Commentary

How good are the Florida Gators?

Answering five questions about the Southeastern Conference

Updated: October 26, 2010, 12:11 PM ET
By LaRue Cook | ESPN Insider
Kenny BoyntonMarvin Gentry/US PresswireHow far can Kenny Boynton take the Florida Gators this season?

Are the Florida Gators really a Final Four team?

All five double-digit-scoring starters are back, and Billy Donovan put together a top-10 class to quell last season's depth concerns. But UF couldn't play defense (allowing 94.9 points per 100 possessions, 67th in the nation) last season and ranked eighth in the league in scoring -- as stagnant an offense as Florida has seen since the 1990s.

Donovan's squad is still the favorite to win the SEC, and a tough early-season schedule should make the conference games seem like a cakewalk. Ohio State will show up for the Gators' second game on Nov. 16, and the Gators follow the Buckeyes with nonconference showdowns against Florida State, Kansas State and Xavier. If Florida goes 3-1 during that stretch, a No. 1 seed should be in order. Not to mention the bonus of being battle-tested come March.