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Yes. Whoever gets the Florida job is going to walk into a locker room that isn’t nearly as talented as it should be. If you’re the flagship university in a state with the most elite high school football skill players, there’s no way you should lose to UAB—on talent alone. Want to see how far recruiting dropped under Jim McElwain? Watch how easily UAB runs the ball and controls the game.
Oh, man. Can you fire an interim coach? I’m kind of intrigued at what would happen if UAB beats Florida, but I’m not bold enough to predict it. If the Blazers can stop the run, though, a close fourth quarter might lead to a few broken televisions.
Well, looks like I spoiled this answer earlier, but let me reiterate that yes, yes it will. In your lifetime, did you imagine we would ever assess this question? When you look back at how bad it’s gotten, you start to realize how far Florida has fallen. While the Gators have an obvious talent advantage, we’ve seen already this year that this doesn’t really matter. UAB wants this. Florida clearly does not. That doesn’t always dictate the results, but it feels like the place to begin.
This game is proof that preseason predictions are absolute crap and should be viewed solely as entertainment to get us through the doldrums of the offseason as opposed to what should actually be expected to happen.
Sports on Earth, SB Nation and College Football News each ranked all 130 FBS teams at some point this offseason. All three had UAB at No. 130, and all three had Florida in the Top 20. Regardless of the result, it’s amazing we’re having this conversation.
Despite Florida’s well-documented struggles this season, they are so athletically superior to everyone else UAB has faced thus far that it’s not even funny. I expect a close game. UAB only has one loss this season by more than a three-point margin. But I also expect Florida’s edge in talent to be enough for a 23-20 win.
For all that talk about how excited the Gators were about playing for Randy Shannon, they went out and got embarrassed by Missouri. Then, last weekend, they hung on for a little while before South Carolina took over. It seems inexplicable, but a Blazers side that didn’t even have a team a year ago is now 7-3.
Think about that: They didn’t field a team in 2016 and, last weekend, they went out and beat a strong UTSA team. I believe in Hollywood stories, and beating the Gators would be the cherry moment. It can happen.
Florida did show some fight last week in a 28-20 loss to South Carolina after total no-shows against Georgia and Missouri, which should give interim coach Randy Shannon some confidence. But UAB is 7-3 and one of the best stories in college football after returning from a self-imposed two-year “death penalty.”
However, the Blazers have only two wins against teams with winning records (Southern Miss and UT-San Antonio) and won’t be the most talented team in the Swamp Saturday. Here’s guessing Shannon rallies the troops and finds some resolve as Florida pulls out an ugly 20-13 win.