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Weekly Win Shares: After downing Auburn, Florida looking up to nine wins

Just because we didn’t do these for half a season didn’t mean we forgot.

Tennessee v Florida Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

First, a mea culpa: I definitely meant to put together preseason win shares predictions for the Florida Gators and track them over the course of the year like we have in years past. I know y’all love responding to and doing your own versions of these, and while the table manipulation makes them a little more labor-intensive than I like, I really should’ve been doing them week by week this year.

That said: Better late than never, right?

Six games (and seven weeks — thanks, ESPN!) into their 2019 season, the Gators are 6-0, all but bowl-eligible, and a top-10 outfit. But they’re also well ahead of where they were expected to be by my win shares, which I did some reconstruction on this morning.

This is what I think I would have had Florida at prior to the season beginning.

Florida Gators 2019 Win Shares — Preseason

Game Win Share Cumulative Win Shares
Game Win Share Cumulative Win Shares
vs. Miami 0.6 0.6
UT-Martin 0.95 1.55
at Kentucky 0.7 2.25
Tennessee 0.7 2.95
Towson 0.95 3.9
Auburn 0.5 4.4
at LSU 0.4 4.8
at South Carolina 0.6 5.4
vs. Georgia 0.35 5.75
Vanderbilt 0.8 6.55
at Missouri 0.6 7.15
Florida State 0.7 7.85

This isn’t exactly breaking news, but Florida winning games that I suspected it would be winning but wasn’t exactly fully confident in it winning helped a fair bit — and, of course, Florida winning a game against Auburn that I would’ve had as a coin flip in August helps a lot.

What my win shares look like today helps demonstrate just how far ahead of my own expectations this team actually is.

Florida Gators 2019 Win Shares — Before LSU

Game Win Share Cumulative Win Shares
Game Win Share Cumulative Win Shares
vs. Miami 1 1
UT-Martin 1 2
at Kentucky 1 3
Tennessee 1 4
Towson 1 5
Auburn 1 6
at LSU 0.4 6.4
at South Carolina 0.7 7.1
vs. Georgia 0.3 7.4
Vanderbilt 0.8 8.2
at Missouri 0.55 8.75
Florida State 0.65 9.4

That final cumulative difference of more than a win and a half shows how much Florida has already done — with, I think we can agree, a flawed team in many ways. Meanwhile, the relatively little that the Gators have earned on the back end of their schedule — which I actually have as 0.05 win shares tougher than I think I would have in August, thanks largely to Missouri and Florida State rebounding after tough starts and earning a little movement in their respective directions — shows how much more there is to do if these Gators want to be a 10-win team or compete for titles. No game from here on in is liable to be a cakewalk, save maybe Vandy’s trip to The Swamp.

But beating Auburn likely shifted my win shares predictions north of nine wins for good, and I can’t see a way that beating LSU wouldn’t get that number to 10.0 or better. (At minimum, it obviously gets Florida to seven whole wins; I have exactly 3.0 wins allocated to the five post-LSU games as of this week, but would probably adjust at least Missouri’s number in Florida’s favor if the Gators can win on the road this Saturday, if not more.)

Florida is already on its way to a second straight successful and slightly surprising season, to my eyes. But win shares that show how close the Gators are to 10-plus wins make what remains to be seen this fall tantalizing indeed.