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Year in Review: Florida Gators began a new era in 2015 under Jim McElwain

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For the Florida Gators, 2015 will be remembered as a turnaround.

But will 2016 be good as well?

The Gators, picked to finish among the lower rungs of the SEC, instead took the league by storm and won the East Division behind new coach Jim McElwain. At one point, they won against Tennessee, Ole Miss and Missouri.

Oh, all of the feel-good didn’t last. After quarterback Will Grier was suspended for a year for PEDs, the Gators’ offense struggled, and the team finished with losses to FSU and Alabama. For a start, however, it was a good enough.

Next year, however, figures to be tough as well. Grier is transferring – he wouldn’t have been eligible until the last quarter of the season, leaving the offense in the hands of Treon Harris. But the defense will be good again, and the offensive line should be better.

First, Florida has to get past Michigan – another program in a ressurgance – in the Citrus Bowl.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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