SEC Conference

CBS Sports picks Florida Gators for football playoffs, first out of SEC


Unveiled on May 11, CBS Sports’ Chip Patterson selected one program from each Power Five conference most deserving of preseason hype and capable of contending for a spot in the College Football Playoff.

The first team to appear on Patterson’s list, the Florida Gators were his choice out of the Southeastern Conference.

Dan Mullen has 21 wins and back-to-back New Year’s Six bowl victories since taking over as the coach in Gainesville, and the feeling the program is inching back to the national championship contention status last seen when he was the Gators’ offensive coordinator is alive and well,” Patterson wrote.

“But just like LSU had to get past Alabama to fulfill its preseason hype, Florida has to turn the tables on Georgia for the 2020 season to be a success.

“The Bulldogs have won three straight in the series, en route to three SEC East division titles, and the last two have been de facto SEC Championship and CFP elimination games with both teams carrying a top-10 ranking heading into Jacksonville.”

Patterson’s other selections were the North Carolina Tar Heels from the Atlantic Coast Conference, Oklahoma State Cowboys from the Big 12, Penn State Nittany Lions from the Big Ten and Southern California Trojans from the Pac-12.

Benefiting from a non-conference schedule consisting of Eastern Washington, South Alabama, New Mexico State and Florida State, 2020 is setting up to be, perhaps, the Gators’ best team in the CFP era.

In addition to the favorable non-conference slate, Florida draws LSU and Ole Miss in cross-divisional play. The Tigers are tasked with replacing several starters off last season’s national championship team, led by quarterback Joe Burrow, outside linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson, tailback Clyde Edwards-Helaire and wideout Justin Jefferson.

The Rebels, meanwhile, are entering the first year of their Lane Kiffin experiment after parting ways with Matt Luke following a three-year head coaching stint.

Florida’s 2020 campaign will kick off against the Eastern Washington Eagles at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville on Saturday, September 5.

     <a href="https://gatorswire.usatoday.com/gallery/florida-gators-2020-football-schedule-with-game-by-game-score-predictions/">       <img width="1000" height="683" src="https://usatgatorswire.files.wordpress.com/2020/02/usatsi_13855476.jpg?w=100&h=68#038;h=683" alt="" /><img width="1000" height="683" src="https://usatgatorswire.files.wordpress.com/2020/02/usatsi_13855476.jpg?w=1000 1000w, https://usatgatorswire.files.wordpress.com/2020/02/usatsi_13855476.jpg?w=2000 2000w, https://usatgatorswire.files.wordpress.com/2020/02/usatsi_13855476.jpg?w=150 150w, https://usatgatorswire.files.wordpress.com/2020/02/usatsi_13855476.jpg?w=300 300w, https://usatgatorswire.files.wordpress.com/2020/02/usatsi_13855476.jpg?w=768 768w, https://usatgatorswire.files.wordpress.com/2020/02/usatsi_13855476.jpg?w=1024 1024w" alt="" />View                 12 photos   </a>

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