SEC Spring Practice Storylines: Gators Seeking Drastic Turnaround

Florida Gators Seeking Drastic Turnaround

3/15/14 in NCAAF   |   BlakeLovell   |   86 respect

Sep 21, 2013; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators quarterback Jeff Driskel (6) works out prior to the game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsIf the Florida Gators are worse in 2014 than they were in 2013, the only job Will Muschamp may be considered for is defensive coordinator on the sixth-place team in a local Pop Warner league.

The good news for Muschamp is that Florida can't possibly be worse than it was a season ago.

The Gators set the wrong kind of records in 2013. They had a losing record for the first time since 1979. They lost to an FCS team (Georgia Southern) for the first time ever. They missed a bowl game for the first time in 22 seasons. 

So, yeah. You get the point. 2013 was a bad year to be a Gator fan.

But with the beginning of spring practice set for Wednesday in Gainesville, Muschamp and company have a chance to start fresh, and in the process, work towards never returning to the place that they were in a season ago.

Florida's desire to return to greatness will be aided by the fact that quarterback Jeff Driskel returns from a broken leg, which should certainly help an offense that finished 115th nationally in total offense last season.

Driskel will also have a new offensive coordinator at his disposal, as Ted Roper comes over from Duke to try and get this offense heading back in the right direction after the bottom completely fell out following Driskel's injury against Tennessee.

Roper will have plenty of weapons to work with since the running back core led by Kelvin Taylor and Matt Jones (who will spring practice in order to continue to recover from a knee injury) should be tough for opposing defenses to slow down.

On the defensive side of the ball, Florida returns perhaps the best defensive player in the SEC in cornerback Vernon Hargreaves, who will look to anchor a secondary that will include some new faces after the departures Jaylen Watkins, Louicheiz Purifoy, and Marcus Roberson. Elsewhere, the Gators have several key players back in the front seven, so this defense should be fun to watch.

Needless to say, this roster is loaded with talent. That's why there should be no reason for this team to struggle the way it did a year ago.

And honestly, that's just not gonna happen.

While Muschamp has certainly had his doubters during his tenure as head coach, last season was a complete fluke. It was the kind of season that only happens once every 20 or 30 years. 

Whether it was season-ending injuries or every possible bad break going against them, the Gators had their backs against the wall all season long.

But none of that matters now. Like everyone else, Muschamp's team has a blank slate.

With only three games outside the state of Florida on the schedule, and a load of all-SEC talent on the roster, the potential is there.

And for the sake of Muschamp's job security, that potential better translate into wins.

Do you think Florida will compete for an SEC championship in 2014? Let us know by commenting below! For more college football talk, follow FanIQ College Football or myself on Twitter!
 
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