Florida hasn’t been heard from much on the national stage in recent years in the college football world. Paul Finebaum believes that’s about to change.
The ESPN college football analyst is very high on the Gators moving forward. He loves the hire of former Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen.
Finebaum says Florida is about to become a “major factor” under Mullen.
“I will say, and I speak to a lot of people in Gainesville on a pretty regular basis, the spirit is back,” Finebaum said during Monday’s appearance on WJOX 94.5 FM, per 247Sports’ Brad Crawford. “There is an enthusiasm there has not been felt probably since two years before Urban Meyer left, which leaves no doubt that this program is going to be a factor. Maybe not this year, but it’s about to become a major factor in the SEC East.”
Finebaum says the enthusiasm for the program is back, too. The Gators had 53,105 fans show up for their spring game this weekend.
The ESPN college football analyst says the “tone” for the future of the program has been set.
“Well, 11 years ago, Nick Saban said when he had 90 some odd thousand at the first spring game, it set the tone. It was one of the most significant things,” Finebaum said. “I think you’ve seen a lot of coaches do that since then. Kirby Smart had the rock concert and the 90,000 at his first one. So I think you do have to set the tone, I think the weather — I don’t know what the weather was in Gainesville Saturday, but that was a good crowd for a spring game.”
— Thomas Goldkamp (@ThomasGoldkamp) April 14, 2018
Expectations aren’t too high for Mullen and the Gators this fall, which is a good thing. Give him time to develop the program. Florida starts its season on Sept. 1 against Charleston Southern.