR||6'4, 217||RSFr.||3 stars (5.5)||0.8514|
|Dre Massey||SLOT||5'9, 180||Jr.||4 stars (5.8)||0.8834|
|Tyrie Cleveland||WR||6'2, 196||Fr.||4 stars (5.9)||0.9801|
|Freddie Swain||SLOT||6'0, 186||Fr.||4 stars (5.9)||0.9389|
|Josh Hammond||WR||6'1, 186||Fr.||4 stars (5.9)||0.9274|
|Rick Wells||WR||6'0, 206||Fr.||4 stars (5.8)||0.8727|
4. An exciting unit (in 2017)
Jordan Scarlett and Jordan Cronkrite are four-star sophomores who got their feet wet in 2015; Scarlett showed some nice second-level speed and put on about 20 pounds in the offseason. They're joined by hulking four-star JUCO transfer Mark Thompson. Unless opponents are still able to load the box with defenders because of a lack of respect for the passing game, there appears to be a lot of potential. And unless Thompson has some ridiculous breakout year and goes pro, all three of these backs -- and every starting lineman -- will return in 2017.
It's the same story in the receiving corps. Seniors Ahmad Fulwood and Chris Thompson could end up playing a larger role, but they are the only players not scheduled to return next fall. Antonio Callaway (who's currently suspended) had some brilliant moments as a freshman last fall, catching five passes for 112 yards against Tennessee (including the thrilling 63-yard game winner in the final 90 seconds), then catching a combined six for 210 against LSU and Georgia. Juniors Brandon Powell and tight end DeAndre Goolsby, meanwhile, had a nice rapport with Grier before fading (33 combined catches in the first seven games, 13 in the last seven).
Among JUCO slot receiver Dre Massey and four-star freshmen Tyrie Cleveland, Freddie Swain, and Josh Hammond, perhaps one or two solid backup options could emerge. But if Callaway, Powell, and Goolsby can reestablish their midseason levels, the newcomers won't be counted on TOO much. And again, whatever level this unit establishes in 2016, it should exceed it in 2017.
|Rivals||247 Comp.||2015 Starts||Career Starts||Honors/Notes|
|David Sharpe||LT||6'6, 357||Jr.||4 stars (5.8)||0.9434||13||13|
|Cameron Dillard||C||6'4, 313||Jr.||3 stars (5.7)||0.8712||11||11|
|Martez Ivey||LG||6'5, 305||So.||5 stars (6.1)||0.9990||8||8|
|Antonio Riles||LG||6'4, 313||Jr.||3 stars (5.7)||0.8753||6||6|
|Tyler Jordan||RG||6'4, 309||So.||3 stars (5.7)||0.8795||3||3|
|Fred Johnson||RT||6'6, 311||So.||3 stars (5.5)||0.8330||2||2|
|Andrew Mike||RT||6'6, 301||So.||3 stars (5.6)||0.8767||0||0|
|Kavaris Harkless||LT||6'5, 310||So.||3 stars (5.6)||0.8491||0||0|
|Brandon Sandifer||LG||6'3, 323||RSFr.||3 stars (5.5)||0.8600|
|Richerd Desir-Jones||RG||6'4, 292||RSFr.||3 stars (5.5)||0.8382|
|Nick Buchanan||RG||6'2, 301||RSFr.||3 stars (5.5)||0.8276|
|Jawaan Taylor||LG||6'5, 340||Fr.||3 stars (5.5)||0.8453|
|Stone Forsythe||RT||6'7, 329||Fr.||3 stars (5.6)||0.8437|
5. Getting a push
All things considered, the line could have performed a lot worse last year. The Gators returned just one player with starting experience and had to lean heavily on Fordham graduate transfer Mason Halter. Thirty of 70 starts went to sophomores, and another 13 went to freshmen. So the simple fact that the run-blocking numbers didn't really regress was a moral victory.
After ranking 74th in Adj. Line Yards in 2014, UF ranked 71st in 2015. And while second-level opportunities were rare for Florida backs, that could have had as much to do with the backs. Florida was tremendous in short yardage and OK in preventing stuffs. And now six of the eight players who started at least one game last year are back.
