As you may have noticed, we're slowly ramping up Florida football coverage around these parts: Now that the offseason and the summer doldrums are fully upon us, and only a handful of Gators teams remain in season, there's more time to spend on the rigorous analysis we want to do to give you the best possible preview of Florida football in 2013.
Today, the Gators taking the field in The Swamp against Toledo on August 31, 2013 is just 100 days away. One thing we're not going to do as a preview is kick off a countdown of 100 posts in 100 days — we've tried two separate takes on the __ in __ countdown, and they haven't worked, so I think we're going to try something different (read: shorter) for a countdown this year. But we have to do something to mark the last time that our temporal distance from Florida football playing football will be measured in triple-digit days this year, right?
Hence, this list.
100 Reasons To Be Excited for Florida Gators Football In 2013
Quinton Dunbar, the only player scheduled to be wearing No. 1 for Florida in 2013, is now Jeff Driskel's buddy, after a season in which he was rumored to be in a faction that was partial to Jacoby Brissett.
- For the second straight year, Florida's second game of the year is a really worthwhile road trip — even if this one is to Miami.
- Florida has gone three whole years without winning the SEC East. That might change.
- Florida has three No. 4s on its roster: Andre Debose, Damien Jacobs, and Kyle Christy. (The ramification of this: Neither Jacobs nor Debose can be on kick coverage teams.)
- Marcus Roberson will likely have a great season to boost his already healthy draft stock, and may well become the third name on the list of recent Florida cornerbacks who have started as freshmen and ended up in the NFL, following Joe Haden and Janoris Jenkins.
- I would bet at least one of the $20 bills in my wallet that Vernon Hargreaves III will be the fourth in that series. (One of the reasons that Hargreaves, perhaps the most college-ready incoming freshman in the country, will only be one of the most important incoming freshmen in the country, is the presence of Roberson and Loucheiz Purifoy on Florida's roster.)
- We will finally see the best version of Ronald Powell suit up for Florida in 2013.
- Trey Burton will dance to "Party Rock Anthem" at least once this year.
- Debose's increased use in practices this spring lends credence to the theory that he may have finally screwed his head on straight. And no one on Florida's roster is better at running the nine route — which he used to burn both teams that played for the national title in 2011.
- Debose, Solomon Patton, and Alvin Bailey are all candidates to run Wildcat plays and sweeps for Florida, in addition to Burton. Debose and Bailey both played some quarterback in high school, too.
- Florida will be looking for a second consecutive 11-win season in 2013. The Gators have had consecutive 11-win seasons twice before, in 1995 and 1996 and 2008 and 2009, and played for the national championship in three of those four years. (Arguably, Florida also played a play-in game for the national championship in 2009.)
- Chris Leak is back, as you may have heard.
- Florida also has three players listed as No. 13 on its roster: You may know Latroy Pittman and Daniel McMillian, but did you realize Outback Bowl piano whizChristian Provancha was a No. 13, too?
- Florida's never won 14 games in a season. Given the introduction of the College Football Playoff in 2014, this will be Florida's last chance to win 14 games in a season and go undefeated.
- Loucheiz Purifoy, once a freshman audacious enough to don Tim Tebow's number, is now perhaps the most talented player on the entire Florida roster. And he will make plays in 2013.
- Seriously: Purifoy's going to catch a touchdown pass this year. It'll happen.
- Florida was 6-0 when holding opponents under 17 points in 2012. (It was 8-1 when holding opponents to 17 points or fewer, but, uh, screw Georgia.)
- Georgia is 2-0 against Florida in the last two years. Florida is 18-5 against Georgia in the last 23 years. Use this fact liberally.
- In the last 19 years, Florida has seven SEC titles. LSU is second, with four.
- Florida's seven SEC titles in the last 19 years is as many as LSU and Alabama have combined. It's also three more than the rest of the SEC East has combined.
Kelvin Taylor will wear No. 21, just like his father Fred.
- No scholarship player was dumb enough to wear Matt Elam's No. 22 this year.
- In the 22 seasons since 1990, 23 years ago, Steve Spurrier's first year at Florida as head coach, Florida has more wins and a higher winning percentage than any other team in college football.
- After every single big Matt Jones run at home, the student section will yell "WHO!? MATT JONES! WHO!? MATT JONES!"
- If the student section does not do that, I am not above writing something torching the student section for not doing it every single week.
