The college football schedule is fast approaching as the Gator Nation prepares for the first year of the Billy Napier era after shedding the skin of the previous administration at the end of last season. The grand finale of Dan Mullen’s tenure created a toxic cloud that smothered the program and buried Gators in the standings.
Unfortunately, the fog in the eyes of the national media continues to hang over Gainesville, but mostly because Orange and Blue didn’t get a chance to prove themselves on the field. Yes, Napier is untested at the Power Five level and has competed only as an assistant in Southeastern Conference competitions, but a change in team philosophy and culture can make a big difference in collegiate sports.
With that in mind, The Sporting News recently released its college football bowl predictions, which saw the Gators take on the Washington Huskies in the Las Vegas Bowl scheduled for December 17.
Considering that five of the last six freshman head coaches have won at least eight games in their debut seasons (Will Muschamp won just seven), the celebrity publication’s predictions likely represent the bottom of Florida’s postseason opportunities when the Gators hit 2022 stumble, they’re also much more likely to play in an in-state bowl — like they landed in the Gasparilla Bowl last season — than travel across the country to Sin City.
So don’t set your calendars just yet, Gator fans, there’s still plenty of football to play before there’s any idea of where Florida might end up in the postseason. But when all else fails, always keep an eye on the Sunshine State to find a bowl game host.
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