Of course, pass protection was dreadful, among the worst in the country on both standard downs and passing downs. A lot of that had to do with Harris' tendency of holding onto the ball too long, but ... the sack rates were really bad, even for Grier. And now last year's left tackle (Halter) is gone.
|FIVE FACTORS -- DEFENSE|
|Raw Category||Rk||Opp. Adj. Category||Rk|
|EFFICIENCY||Succ. Rt.||34.3%||10||Succ. Rt. +||120.0||8|
|FIELD POSITION||Off. Avg. FP||32.4||21||Off. FP+||33.6||8|
|FINISHING DRIVES||Pts. Per Scoring Opportunity||4.3||53||Redzone S&P+||102.4||62|
|Q1 Rk||8||1st Down Rk||3|
|Q2 Rk||43||2nd Down Rk||12|
|Q3 Rk||2||3rd Down Rk||7|
6. A new round of stars
It's a "depth vs. star power" situation, and the Gator defense will probably end up just fine. Probably.
Tackle Jonathan Bullard, end Alex McCalister, linebacker Antonio Morrison, safety Keanu Neal and corners Brian Poole and Vernon Hargreaves III -- just six players -- combined for 278 tackles, 46 tackles for loss (one fewer than Georgia Tech's entire defense), 18 sacks (more than 22 teams), 16 passes defensed, and three forced fumbles. That's a load of star power out the door.
But to put it lightly, Florida has a track record. Recruiting assures more present and future stars in the pipeline. Bullard's gone, but Joey Ivie and Caleb Brantley combined for 10.5 TFLs, and sophomores Khairi Clark and Taven Bryan have been waiting for an opportunity. McCallister is gone, but Bryan Cox and Cece Jefferson combined for 19 TFLs and seven sacks, and sophomore Justus Reed and Antonneous Clayton, the latest blue-chip freshman, could be ready to carve out a niche. Morrison is gone, but Alex Anzalone, injured for most of 2015, is back. Poole and Hargreaves are gone, but Jalen Tabor and Quincy Wilson are back.
Florida was deep enough to withstand a wave of injuries on the line and in the secondary and still play at a high level. That depth should withstand losses.
|Rivals||247 Comp.||GP||Tackles||% of Team||TFL||Sacks||Int||PBU||FF||FR|
|Bryan Cox||RUSH||6'3, 269||Sr.||3 stars (5.7)||0.8716||14||31.5||4.4%||10.5||3.5||0||1||2||1|
|Cece Jefferson||DE||6'1, 261||So.||5 stars (6.1)||0.9951||14||23.5||3.3%||8.5||3.5||0||1||1||1|
|Joey Ivie||NT||6'3, 301||Sr.||4 stars (5.8)||0.8814||10||20.0||2.8%||4.0||3.5||0||0||1||0|
|Jordan Sherit||DE||6'4, 254||Jr.||4 stars (5.8)||0.9063||13||19.5||2.7%||1.5||1.5||0||1||0||0|
|Caleb Brantley||DT||6'2, 297||Jr.||4 stars (5.9)||0.9472||13||18.5||2.6%||6.5||3.0||0||0||0||0|
|Khairi Clark||NT||6'2, 319||So.||4 stars (5.8)||0.9226||13||10.0||1.4%||1.0||1.0||0||1||0||0|
|Justus Reed||DE||6'3, 241||So.||3 stars (5.5)||0.8476||9||8.0||1.1%||2.0||1.0||0||0||0||0|
|Taven Bryan||DT||6'5, 293||So.||3 stars (5.6)||0.8657||12||6.5||0.9%||1.5||0.5||0||0||0||1|
|Keivonnis Davis||DE||6'4, 241||So.||2 stars (5.4)||0.8395||4||3.5||0.5%||0.0||0.0||0||0||0||0|
|Jabari Zuniga||RUSH||6'3, 245||RSFr.||3 stars (5.5)||0.8604|
|Luke Ancrum||NT||6'5, 262||RSFr.||2 stars (5.4)||0.8123|
|Antonneous Clayton||DE||6'3, 220||Fr.||5 stars (6.1)||0.9821|
|Jordan Smith||DE||6'5, 240||Fr.||3 stars (5.6)||0.8903|
|Jachai Polite||DT||6'2, 271||Fr.||3 stars (5.6)||0.8538|