The only reason Florida didn't beat Tennessee and Florida State by the same 37-20 score last fall was an incredibly pointless EJ Manuel touchdown run, which Jaylen Watkins and Purifoy reacted to appropriately.
- Florida has won 26 straight games against Kentucky. It'll be 27 straight games this fall.
- The worst 28-day stretch of Florida's schedule, from November 2 to November 30, still features four games in the state of Florida.
- Even though it is better than it has ever been, Vanderbilt is still Florida's Homecoming game.
- Florida's 30 turnovers forced in 2012 were its most since 2008.
- Cody Riggs missed most of the 2012 season due to injury. He's likely going to start somewhere in Florida's secondary. You have forgotten how good he is. You will be reminded.
- Gideon Ajagbe was a linebacker. He is now a fullback, and listed at 6'3" and 243 pounds. Good luck with that, other teams.
- Florida's Mack Brown is the best Mack Brown associated with college football.
- Alex Anzalone had one of the weirdest Florida recruitments in recent memory, but, most importantly, he trolled Notre Dame and Ohio State really hard.
- Demarcus Robinson trolled Clemson really hard, which seems like payback for the half-dozen Floridians that Clemson has seemingly pulled from Florida's grasp over the years.
- Florida has not lost when it has scored 36 or more points this century.
Mark Herndon, a walk-on who wears No. 37, knew well how to get himself in pictures in the fall. (Credit: Sam Greenwood / Getty)
- Neiron Ball is still alive, and still playing football, and still every bit the great person he was last fall.
- Dominique Easley is still our murderbear. You still can't have him.
- Florida's never lost a game when scoring 40 or more points.
- Hunter Joyer still hits people very hard.
- The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything is actually Antonio Morrison.
- Johnny Manziel accounted for 47 touchdowns in 2012. He accounted for two against Florida. Florida was the only team to prevent Manziel from producing either two passing or two rushing touchdowns in 2012. And Florida will probably always have a winning record against Manziel. So you can enjoy Johnny Football free and clear, Gators fans: We know we were better.
- At No. 48 on its roster, Florida has a Vincent Smith, much like Michigan does. The difference is that Florida's Vincent Smith was not tragically footballmurdered by Jadeveon Clowney.
- Darrin Kitchens stopped to sing our alma mater with Florida's band after the Sugar Bowl. No one who saw it has forgotten it, or ever will.
- I will have more and better GIF- and video-making capabilities than ever before this fall. We're gonna get multimedia-y up in this!
- Michael Taylor and Cam Newton went to the same high school. This should excite you, because it proves that not everyone from Cam Newton's high school will wash out at Florida and go on to break our hearts by being awesome elsewhere.
- Matt Jones had 52 carries for 275 yards in 2012, or approximately 5.3 yards per carry. That's pretty good.
- The Twilight movie series is finally and mercifully over. That has nothing to do with Florida football, except that it means none of our players will have to go see Twilight movies this fall.
- Joker Phillips probably won't manage to play on the idea that there are 52 cards and two jokers in a standard deck of playing cards in the next 100 days.
- Darious Cummings is only officially listed as Darious in your program. I will call him Bear Cummings on every mention from here on out on this site.
- We will hear Ace Hood's "Bugatti" in the mix of pre-game songs in The Swamp. It will be awesome.
- Florida lists 5'11", 245-pound Dakota Wilson as a defensive lineman. That's adorable.
- Florida ran the ball 58 times against LSU in 2012, and gained just over 3.0 yards per carry. And Florida won that game.
- This is the first year since Call of Duty games have become a big deal that there have also been new Sony and Microsoft video game consoles in the pipeline. Players might just choose to spend some of their hard-earned
salaries scholarship checks on the consoles instead of staying up until 4 a.m. playing Call of Duty: Ghosts in November.
- Florida plays Vandy the week after Ghosts comes out, though, so we'll be fine.
- Florida's totally going to be a lot of fun to play with in NCAA Football 14. Brent Pease's playbook!
- (I know you're just going to try to win the Heisman with Andre Debose. It's okay. I've done it, too.)
- Jeff Driskel's 63.7 percent completion percentage in 2012 was higher than Danny Wuerffel's completion percentage in three of his four years at Florida, including his 1996 Heisman Trophy campaign.
- As usual, you won't have to pretend you like basketball until January.
- Florida will make a trip to Missouri for the first time ever in 2013, and you will be able to eat Shakespeare's Pizza and watch Florida win a game on it if you go.
