The Florida Gators, despite all of the turmoil and turnover this week, will be playing a game this Saturday. I know that may seem like news to some, but the 2017 season is not yet over for our fair Gators. Florida still has at least four, and potentially five, opportunities to take the field against an opponent this season.
That sprint to the finish begins tomorrow with the Gators’ first away trip to a Columbia-based SEC team, the Missouri Tigers, in the first game of the Randy Shannon interim era. Florida has gone through a lot in the past weeks, with the “death threats” controversy, Jim McElwain’s buyout negotiation news breaking before the Georgia game, the abysmal showing by that Gators at that game, McElwain’s departure, losing Malik Davis for the year, Randy Shannon taking over, and Malik Zaire being named starter.
Next week finds Florida again on the road at the other Columbia, facing South Carolina and former Gator head coach Will Muschamp. Florida finishes the regular season with two home contests, against UAB - fielding its first football team after a two-year program hiatus, and concluding with a reeling Florida State team.
The fifth game opportunity for the Gators would come if Florida was able to pick up three wins from the aforementioned slate, or two wins and successfully appeal to be placed in a bowl game with a 5-6 record. Should the Gators chose to do that, they would have a strong case by having only played 11 games this season (after the cancellation of Northern Colorado due to Hurricane Irma), and sporting high Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores. Of the seven teams this season playing only 11 games due to cancellations, Florida has the second-highest APR score behind Georgia Tech.
It’s easy to argue that the Gators don’t technically have a lot left to play for this season. And yet, they still have an entire month of games on deck; with the opportunity to close their season with a upbeat flourish, provided they can sweep those remaining contests.
So, our question today is this - what are your expectations for the rest of the season? Not necessarily what you want to happen, but what you expect to occur as the Gators enter their final November stretch. Will things on or off the field change dramatically with Randy Shannon at the helm? Will Malik Zaire bring a needed boost to Florida’s struggling offense? How do you think the Gators’ run game will fare without Malik Davis? What type of win loss record do you expect the rest of the way? Do you think the Gators will reach a bowl game?
Tell us what your expectations are for the remainder of the 2017 season in the comments.