It's been a topic of discussion here this week — and we know at least one of Will Muschamp's expectations — so let's make it formal: What are your expectations for Florida football in 2011?
Florida's going to be a young team this fall. I can't name a single senior on the defense that I feel will be a major contributor, and the seniors on offense — John Brantley, Jeff Demps, Deonte Thompson, Chris Rainey — are by and large known quantities with strengths and weaknesses. And the 2011 Florida schedule is brutal, with an October from hell and a road slate that might make a one-win performance away from The Swamp something to cheer.
There's a lot of promise on both sides of the ball, though, from Ronald Powell and Sharrif Floyd on down to Jeff Driskel and Ja'Juan Story, and there's, I think, ample reason to be excited about both scheme and approach from Muschamp and offensive coordinator Charlie Weis. This doesn't seem like a team under the enormous pressures to live up to the Tim Tebow dynasty's successes — last year's was — and, after the departure of Janoris Jenkins, the "turmoil" storyline that dogged 2009's "scofflaw" Gators in their ultimately unsuccessful attempt to repeat as national champions seems like a false one for this year's team.
What I want from the Florida Gators is the same thing I will want until it happens: An undefeated season, a national championship, and the most exciting team in the nation. That's our Holy Grail, the thing that will surpass all previous legends, and it's something I think Florida will do in my lifetime. But my pie-in-the-sky wants aren't expectations; they're just dreams, or maybe goals. And those dreams and goals are ones that any fan of any team or player has, really: Do you ever root for your rooting interest to lose?
My expectations are much simpler: I expect Florida to win eight games, either with or without a bowl win, I expect this team to build a strong foundation for Will Muschamp's tenure in Gainesville, and I expect Florida to be more exciting than it was in 2010. I think those expectations are reasonable, but I'm prepared to be disappointed if they're not met and pleasantly surprised if they're exceeded.
What are yours?