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Florida vs. Vanderbilt is critical for Gators’ win share predictions

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The Gators took a hit against Tennessee, but still look good for eight wins.

NCAA Football: Kentucky at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time this season, an update of my 2016 win shares for Florida must now reflect a loss. And Florida looked bad in a number of ways in collapsing on the road against Tennessee.

But given that I already made some adjustments after the Gators lost Luke Del Rio to injury, that the rest of the SEC East looks far less formidable than the Vols, and that Florida’s two SEC West foes are coming off losses — and one of them off firing the coach who tormented the Gators — the win shares aren’t changing that much.

Opponent Win Share
Massachusetts 1.00
Kentucky 1.00
North Texas 1.00
at Tennessee 0.00
at Vanderbilt 0.85
LSU 0.55
Missouri 0.80
vs. Georgia 0.60
at Arkansas 0.35
South Carolina 0.85
Presbyterian 0.95
Florida State 0.35
Total 8.15

My thinking:

  • Florida remains a heavy favorite in my mind at Vanderbilt, especially because Vanderbilt lacks the offensive weapons to strafe the Gators’ suddenly porous secondary like Tennessee did. But losing to Vanderbilt would almost certainly drop my predictions under the 8.00-win mark for good: The Gators would need to make up at least three-quarters of a win via victories, as a loss to the Commodores would necessitate adjusting other probabilities downward.
  • LSU gets a 10 percent bump because of how little I fear Ed Orgeron relative to Les Miles. Orgeron did coach the 2007 Mississippi team that gave Florida a scare in Oxford, and recruited much of the 2008 Rebels that upset the eventual national champions in Gainesville, but he hasn’t coached this LSU team — and while the narrative holds that he did well as USC’s interim coach in 2013, those Trojans had much bigger talent advantages on their foes than these Tigers will.
  • Georgia also gets a 10 percent bump because Georgia’s defense may not be alive.
  • Everything else remains the same because there are no great reasons to alter those predictions much. Florida still seems to me like an underdog at Arkansas and Florida State, but it should be favored in its other six remaining contests, and the win shares I have reflect that.

As always, I want to know what your win shares are, too. Please feel free to leave your predictions in the comments of this post.