|Rivals||247 Comp.||GP||Tackles||% of Team||TFL||Sacks||Int||PBU||FF||FR|
|Jarrad Davis||WLB||6'2, 238||Sr.||3 stars (5.7)||0.8681||14||72.0||10.0%||11.0||3.5||1||4||1||0|
|Daniel McMillian||SLB||6'1, 223||Sr.||4 stars (5.9)||0.9729||14||19.0||2.6%||0.0||0.0||0||2||1||0|
|Matt Rolin||SLB||6'3, 221||Jr.||4 stars (5.8)||0.9320||3||9.5||1.3%||0.5||0.0||0||0||0||0|
|Alex Anzalone||MLB||6'3, 241||Jr.||5 stars (6.1)||0.9734||2||4.0||0.6%||0.0||0.0||0||0||0||0|
|Kylan Johnson||SLB||6'1, 231||RSFr.||3 stars (5.6)||0.8371|
|Rayshad Jackson||MLB||6'0, 226||RSFr.||2 stars (5.3)||0.8094|
|Jeremian Moon||WLB||6'4, 218||Fr.||3 stars (5.7)||0.8963|
|David Reese||MLB||6'0, 244||Fr.||3 stars (5.7)||0.8791|
|Vosean Joseph||WLB||6'1, 226||Fr.||3 stars (5.6)||0.8590|
7. You probably won't be able to run on Florida
Bullard and Morrison were particularly awesome against the run, providing the biggest push in Florida's No. 16 stuff rate ranking. The Gators didn't (and don't) have the biggest defensive line, which showed in short-yardage, but they were sixth overall in Rushing S&P+, and Bullard and Morrison had a huge role in that.
Still, Ivie and Clark are immense at the nose, and Brantley and Bryan are strong. And in Anzalone, Jarrad Davis (7.5 non-sack TFLs in 2015), and company, the linebacking corps appears experienced and fast. Again, there's a leap of faith here; we have to assume that Anzalone breaks through, that players like Bryan and Clark are ready for more responsibility, etc.
But Florida has ranked in the Def. S&P+ top 10 for seven of the last eight years, a span that includes multiple head coaches and coordinators.
|Rivals||247 Comp.||GP||Tackles||% of Team||TFL||Sacks||Int||PBU||FF||FR|
|Marcus Maye||SS||6'0, 216||Sr.||4 stars (5.9)||0.9487||13||64.0||8.9%||1.5||0||2||6||5||0|
|Teez Tabor||CB||6'0, 201||Jr.||5 stars (6.1)||0.9923||13||30.5||4.2%||4||1||4||14||0||0|
|Vernon Hargreaves III||CB||13||28.0||3.9%||1||0||4||4||1||0|
|Quincy Wilson||CB||6'1, 213||Jr.||4 stars (5.8)||0.8821||14||21.0||2.9%||0||0||2||5||0||0|
|Nick Washington||FS||6'0, 197||Jr.||4 stars (5.8)||0.9183||14||19.5||2.7%||0.5||0||0||0||1||0|
|Marcell Harris||SS||6'1, 211||Jr.||4 stars (6.0)||0.9636||12||16.5||2.3%||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Duke Dawson||NB||5'10, 208||Jr.||4 stars (5.8)||0.9191||14||7.5||1.0%||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Chris Williamson||CB||5'11, 191||So.||4 stars (5.8)||0.8761|
|Joseph Putu||CB||6'2, 195||Jr.||2 stars (5.4)||0.8356|
|Chauncey Gardner||NB||5'11, 204||Fr.||4 stars (6.0)||0.9760|
|Jeawon Tyler||FS||6'0, 187||Fr.||3 stars (5.6)||0.8868|
|McArthur Burnett||CB||5'9, 174||Fr.||3 stars (5.5)||0.8709|
|Quincy Lenton||SS||5'11, 202||Fr.||3 stars (5.6)||0.8616|
|C.J. McWilliams||CB||5'11, 171||Fr.||3 stars (5.5)||0.8290|
8. Turnover (and star power) in the back
If a problem emerges for Florida's defense in 2016, it will probably come from iffy depth in the secondary. Six players with at least 7.5 tackles return, and all of them are either juniors or seniors. And in Jalen Tabor and Marcus Maye, the Gators have at least a couple of proven entities. But in theory, they are just a couple of injuries away from playing newcomers.
