Practices have commenced across the country and today I take a closer look at the SEC East and give you my predictions for this particular division of the SEC. It appears to be a two team race, but let’s delve a bit deeper and take a closer look at each team.
I’ll start by first taking a look at the team that I will pick on top, the Gators for Florida.
Jim McElwain and the boys from Gainesville received a a big shot in the arm when Malik Zaire, the graduate transfer from Notre Dame, decided to enroll with the Gators. Zaire still has to win the job from Feleipe Franks and a healthy Luke Del Rio, but this certainly will help booster a Gator offense that has sputtered since “Mac” has taken over in Gator land.
I look for tons of improvement up front, in the offensive line. In fact, McElwain sounded down right giddy when talking about this particular unit during SEC media days. They will be healthy and get Martez Ivey back in the fold as well, which only helps this group.
There is enough talent at running back, in fact, the top-3 return in terms of production, led by Jordan Scarlett. Couple this with improved play at the quarterback position, the Gators wide receiver corps should also improve on the lackluster numbers they put up last year. Obviously, one can trace the lack of production to the poor play from the signal callers. You add all of that up, and you could be looking at one of the most improved offenses in the country.
Defensively, if they replace the NFL talent they lost, especially in the secondary, this group could be as good as they were a year ago, but that is a big if.
I don’t see how they replace the talent, but Florida recruits well, and there is talent in place. But even so, if this team has an weakness, I point to this particular unit.
As I looked down Florida’s schedule, it puts them in a great spot to win the East. They get LSU at home and only have three true road games, with Kentucky the only team to post a winning record from last year. Everything seems to be in place for the Gators to win the East again.
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