2009 Florida Gators Team Preview – Odds to Win BCS Championship

2009 Florida Gators College Football Team Preview
By Jason Green at Predictem.com

National Rank: 1
Head Coach: Urban Meyer
Offensive Coordinator: Steve Addazio
Defensive Coordinator: Charlie Strong
Last League Title: 2008
Conference: SEC
2008 Record: 13-1, 7-1 (1st)
Betting: ATS 11-2
Stadium: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium “The Swamp” (90,000)

Odds to Win BCS Championship: 2-1.


Florida runs a spread offense and they have the perfect QB to do it. Former Heisman winning QB Tim Tebow returns for his senior season and is the early season favorite to win the Heisman Trophy and the Gators are the early season favorite to win the BCS title. Tebow can do it all, as in his career he has 67 TD’s, only 11 INT’s, and 43 rushing TD’s. Tebow lost his 2 main weapons in WR’s Percy Harvin and Louis Murphy, but there are 3 senior WR’s along with highly touted freshman Andre Debose, who has big0time playmaking skills, but is unproven. WR Deonte Thompson may be the main target this season after having 18 catches last season only being the #4 or #5 WR for the Gators last season. If none of those guys step up TE Aaron Hernandez has the skills to be the main target.

The offensive line returns 3 starters and the team is very deep at every line position. The Gators’ rushing attack is led by Tebow, but Jeff Demps, Chris Rainey, Emmanuel Moody and true freshman Mike Gillislee are all solid backs and should take pressure of Tebow.

The Gators’ offense is stacked, but a go to guy has to emerge and turn into a playmaker like Harvin did last season. The whole offense is legit and even the backups would be stars on many other D-1 teams.

Returning Offensive Starters

Tim Tebow (QB Sr)
Riley Cooper (WR Sr)
Aaron Hernandez (TE Jr)
Mike Pouncey (G Jr)
Carl Johnson (G Jr)
Maukice Pouncey (C Jr)
Chas Henry (P Jr)


Florida runs a 4-3 defense and they are very aggressive at getting to the opposing QB. The Gators forced opponents into 35 turnovers last season and they tied with Boston College for the nation’s lead in INT’s (26). Last season the Gators were 4th in scoring defense and 9th in total defense.

LB Brandon Spikes could have been a high pick in the 2009 NBA draft but has decided to come back for his senior season. Spikes is the leader on D. Defnesive End Carlos Dunlap may have a big season after registering 9.5 sacks last year. LB Jon Bostic is true freshman and he looked awesome in spring practice and may see the field right away.

The secondary is one of the best in the nation, as CB’s, Joe Haden and Janoris Jenkins are two of the best around. SS Ahmad Black had 7 INT’s last season, tied for 1st in the nation last year and FS Major Wright is one of the biggest hitters in the country. The secondary has great coverage skills and playmaking skills which will make them tough to pass against this season.

Defensive Returning Starters

Jermaine Cunningham (DE Sr)
Lawrence Marsh (DT Jr)
Terron Sanders (DT Jr)
Brandon Spikes (LB Sr)
Ryan Stamper (LB Sr)
Joe Hadden (CB Jr)
Janoris Jenkins (CB Jr)
Major Wright (FS Jr)
Ahmad Black (SS Jr)
Jonathan Phillips (K Sr)

Special Teams

Punter Chas Henry returns and he has a heck of a leg on him, as last season he averaged 43.4 yards per punt. K Jonathan Phillips was 12/13 last season in field goal attempts, but he has never booted a FG longer than 40 yards in his career.

The punting coverage team is awesome and the kickoff coverage team is decent. What’s good is the Gators coverage teams have a knack for getting to the ball, as last season they blocked 9 kicks including blocking 5 punts. Brandon James is one of the best return men in the nation, as in his career he has averaged 13.4 yards on punt returns, including 4 TD’s, and in kickoff returns he has averaged 23.6 yards.

Bottom Line

The Gators are loaded on both sides of the ball, as their only concern is at WR and it is a minor one. The schedule is in their favor this season as well, as they do not face Alabama or Ole Miss and they host Georgia and in state rival Florida State. Their biggest test of the season is playing at LSU in the 5th game. With all the Gators have going for them it is hard to imagine them not playing for the BCS Title game. (See current.


9/12/09 TROY
9/26/09 at Kentucky
10/10/09 at LSU
10/17/09 ARKANSAS
10/24/09 at Mississippi State
10/31/09 GEORGIA
11/14/09 at South Carolina

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