Projecting The Preseason Top 25: Did The Hawkeyes Make The Cut?

IOWA CITY, IOWA- NOVEMBER 12: Kicker Keith Duncan
IOWA CITY, IOWA- NOVEMBER 12: Kicker Keith Duncan /
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – SEPTEMBER 12: Quarterback Malik Zaire
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – SEPTEMBER 12: Quarterback Malik Zaire /

12) Florida Gators

Key Player: QB Malik Zaire

The former Golden Domer is hoping to give a spark to an offense that really could use improved quarterback play. Zaire had a bit of hype before suffering a broken ankle against Virginia two seasons ago, so he must combat that going up against even tougher competition.

The southpaw needs to minimize his mistakes and take advantage of the solid receivers he has in Gainesville. Plus, the East has not exactly been dominant as of late so the opportunity is there to have a solid season as a graduate transfer.

Key Stat: While Florida is looking for its third straight nine-plus win season, the losses have been starting to pile up in Gainesville. They want to win as much as anybody and a great fanbase will always be pushing for SEC and national titles. However, they must begin to win bigger games with higher stakes.

The last time the Gators lost four or more games in four straight seasons was a long time ago (1986-1989). Hopefully Gator nation can avoid seeing that this season for the first time in many of their lives.

Key Game: 10/28 Georgia

The East division should be up for grabs on Halloween weekend and UF has owned this matchup lately. Having won three in a row, the Gators will be chomping at the bit to win another showdown. This one will likely have much more on the line as not only a trip to the SEC title game should be on the line, the winner should mathematically stay alive in the CFP hunt as well. The loser should still have a solid year if both come in with a loss or less, but the winner really will have a huge opportunity later down the road to return to national glory.