Florida v. Vanderbilt: What’s at Stake

The 2013 season has not gone as planned for the Florida Gators.

They will head into Saturday’s showdown with Vanderbilt trying to avoid falling below .500 for the first time since Oct. 1, 1992. On that day, the Gators dropped to 1-2 in a 30-6 loss to Mississippi State. Shane Matthews was the quarterback for Florida that season.

Jeff Driskel was the X-Factor when the Gators took down Vandy in 2012. Who will step up on Saturday?

You have to go even further back to find the last time the Gators lost to the Commodores. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Florida has won their last 22 against Vanderbilt. The last Vandy victory came in 1988.

The Commodores’ record in Gainesville is 1-19-1 all-time. Their only victory came in the schools’ first meeting in 1945.

And although the Gators have already been knocked out of the SEC race, Saturday’s game has huge postseason implications.

The remaining schedule for Florida:

  • Vs. Vanderbilt (11/09)
  • @ South Carolina (11/16)
  • Vs. Georgia Southern (11/23)
  • Vs. Florida State (11/30)

 

The Gators are 4-4. With the way these teams have looked this season, it would be hard to see Florida beating South Carolina or Florida State. And a loss to Georgia Southern seems unlikely as well.

Obviously, anything can happen on any given day, but if things go how you’d expect, those final three games (not including today) would put the Gators record at 5-6. That means Saturday’s battle with Vanderbilt decides whether the Gators can make it to 6-6 and become bowl-eligible.

The last time Florida missed out on a bowl game? 1990.

There is a light at the end of this dark tunnel for the Gators. Jeff Driskel had his cast removed from his broken right leg on Tuesday. The school said he has begun his six-month rehabilitation process.

“It was very disappointing, but like I’ve told a lot of people, I’m not the first one to ever get hurt,” he said. “It’s part of the game. Looking back is not going to do anything for anybody. I’m going to do what I can to be ready for spring…control what I can control and get better for next year.”

Should the Gators look to next year as well?

Prediction

The Gators are 10-point favorites Saturday.

Vandy is 4-4, with their signature win coming two weeks ago against Georgia. Unlike the Gators, who are 3-3 in conference games, the Commodores are just 1-4. They have given up 35 or more points in losses to Ole Miss, South Carolina, Missouri and Texas A&M.

This Gator team is still playing hard for Will Muschamp. They also feel like the kind of team that will pull out a 6-6 record and drag their fans to a miserable bowl game in which they will subsequently lose 26-6. So, 10 points feels like a lot for this team.

Gators will win, but it will be close.

Florida 30 Vanderbilt 24

(Record Against the Spread 4-4)

 

What does everybody else  think?

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