Ordinarily, I don’t put much stock in first-year coaches trying to restore messy situations at tradition-laden programs.

But Dan Mullen is no ordinary coach. And Florida is no ordinary program.

Returning to Gainesville—where he offensive-coordinated for Urban Meyer—after going 69-46 in nine years at Mississippi State, Mullen inherits 19 returning starters. Nineteen. Count ’em, 19.

Last year,  a cruel combination of injuries and suspensions  led to the firing of Jim McElwain, who was undone by back-to-back losses to LSU and Texas A&M by a combined three points, followed by a blowout loss to Georgia. In a bizarre turmoil-filled situation, McElwain didn’t even finish the season.

That 4-7 record was an aberration. Phil Steele tabbed the Gators as his No. 1 Improved Team for 2018. I heartily agree. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.