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A quick look at Florida's 2021 opponents ranked in Top 25 polls

Special to Gatorsports.com
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A quick look at the preseason Top 25 teams on Florida's schedule this season:

No. 1 ALABAMA

Coach: Nick Saban, 15th season.

2020 finish: 13-0, national champion.

Top games: vs. No. 14 Miami, Sept. 4 in Atlanta; at No. 13 Florida, Sept. 18; at No. 6 Texas A&M, Oct. 9.

Potential All-Americans: LT Evan Neal; OLB Will Anderson.

Outlook: Alabama must replace six first-round draft picks, including Heisman Trophy-winning receiver DeVonta Smith. But coach Nick Saban is still around, so the roster is still loaded and the Crimson Tide remain the national title favorite. Is also No. 1 in USA Today preseason Top 25.

Reality check: The Crimson Tide have not finished ranked lower than 10th the last 13 seasons. There is no reason to believe this season's defending champion is vulnerable to an LSU-type tumble.

Gators in polls:Florida preseason No. 13 in AP Top 25 rankings

SEC predictions:Media poll: Florida picked second in SEC Eastern Division

No. 5 GEORGIA

Coach: Kirby Smart, sixth season.

2020 finish: 8-2, No. 7.

Top games: vs. No. 3 Clemson, Sept. 4, at Charlotte, North Carolina; at Auburn, Oct. 9; vs. No. 13 Florida, Oct. 30, Jacksonville, Florida.

Potential All-Americans: DT Jordan Davis; QB JT Daniels.

Outlook: The offense was hurt by the loss of WR George Pickens to a knee injury in spring practice, but Zamir White leads a deep group of running backs. Smart’s barrage of top-five recruiting classes means there are talented replacements for nine defensive players selected in the NFL draft. Also No. 5 in USA Today preseason Top 25.

Reality check: The Bulldogs have been recruiting like the perennial playoff teams ranked in front of them and have four straight top-seven finishes under Kirby Smart. Georgia is a better bet to break its four-decade national title drought than to tank and finish unranked.

No. 16 LSU

Coach: Ed Orgeron, fifth season.

2020 finish: 5-5, unranked.

Top games: vs. No. 13 Florida, Oct. 16; at No. 1 Alabama, Nov. 6; vs. No. 6 Texas A&M, Nov. 27.

Potential All-Americans: CB Derek Stingley Jr.; WR Kayshon Boutte.

Outlook: The Tigers have numerous players coming back on both sides of the ball to a team that closed its regular season on a two-game winning streak. With more experience across the roster and some key changes made on the coaching staff, LSU is a dark horse in the SEC West. Ranked No. 13 in the USA Today preseason Top 25.

Reality check: The Tigers became the first defending champions since Auburn in 2011 to finish the season outside the Top 25. There is talent for a bounce back in Baton Rouge.

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