GAINESVILLE -- A year after surprisingly capturing the SEC East and winning 10 games, the Florida Gators are projected to fall back to earth a bit in 2016.
The Golden Nugget released its annual college football win totals this week, and the Las Vegas sportsbook pegged the Gators’ over/under (-125) at eight wins.
While Florida must replace a bevy of defensive talent (Vernon Hargreaves III, Keanu Neal, Jon Bullard and Alex McCalister are all off to the NFL) and still has lingering questions at quarterback and on the offensive line, eight wins is a very reasonable line considering the team's plush schedule next season.
Florida’s non-conference slate includes UMass, North Texas and Presbyterian (teams a combined 6-29 in 2015), with other likely wins coming against Vanderbilt, Missouri, South Carolina and Kentucky.
The Gators would only need to win one of their remaining tough games -- i.e. at Tennessee, at Arkansas, LSU, Georgia and at Florida State -- just to push.
The Golden Nugget also released early lines for the first week of games, and UF opened as a 37-point favorite against UMass. The Minutemen were just 3-9 last season, losing to Notre Dame by 35 and Colorado by 34 in their lone two games against Power 5 foes.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton