Five at Five: 5 bold predictions for Florida’s football season

Florida running back Mike Gillislee playing against Miami (Ohio) at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Sept.4, 2010. [Doug Finger/The Gainesville Sun/File]

Each day this week, Sun sports columnist Pat Dooley will give you five things having to do with this Florida college football season to help you get through the summer. Each day they will be posted at at 5 p.m. Therefore, “Five at Five.”

Today: Five bold predictions for the season.

  1. Florida will have a first-team selection on The Associated Press All-SEC team for the first time since 2012: Can you remember the last one? It was running back Mike Gillislee seven years ago. It has been a long time since Florida’s offense has been good enough to warrant a first-team selection (although Martez Ivey was second-team twice). If the offense takes another step forward with all of the talent at the skill positions, it will happen this year.
  2. The Gators will return multiple kicks for TDs: With the emphasis Dan Mullen puts on special teams and a couple of softies in the non-conference schedule, it is going to happen. UF only had one last year — Freddie Swain’s scintillating 85-yard punt return against Colorado State. That was the first punt return for a score since 2015 and Florida has had only one kickoff return for a score since 2013 (Antonio Callaway on an onside kick against Missouri in 2016). Paging Brandon James.
  3. UF will score a touchdown on a play Steve Spurrier gives Dan Mullen: The Ambassador was rebuffed by the previous coaching staff any time he made a suggestion, but his relationship with Mullen is 100-percent better. So what will it be? The double-reverse pass he used in his first game at Duke? The play where the tight end falls down and then drags quietly through the defense? Biddle down the middle? We’ll see.
  4. GameDay will be back in Gainesville: It has been since 2012 South Carolina that the GameDay boys and girls have set up camp outside The Swamp. We’ve seen them in Jacksonville and at some road games, but it’s been awhile since college football’s premier pregame show has been here. The best bet is the Auburn game. 
  5. Florida’s season will come down to how the Gators handle three bye weeks: It’s a different animal dealing with three weeks off when you are used to only one. How Mullen and his staff work around the lost momentum of opening the season with a rivalry game and then taking a week off will be interesting. The Gators have Tennessee-Martin after the first bye week and then Georgia and FSU after the other two. Mullen is 0-1 so far at Florida, compared to a combined 6-3 by the previous two coaches. Urban Meyer was the king of bye weeks, going 8-0 during his Florida career.


    • Anything but one yard up the middle and a cloud of dust! That, of course, was not in the playbook of SOS but rather of an unnamed head coach and offensive coordinator both of whom we shall never speak again.

  1. bold? predicting any of these not to happen would be bold….except#5, which is not exactly a prediction, at least not to me.
    heres 4 bold predictions from me:
    1. miami, fsu, and tennessee will be far better than anyone thinks, all three making major headway to get back to elite status. we win all three, tough games though.
    2. Kentucky will not drop off from the heights it got to last year, performing very much the same, but this time the gators win.
    3. QB Franks will show he is as good as the Georgia QB Fromm, or pretty much anyone in college football. the passes he missed against georgia last year he will hit. i dont see us winning, but it will be close.
    4. auburn will play out of their minds and beat us, but after that we will get to the top 5, maybe not finishing there, but we will be a better team than last year.

    after that, our offensive line will emerge to the level we need to win championships. CDM will have to avoid frankensteins like chris steele and jalon jones, which may be good in concept, but you cant force a fit. these guys are all part of a team, not an all star exhibition, but a team that wins games. a guy may be 5 stars, throw 80 yards and run a 4.2 40, but he needs to be someone that is comfortable following the rules of life, play and train smartly, have leadership qualities, and have the will to win. CDM will get those kind of guys, and hopefully the conversation about recruiting stars will go the same way that urban went at the end, and jimbo when he left fsu, and a few other temporary advantage types that somehow keep moving on.

  2. So here I go. FSU will get to 8 wins because they play in the weakest conference besides Clemson. Miami will get 9 wins because they play nobody but UF. Tennessee will be better but they still have to play Alabama, Georgia and UF so those are all losses. Auburn might be playing for their coach but they have one of the hardest schedules to play with 6 teams in the top 15 on their schedule so I see them winning 8 maybe 9 games after going 8-5 last season and 3-5 in SEC play. Kentucky will be good but not as good as last season with their departures. Franks will get even more comfortable in year 2 of CDM offense and with the returning receivers that he throws for over 3000 yards and 30 touchdowns. Lamical Perine will go for over 1000yds rushing because the passing attack will open it up for him. We hit 11 wins with the possibility to get 12 if we play our game against UGA and don’t lose our Mojo with the 3 bye weeks. We should be favored in almost all the games except LSU and UGA. LSU is a toss up and UGA is everyone’s favorite team right now so until we beat them they will be the favorite. The preseason hype train is coming and you better jump on before it leaves ya behind!!! Go Gators!

    • Good calls — and I mainly agree but while I used to worry about losing our “mojo”, I think now the bye weeks give CDM a better chance to consolidate and come up with a great game plan for the next game.