ESPN's released a ton of post-spring college football content today, and the thing that probably means the most to us is Mark Schlabach's "preseason" top 25, which has Florida football at a lowly No. 24 ranking.
24. Florida Gators (Previous ranking: 20)
If Will Muschamp is going to build an SEC contender in his first season as a head coach, the Gators will have to find playmakers on offense. Quarterback John Brantley had mixed results during spring practice, but the Gators were excited about tailback Chris Rainey's work in offensive coordinator Charlie Weis' pro-style attack. Former quarterbacks Trey Burton and Jordan Reed also adjusted well to their new roles on offense. The Gators suffered a big blow on defense when All-SEC cornerback Janoris Jenkins was dismissed from the team last week following his arrest on marijuana charges. Jenkins was arguably the Gators' best player on defense and top NFL prospect.
I can't disagree with those assessments, but if you've been following these Gators in spring practice, you know that's a facile analysis, too. Not mentioning how dominant the defensive line has looked, even against a toothpicks-and-glue offensive line, seems odd, but this is the sort of thing we may have to deal with from national pundits during the 2011 season.
There's also a College Football Live preseason top 25 (from "a 38-person panel") that ranks Florida No. 18, but doesn't give any reasoning beyond its top five.
How do you feel about this ranking? Fair? Unfair? Would you be satisfied if Florida were No. 24 to end the season? Meet me in the comments and we'll talk.
HT: Tomahawk Nation, which is understandably excited about being No. 3 on Schlabach's list.