The SEC opens play this weekend, and ESPN’s Paul Finebaum thinks a team from the league is lurking as a potential College Football Playoff participant.
When Finebaum dropped his updated playoff prediction recently, he went with all chalk: Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Oklahoma. However, he’s keeping his eye on the Florida Gators as well.
Florida has won 21 games in its first two seasons under Dan Mullen and is regarded as a consensus top-10 team this fall. The Gators will open up the 2020 season against Ole Miss on Saturday.
Finebaum discussed the upcoming SEC campaign on ESPN’s Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin podcast yesterday. That’s where he let people know he’s bullish on Florida.
“This program has rocked all over the place. It seems like it’s back,” Finebaum said via 247Sports.”Florida has to beat Georgia this year to make that claim for the College Football Playoff. But with Kyle Trask, who a year ago was not even the starter, he was a career backup and came in when Felipe Franks was injured. That looks, even though it’s a preseason top 10 team, it could be a sneaky College Football Playoff team.”
If Florida beats Georgia and runs the table in the regular season, the Gators would have a legitimate claim at being in the playoff, even if they lose the SEC title game to say, Alabama.
Why? Well, in order to go undefeated in the regular season, Florida would not only have to beat Georgia but would also have to take down LSU, Texas A&M, Kentucky and Tennessee, four teams currently ranked in the top 25.
Both the Aggies and Tigers are currently in the top 10. Of course, rankings change as the season goes on, but there’s no question Florida’s schedule looks rugged on paper.
The Gators’ season opener against Ole Miss is set for noon ET this Saturday.