Florida football: Billy Napier's seat red-hot ahead of 2024

Florida Gators head coach Billy Napier collars at the officials during first half action as Florida
Florida Gators head coach Billy Napier collars at the officials during first half action as Florida / Alan Youngblood/Gainesville Sun / USA

Things have not been going as planned in Gainesville under Billy Napier. The now-third-year Florida football coach has an 11-14 record and you don't expect to see that when the school hires a high-profile candidate to be the head coach.

When Napier was hired, he was one of the top candidates in college football, having just led Louisiana to a 12-1 season which was the third straight 10-plus win season with the Ragin' Cajuns. He had also won two straight conference titles and four consecutive division crowns. Hopes were high.

And after going 6-7 in year one, expectations were tempered a bit, but you have to give a brand new coach time to adjust and get his guys and coaches in place.

So when he went 5-7 in 2023, there was some panic.

Two straight losing seasons is usually an unacceptable occurrence in Gainesville. Coaches don't usually make it past year three if they go into an elite program like Florida and lose more than they win, especially after bringing in solid recruiting classes.

But Napier has done just that and now he heads into year three with an 11-14 overall record, one bowl berth, and just six wins in SEC play. Two straight fourth-place finishes in the SEC East don't exactly move the needle.

Napier is bringing in the No. 12 recruiting class for 2024 and he has 11 transfers coming in. But will it be enough to turn the program around and save his job?

Honestly, I'm not so sure. I think it would require him to win 8-9 games, at least, in 2024 to save his job and at least be in the playoff discussion at some point throughout the year. It's not going to be easy in the SEC, especially with Tennessee, Georgia, Texas, and LSU on the schedule, but Napier has to find a way to exceed expectations or he'll be out of a job.