Last week I outlined my predictions for the first five games of the 2014 Gator football season. Here are my predictions for the last seven games:
- LSU: The LSU Tigers went 10-3 last year and defeated the Gators 17-6 in Death Valley. They are the first of the Gators’ opponents up to this point to have won their bowl game in the form of the Outback Bowl. With a new, up-tempo offense and a healthy defense, the Gators will stick with LSU just like last year and win this defensive battle 10-7. There will be some fourth quarter heroics in this one. For some reason I see the Gators blocking a kick to seal it. The Gators will reach 5-1 and surpass last year’s win mark.
- Missouri: Missouri shocked many last year as they went 12-2 and won the Cotton Bowl. Florida was one of their many victims in the 2013 season with the Tigers beating the Gators 36-17 in Columbia. This year however, Florida’s offense will show up in The Swamp and the Gators will down Missouri 42-21 to become bowl-eligible at 6-1.
- Georgia: As usual, the Gators will play Georgia after their second bye of the year. The Bulldogs went 8-5 last year and were successful for the third straight time against Florida with a 23-20 victory. Will Muschamp is 0-3 all-time against Georgia, but I think this will be the year he ends that streak. This game will go to overtime and Florida will win 17-10 after stuffing Todd Gurley on fourth down. Now 7-1, the Gators will be on everyone’s radar and might be making a significant climb in the rankings. I am talking Top 10 here.
- Vanderbilt: The Vanderbilt Commodores went 9-4 and won the BBVA Compass Bowl last year. They shocked every single Gator fan when they came into Gainesville during Homecoming and beat the Gators 34-17. This was the first time they had beat the Gators since 1988 and first time since World War II they had beat them in Gainesville. The Gators won’t forget this, and they will walk into Nashville and romp Vandy 42-10. The game will be over at the half. The Gators will reach 8-1 and essentially have the SEC East locked up.
- South Carolina: The South Carolina Gamecocks went 11-2 last year and won the Capital One Bowl. They narrowly beat the Gators 19-14 in Columbia to avoid the upset. Although the Gators will not be relying on Skyler Mornhinweg this time around, South Carolina will upset them 31-28 in The Swamp. The Gators will fall to 8-2 and will fall out of the National Championship hunt.
- Eastern Kentucky: Eastern Kentucky went 6-6 last year and will feel Florida’s wrath after the South Carolina upset. The Gators will win 66-14 to put the team at 9-2.
- Florida State: Florida State beat a dilapidated Gator team 37-7 in The Swamp and won the National Championship last year. They have Heisman winner Jameis Winston coming back and the home field advantage. Even with everyone healthy, Florida will fall to Florida State 24-21 to end the regular season 9-3.
In the postseason, the Gators will be playing in Atlanta after winning their thirteenth SEC East division title. In the SEC Championship, the Gators will take on the Auburn Tigers, who will be ranked second in the nation at this point of the season. Florida will end Auburn’s playoff chances with a 38-31 over the Tigers. This will be their eighth SEC Championship in program history.
At 10-3, the 2014 SEC Champions will reach a decent bowl game and finish off a great comeback year with a bowl victory. Going 11-3 after the 2013 debacle will save Coach Muschamp’s job and prove to the rest of the country that Florida football is back!