7. Florida (10-5, 0-2)
We’re significantly past those Gators teams that won the national title. In fact, Florida hasn’t been beyond the NCAA Tournament’s second round in seven years. Todd Golden enters his second season leading the Gators coming off an uneventful 16-17 mark in year one. Florida is trending in a better direction this season, though it’s still too early to tell what we think about this program and this hire.
The Gators have been great on offense this season, even with early losses against Virginia, Baylor, and Wake Forest. They made quite work of rival Florida State and won a classic in double overtime against Michigan back in December. Unfortunately, the only other notable wins are Pittsburgh and Richmond, with the Gators needing conference play to build them their resume. They lost a heartbreaker at home to Kentucky last weekend and gave up a mind-boggling 103 points to Ole Miss in a tough loss a few days later.
That is not the kind of start the Walter Clayton, Tyrese Samuel, Zyon Pullin and company wanted in conference play. There absolutely is the talent in Gainesville for this team to compete in the SEC and make the Big Dance, but they’re going to need to play better against these conference foes. They wasted a major opportunity late against the Wildcats and are now coming off their worst game of the season. What will see from this team in the coming weeks, especially with even tougher road games ahead?