- Steve Spurrier's 1966 Heisman Trophy will be 47 years old in December 2013, and it will always and forever be the first one given by the player to his school.
- Never forget that Spurrier, as the No. 3 pick in the 1967 NFL Draft, was still okay with punting for the San Francisco 49ers for many years of his NFL career. He and Tim Tebow have more in common than you might think.
- Spurrier is 68 years old, which means we won't have to feel bad about beating South Carolina for much longer.
- Hey, Spurrier's going to be able to plausibly shoot his age on the golf course soon! That's neat.
- D.J. Humphries is finally gaining weight, after a freshman year spent largely attempting to block SEC defenders at 265 pounds or so.
- We will hear Ace Hood's "Bugatti" in the mix of pre-game songs in The Swamp. It will be awesome.
- If you don't think Kanye's latest album isn't going to produce something that sounds incredible in a stadium, you're wrong. (The real question: If that album is as explicitly political as what 'Ye has performed so far, will there be a song that a stadium ops crew is bold enough to play in non-instrumental form?)
- Xavier Nixon is not on the 2013 Florida roster. (Sorry, Xavier. I'll miss you.)
- Jessamen Dunker is still on the 2013 Florida roster, but he won't be for long, so you will be able to tell your friends and rival fans, "No, we let the grand theft scooter guy go."
- The flip side of a 75-year rivalry with Miami ending is that most of us will never have to interact with more than one or two Miami fans at a time again. (Unless Miami gets good again. Then there will be millions of Miami fans for, like, a year or two.)
- Offensive lineman Max Garcia will probably keep on going to every single other Florida sporting event possible, even during the season. He's the best kind of fan.
- 1977 was the last year that Kentucky beat Florida after having beaten Florida in the previous year.
- Will Muschamp is gonna stare a hole in something or someone at some point.
- Will Muschamp can laugh at himself.
- Muschamp and his Gators managed to make sure that every Florida fan born in or after 1980 has never seen a losing season by Florida in 2011 by beating an Ohio State team that was very much interested in striking a blow for incoming coach Urban Meyer.
- Through two years at Florida, Muschamp is 18-8. Through two years at Alabama, Nick Saban was 19-8.
- Will Muschamp is one hell of a coach for this Florida team and program.
- Solomon Patton's Instagram is about 80 percent pictures of his daughter. It's very sweet.
- Demarcus Robinson has the potential to be the closest thing to Randy Moss that Florida has ever had. Florida State once had Randy Moss, but couldn't
creatively manage its drug policy to maintain his eligibility keep him clean and in class long enough for him to play.
- Florida will finally have enough healthy recruited scholarship players to be within spitting distance of the NCAA's 85-scholarship limit for FBS football rosters without walk-ons.
- 1986 was the last year Florida lost to Kentucky. To put this in perspective, John McCain and Harry Reid were elected to Congress for the first time in 1986.
- No matter what happens in that Florida-Miami game, it won't be as embarrassing as the 1987 meeting, when Miami beat Florida 31-4. Yes, that was the real score.
- I have a picture of Brock Berlin that I will burn when necessary for karma purposes.
- Auburn isn't on Florida's schedule, which is good, because Auburn is 89-0 against Florida all-time*. (*FEELS TRUE EVEN IF IT ISN'T.)
- Really, students: Season tickets are $90. If you don't buy them, you are very dumb.
- Also, uh, students: I would perhaps be in the market to buy your season tickets from you for more than $90. Maybe. If you want.
- Florida will use a defensive package in which Ronald Powell, Dominique Easley, Jonathan Bullard, and Dante Fowler comprise the front four this fall. It will be glorious.
- It's been 20 years since Doering had a touchdown.
- 1994 was the first year in which Florida outscored its opponents by more than 300 points over the course of the season. It has happened four more times since.
- The Miami game being at noon only means you will sweat out any alcohol you drink beforehand and/or your hangover from Friday night on South Beach.
- 1996 happened.
- The Greatest Game Ever Played in The Swamp happened.
- In 1998, when Tennessee won the national title by beating Florida State, Florida's only two losses were to those two teams. Florida also lost to only the national champion in 2009 and 1995.
- Florida has never played in the Rose Bowl. The final BCS National Championship Game will be held by the Rose Bowl this fall.
- There are only 100 days left until Florida football. That's not long at all.
100 reasons to be excited for Florida Gators football in 2013