VIDEO: Florida’s Jim McElwain on What It Takes to Catch Up with Alabama
The Alabama football program is a popular topic of conversation at SEC Media Days this week, which is to be expected after winning three straight conference championships.
The latest coach to explain what he thinks it will take to knock of the Tide is Florida's Jim McElwain. The third-year head coach might has a lot of experience with Alabama. As a former offensive coordinator under Nick Saban, he understands the process and what makes the program successful. As the Gators head coach, McElwain has faced Alabama in the SEC Championship Game in each of his first two seasons in Gainesville. Unfortunately for Florida, those two games ended with a combined score of 83-31.
"They've just done an outstanding job," McElwain said. "I think closing the gap, as I go back to I guess the understanding here, each year is its own and certain things happen that you don't have control over, and yet what you hope happens is you've taken care of a lot of the details along the way, that when something comes up, you can still be successful. That's the great thing they've done in that program. And I don't know the gap itself. You know, I do understand this. They're right now at the top, and, you know, it's up to the rest of us to go get them."
Even though Florida has won the division two straight years, the eastern division should be wide open in 2017. There could be 4-5 teams with a chance to earn a spot in Atlanta, but McElwain isn't concerned with where his team gets picked.
"That's not something that we really focus on, because the only way you have an opportunity to test yourself and see who you are is to go out there and play, and doesn't matter at this juncture where we're picked."
Florida opens the year with Michigan at AT&T Stadium before opening SEC play two weeks later against Tennessee.