Florida football didn’t win as many games as Gator fans hoped in 2022, but will that change during the 2023 season?
When Florida football hired Billy Napier to be the head coach, the Gators, and their fans had bigger hopes than a 6-7 season.
Things started well enough for Florida football after an early-season upset over Utah, but things quickly fell apart as the Gators struggled in the SEC, going 3-5 in the conference. Florida was also blown out by Florida State and lost its bowl game.
To make matters worse, star quarterback Anthony Richardson has left for the NFL draft and instead of former top-100 QB Jaden Rashada potentially replacing him, Florida could be starting former Wisconsin QB Graham Mertz in Week 1.
The Gators signed the No. 13 recruiting class in 2023 and it’s filled with blue chips. However, it’s hard to know what impact those players will have right away. Florida football also added some four-star transfers along with the offensive line, as well as a slew of defenders in the portal.
However, with Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and South Carolina all looking deep and talented heading into 2023, Florida football isn’t in a great spot.
Realistic expectations for Florida football in 2023
Frankly, the schedule is a bear. Florida will travel to Utah for the first game of the season and beating the two-time Pac-12 champs with Cameron Rising won’t be easy at all.
There are also road games against South Carolina, LSU, and Kentucky. Those games are winnable, but playing away from the swamp will make it even more difficult. Tennessee comes to the Swamp, as will Florida State but both of those teams will be preseason top 10.
Looking at the Florida football schedule, I see five games the Gators should win next season: McNeese State, Charlotte, Vanderbilt, Arkansas, and Missouri.
They will need to find a way to get more win against Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Utah, Kentucky, LSU, or Florida State to get into that 6-7 range for bowl eligibility.
Defensively, I expect Florida to be improved next season. The balance on offense could be better too but Mertz isn’t a great quarterback and he’ll struggle in the SEC, just like the Gators will struggle to have a winning season.