The Good, The Bad And The Ugly: The 2013 Florida Gators

It’s the MOST. WONDERFUL. TIIIIIIIIMMME of the year! College football season is underway, and I’m pulling out the orange and blue as I chomp clap for my Florida Gators! Last season was a great yet unexpected ride, but will the Gators recapture the magic that they had in 2012 (minus that awful Sugar Bowl game, of course)? Here are my thoughts on what to expect from the 2013 Florida Gators.

Good: Muschamp and the Rising Potential

There’s no doubt that Will Muschamp is a very good coach. The Gators went from a projected 6-6 team in 2011 to a team that ended the 2012 season ranked #4 in the nation, before losing to Louisville in the Sugar Bowl. Muschamp’s scheme will be able to keep his team in games, because he’s built the Gators defense to be good despite the loss of guys like Matt Elam and Sharrif Floyd. Expect players like Jonathan Bullard and Dante Fowler to begin making their mark on defense. Jeff Driskel doesn’t have Jacoby Brissett looking over his shoulder and can be more comfortable in the offense now. Running back Matt Jones has the potential to be something great if he can stay healthy.

Another good attribute about this team is Muschamp’s ability to give us the best reaction from a head coach the game has seen in quite a while. Not only do I love Muschamp’s passion, I absolutely get ecstatic over his facial expressions when he’s upset. Not even reality TV could compare to his faces. I love it and hope that he never busts a vessel as a result, just so he can keep doing it every week.

Bad: Injuries + Penalties = UGA is better

The surprise season in 2012 gave Gator fans like me high expectations. Sorry to break it to you guys and gals, but Georgia is better and I predict the Bulldogs will represent the East in the SEC championship once again. Key reason as to why is the Gators simply haven’t been healthy. Driskel finally returned to practice after having an appendectomy but is still a concern. Jones is slowly coming back from a viral infection, and offensive tackle Chaz Green will miss the season due to a torn labrum, to name a few. Injuries should give fans a reality check that the Gators just won’t be better than UGA.

The Gators have also been the most penalized team under Muschamp, and I don’t expect much change this season. Penalties mean mediocre teams that they should skull drag will continue to move the ball down the field and be in position to win (remember the UL-Lafayette game last year?). Doesn’t help that on the schedule are South Carolina, LSU, Florida State and Miami, who can make this an interesting season. Florida has to find a way to improve, or else the Gators will be in a second-tier bowl game this season.

Ugly: Bad Karma

This has been the worst offseason for former Gators than any other team in my recent memory. Tim Tebow still can’t throw a comeback route, Riley Cooper says the N-word easier than Miley Cyrus can twerk, and Aaron Hernandez thinks he’s Whitey Bulger. So what does that have to do with today’s Gators? Nothing on the field, but you better believe their “haters” have grown a little more as a result. More haters equals more heckling at games, which is yet another distraction the Gators don’t need. They have enough problems, like who the hell is going to block for Driskel. Or better yet, who is Driskel going to throw to. Jordan Reed and Percy Harvin aren't walking through that door. Just thinking about this has put me in a mild depression.

Overall, I think the Gators will be competitive. But growing pains, injuries and a tough schedule have me predicting they’ll be 8-4 for the 2013 season.

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