SEC Football: Best and Worst-Case Scenario for Every Team in 2015

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Oct 18, 2014; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators fans leave during the fourth quarter against the Missouri Tigers at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Missouri Tigers defeated the Florida Gators 42-13. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Jim McElwain is a very good coach, and the Florida is one of the elite football programs in the nation. Odds are, the Gators will be a power again in the Southeastern Conference – but it may not happen in Year 1 of the McElwain era.

Related: Predicting the Winner of Every SEC Quarterback Competition

Because of the coaching change, the Gators must learn yet another offensive system (the third in the last three seasons in Gainesville), which has been one of the biggest hurdles for the Gators scoring points in recent seasons.

Also, all the offensive linemen on the roster have combined to make just 10 career starts, which are the fewest in the SEC by a large margin and the second fewest among all 128 FBS programs. And, it’s possible the defense takes a step back without Muschamp.

The schedule is absolutely brutal from September 26 to October 31. Florida plays five games in six weeks including home dates with rising power Tennessee, SEC West contender Ole Miss, at back-to-back division champ Missouri, against LSU at Tiger Stadium and against East favorite Georgia in Jacksonville. Two wins would be great. One or fewer is more likely.

After such a tough stretch, the Gators may be so beat up to beat South Carolina in Columbia or a rebuilding Florida State team in The Swamp, which could cost them a shot at a bowl game.

Florida’s Worst-Case Scenario: The Gators take a step back in Year 1 under McElwain before taking a step forward in 2016

Next: Best-Case Scenario: Mississippi State