GAINESVILLE, FL - APRIL 10: Quarterback Jordan Reed #11 of the Florida Gators celebrates his game-winning touchdown pass during the Orange & Blue game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on April 10, 2010 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
There are three days until Florida's September 1 opener with Bowling Green. There are 42 entries left in the 100 For 100 series. It's probably time to admit this series is going to run into next week.
Phil Steele's a fan of Florida this year: He likes that UF returns so many and likes a lot of the players it returns. (He also has Florida in the Outback Bowl, but whatever.) Still, Steele's computer ratings predicting an 11-1 season for the Gators is pretty out there.
Those ratings have Florida crushing Bowling Green, and winning one-possession games against Texas A&M (28-25) and Tennessee (25-18) before rolling through October and beating LSU, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, and Georgia, each by at least seven points. Steele's projection also has the Gators scoring 25 or more points in every game until a 25-21 loss in the season finale to FSU.
Maybe the most interesting thing about the projections: Steele's got Florida topping 100 yards rushing in nine of 12 games (A&M, UGA, and FSU are the exceptions), a year after a rushing game that averaged 259 yards in its first four games racked up 175 in four October tilts. If Florida's more consistent on the ground, it should only help the passing game.
Do you think 11-1 is in play? Or are Steele's ratings hopelessly optimistic?