Head coach Billy Napier is a little more than halfway through his second year leading the Florida Gators and the hot seat has varied from ice-cold to Sahara Desert levels of heat.
It seems like just yesterday, the Gators were flying back from Salt Lake City after suffering a double-digit defeat to the Utah Utes, and maybe half of the Florida faithful was calling for Napier’s head (I might’ve been a little guilty of the same crime).
But after eight weeks of play, the Gators stand at 5-2 overall and hold a 3-1 conference record, including a much-needed win over the Tennessee Volunteers in The Swamp.
CBS Sports senior writer Dennis Dodd released a report judging where every college football head coach stands when it comes to the dreaded hot seat. He wrote that Napier is “holding steady” to his job at Florida, despite the less-than-average finish in his debut season.
“Napier was going to be given time after a 6-7 debut unless there was a complete collapse,” Dodd said. “A 5-2 start and the development of Graham Mertz has provided optimism going into a shot at No. 1 Georgia this week. The opening-night loss to Utah looks better by the day. The schedule is a bear down the stretch, but a mid-level bowl would definitely signal progress, especially if Mertz comes back in 2024 with DJ Lagway joining the team.”
Lagway is the next top Florida commit and is the quarterback of the future. He might not take over the offense immediately since Mertz is making himself at home while donning the Orange and Blue.
Lagway is the No. 2 ranked quarterback in the 2024 class and 247Sports lists him as the No. 16 overall recruit.
The future looks bright for Napier, but can he survive the rest of the 2023 season without being threatened to be placed on the hot seat?
Napier will be critiqued even harder this week when the Florida Gators take on the No. 1 Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. EDT and will broadcast on CBS Sports.