That's a reach, though. This is going to be a really good defense. Again. Depth and experience should result in improvement on standard downs, and that should account for any sort of passing downs regression that might take place with new (and experienced) starters in the secondary.
|Johnny Townsend||6'1, 211||Jr.||83||45.4||5||26||23||59.0%|
|Jorge Powell||5'10, 177||So.||18||62.8||6||1||33.3%|
|Jorge Powell||5'10, 177||So.||10-11||2-3||66.7%||0-0||N/A|
|Brandon Powell||KR||5'9, 184||Jr.||24||21.3||0|
|Vernon Hargreaves III||KR||4||20.5||0|
|Antonio Callaway||PR||5'11, 197||So.||28||15.5||2|
|Vernon Hargreaves III||PR||2||5.5||0|
|Special Teams S&P+||97|
|Field Goal Efficiency||126|
|Punt Return Success Rate||71|
|Kick Return Success Rate||128|
|Punt Success Rate||3|
|Kickoff Success Rate||16|
9. Great and terrible
To put it lightly, Florida's special teams unit was a mixed bag.
Johnny Townsend was spectacular, kickoffs and coverage were tremendous and the Gators had six punt returns of 20-plus yards, ninth in the country.
Also: they had fewer good kick returns than anybody in FBS, and while you want to hit at least 80 percent of your field goals under 40 yards, Florida hit a dreadful 46 percent.
Because of the importance of place-kicking in the Special Teams S&P+ equation, Florida ranked 97th despite the punts, kickoffs, and punt returns.
Townsend and Callaway are back, but Austin Hardin, the man responsible for the good kickoffs and bad field goals, transferred. So ... another mixed bag coming up, probably.
|Date||Opponent||Proj. S&P+ Rk||Proj. Margin||Win Probability|
|26-Nov||at Florida State||5||-8.6||31%|
|Projected wins: 8.0|
|Five-Year F/+ Rk||26.1% (20)|
|2- and 5-Year Recruiting Rk||20 / 12|
|2015 TO Margin / Adj. TO Margin*||8 / 6.1|
|2015 TO Luck/Game||+0.8|
|Returning Production (Off. / Def.)||61% (63%, 59%)|
|2015 Second-order wins (difference)||9.2 (0.8)|
10. A 3-0 start, and then...
Florida will have a stellar defense and an offense too inexperienced to play at a high level. You could have basically written that sentence at any point in the last five years, and you'd have probably ended up right. It feels lazy to say it again in 2016, but ... here we are
The offense has potential, and fall camp optimism has the offense improving drastically and showing a lot of progress, but there's massive burden of proof here.
The good news is that the schedule allows for a breaking-in period. Per S&P+, the Gators have an 85 percent chance of starting the season 3-0, and easy wins, particularly over UMass and North Texas, should allow for a lot of guys to get involved offensively. Maybe that helps to light a spark.
But from a probabilities standpoint, the water gets a lot muddier, starting with the September 24 trip to Knoxville. Over the final nine games, the Gators are projected to win only 5.2 games and are projected underdogs in five. There are likely wins mixed in, with visits from Missouri, South Carolina, and Presbyterian, but the season will be defined by trickier games, most of which happen away from Gainesville.
McElwain answered a lot of questions over the first half of his first season in charge, then, for lack of a better term, un-answered them over the second half. He still has a pedigree that suggests success is coming, and both sides of the ball are loaded with potential young stars. But 2016 could be yet another transition year toward whatever Florida might become down the road.