Since the institution of the College Football Playoff in 2014, Florida has yet to crack the top four. It arguably had its best shot last year, but a loss to LSU to end the regular season followed by a close defeat at the hands of Alabama in the SEC Championship ended those hopes.
Now, Florida enters the 2021 season with a lot to replace on offense and even more to fix on defense. It’s understandable that the Gators aren’t being included along with the likes of Alabama, Clemson and Georgia this year.
But ESPN is not high at all on UF’s playoff chances. It broke down all 130 teams into tiers based on playoff chances, and Florida was listed five tiers below the highest one. According to ESPN, the Gators are in the “stranger things have happened” tier, alongside Indiana, Wisconsin, Washington, Iowa and Texas.
While Georgia is the heavy favorite to win the SEC East, Florida is second at 20%. The Gators must improve significantly on defense and will have to replace the offensive output of Kyle Trask and Kyle Pitts.
With so much preseason hype once again surrounding Alabama and Georgia, not many expect Florida to find much success breaking through in the always difficult SEC.
Managing the loss of the most prolific single-season passer in school history in Trask is no cakewalk, and the defense was a major limiting factor last season. Those two question marks linger over this team heading into 2021, and the Gators will have to overcome both to compete for the CFP.
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