Tennessee is the overwhelming favorite to win the SEC East in 2016, and Florida coach Jim McElwain isn’t offended by those predictions.
The Gators are the defending division champs, but McElwain expects his team to have its hands full when UF travels to Knoxville, Tenn., on Sept. 24.
“I kind of have to worry about us,” McElwain said Wednesday when asked about the Vols. “I’m sure that they should be (favored) and they should beat the heck out of us. We’re just going to be lucky to show up. I don’t really get caught up in (predictions). Obviously, that’s not my gig. We’ve got a lot of work here to do.”
This isn’t the first time McElwain has downplayed Florida’s chances against an opponent that was favored to win. During the week of the Ole Miss game last year, McElwain also said the Rebels should “beat the heck” out of his team.
The Gators upset Ole Miss 38-10, one week removed from their thrilling comeback victory over Tennessee. The Vols, who’ve lost 11 straight games to UF, will certainly be looking for redemption at home this fall.
Florida and Tennessee players went back and forth on social media last month talking trash, which McElwain didn’t have an issue with.
“That’s up to them,” he said. “You’ve got to go out and play. I don’t get caught up in it. That’s how a lot of people communicate today. It’s just the society we live in.”