Florida Football: Way Too Early Game-by-Game Schedule Predictions for 2013

Nick de la Torre@@NickdelatorreCorrespondent IFebruary 18, 2013

Florida Football: Way Too Early Game-by-Game Schedule Predictions for 2013

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    The Florida Gators basketball team is gearing up for the SEC tournament, and the baseball team kicked off their season last weekend. But what we are all waiting for is still 194 days away. 

    August 31, 2013, the football team will kick off against Toledo to begin another season. 

    Despite a disappointing showing in the Sugar Bowl, year two under Will Muschamp should be considered a huge success. The Gators called on the experience of their veteran players, solid defense and special teams in 2013 to finish the season 11-2. 

    However, the Gators will have a very different look in 2013. Gone are veteran leaders on defense Sharrif Floyd, Jon Bostic, Jelani Jenkins and Matt Elam. As well as the sure-footed Caleb Sturgis, who's accuracy and kicking power changed the way that Brent Pease would call plays on offense. 

    Is it too soon to give you a game-by-game prediction of how the new-look Gators will fare in 2013? Probably. But that doesn't mean we can't have fun with this way-too-soon look at next season. 


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    Date: August 31

    The Gators will open the 2013 season against Toledo. The Rockets had a strong 2012 season finishing 9-4 and have continued that success in the offseason. The Rockets brought in the highest-ranked recruiting class in the MAC and return leading rusher David Fluellen and leading passer Terrance Owens. 

    Sadly for the Rockets, this should be nothing more than a tune-up game for the Gators. 

    Prediction: Florida wins big. 

At Miami

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    Date: September 7

    This used to be an annual rivalry, and the series has a long, storied history. Unfortunately, this will be the last time that Florida and Miami face each other in football for a long, long time. With no future games set and conference expansion just beginning, this could be the last time we see this matchup outside of a bowl game. 

    The 'Canes started the 2012 season off strong going 4-1, but would drop their next three games and finish the season 7-5. 

    Florida will have the upper hand in this matchup next season. The Gators have more talent on the roster and should be able to hold off a young Miami team. 

    Prediction: The game is close for three quarters, but Florida pulls away late. 


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    Date: September 21

    The Gators haven't lost to Tennessee since 2004. That's eight straight wins against the hated Vols, and with the losses of Justin Hunter, Cordarrelle Patterson and Tyler Bray on offense, that streak looks like it will stretch to nine straight seasons. 

    Tennessee will also be operating under new head coach, Butch Jones. Jones was formerly the head coach at Central Michigan where he led the Chippewas to nine wins in three of the past four seasons. 

    Tennessee will be re-building in 2013 and coming out of the Swamp with a win would be a huge upset. 

    Prediction: Florida wins by double digits. 

At Kentucky

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    Date: September 28

    After back-to-back top-five recruiting classes, Will Muschamp's biggest recruiting feat this offseason might have been bringing Joker Phillips on staff as the wide receivers coach. 

    Phillips will return to his former school for the first time and should be on the winning side of the matchup for the first time. 

    The Gators haven't lost to Kentucky since 1986, and that streak should continue without too much drama. 

    Prediction: Florida wins big. 


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    Date: October 5

    After leading Wisconsin to three straight Rose Bowl appearances, Bret Bielema decided to take his talents to the SEC. He takes over an Arkansas team that was arguably one of the most disappointing teams in 2012. 

    Losing Tyler Wilson, Knile Davis and Dennis Johnson leaves the Razorbacks with huge question marks on offense. Couple that with a defense that ranked 12th in the SEC, and the Hogs will have their hands full when they travel to Gainesville. 

    Prediction: Florida wins by double digits. 


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    Date: October 12

    Much like Florida, LSU is losing a ton of talent to the NFL this offseason. The Tigers had 10 players declare early for the NFL draft including seven starters on defense. 

    With both teams dealing with so much roster turnover, we have to look at intangibles when trying to predict this game. 

    The Tigers are tough to play at home and even tougher to beat in Death Valley when the sun sets. The Gators will hope and pray for an early start against LSU. 

    Prediction: LSU wins a close game. 

At Missouri

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    Date: October 19

    Missouri got a rough welcome to the SEC in 2012, and it will struggle again in 2013. The Tigers will once again rely on senior quarterback James Franklin, who missed three games last season due to injury.

    Will Franklin be able to remain healthy for an entire season? Will Dorial Green-Beckham live up to the hype in his second season?

    Prediction: Florida wins. 

Georgia (in Jacksonville)

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    Date: November 2

    Like LSU and Florida, Georgia is suffering a lot of attrition to the NFL draft. The Dawgs biggest loss is Jarvis Jones, who was a beast in his two seasons in Athens and dominated the Gators. Jones totaled 18 tackles, 8.5 tackles for a loss, seven sacks and three forced fumbles in two games against Florida. 

    The Dawgs have won two straight games against the Gators and bring back Aaron Murray, Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall on offense. That kind of offense will give the Gators their toughest test of the season. 

    Prediction: Georgia wins a close game. 

Vanderbilt (Homecoming)

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    Date: November 9

    Jeff Driskel broke the single-game school record for most rushing yards in a game against the Commodores last season. You better believe that James Franklin will have a better game plan to stop Driskel from running in 2013. 

    Franklin has changed the culture at Vanderbilt, and a team that was once the door mat of the SEC is now a serious contender. 

    Prediction: Florida wins a close game

At South Carolina

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    Date: November 16

    The 'Ole Ball Coach will always hold a special place in Gators fans hearts. But one day a year, he becomes the enemy. 

    The Gators handed the Gamecocks their most lopsided loss of the season last year, and South Carolina will be looking to get revenge in 2013. 

    This game will feature two of the best defenses in the SEC East and won't be a game to look for if you like offense. 

    Prediction: Gators win a close game. 

Georgia Southern

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    Date: November 23

    Move along. Nothing to see here. 

    Prediction: Gators win big.

Florida State

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    Date: November 30

    There is no love lost in this series. The fans don't like each other and the players don't like each other either. 

    Last season the Gators won, 37-26, to end a two-game losing streak to the hated school out west. Florida will look to extend that streak to two straight games and should be able to do so at home. 

    Prediction: Gators win by double digits.