Well, Gator Fans, it's a new year, and a fresh group of opponents will come visit the Swamp. We also have a little bit of a new look for Know Your Foe (see the new sidebar for links to past installments). We have already covered nine of this season's scheduled opponents in detail, but after the jump, we will introduce the other three.
Last year, Florida finished the regular season at a disappointing 6-6 with a schedule that included a brutal gauntlet of Alabama, LSU, Auburn and Georgia, but avoided their first losing season in over two decades with a Gator Bowl win over Ohio State. This year the orange and blue have another tough schedule (the 18th toughest according to Phil Steele), but this year they trade Alabama and Auburn for Texas A&M and Missouri. (To be technically accurate, without expansion the Gators' schedule would have included a trip to Oxford to face 'Ole Miss and a return visit from Auburn.) Other than their conference opponents and the school out west, the Gators will face three non-conference opponents at home this season.
Bowling Green State University opened it's doors in 1914, having been selected in 1910 by Ohio's Commission on Normal School Sites as one of two sites (the other being Kent) for new normal schools. Within two decades it had expanded its curriculum to include liberal arts and sciences, and (despite an attempt to convert the school to a state mental institution) began offering masters degree programs in Education, English, History, Social Science and Mathematics. Today, BGSU offers over 200 undergraduate majors, and is ranked in the top 200 schools by US News & World Report.
The Falcons have been playing football since 1919, though, prior to 1927, they played under nicknames like the Normals, the Teachers or the Pedagogues (all allusions to Bowling Green's origins as a school to train future teachers). The Falcons have won 15 conference championships (5 Northwest Ohio Intercollegiate Athletic Association, and 10 Mid-American Conference), and a College Division (now Division II and Division III) National Championship. Doyt Perry Stadium, named after their most successful coach, has been the home of Bowling Green football since 1966, and currently seats 23,000 fans after having been reduced twice from its peak of 35,000.
|Other Florida schools|
|Florida's 2011 Schedule|
This will be the first meeting between the Gators and Falcons, but the name may be familiar to Gator fans as the first head coaching position of former Florida head coach Urban Meyer. These Falcons will have one face familiar to Florida fans, as they are coached by former Tennessee offensive coordinator Dave Clawson.
Founded in 1898 as the Southwest Louisiana Industrial Institute, the University of Louisiana-Lafayette is located on 1200 acres in (as the name would suggest) Lafayette, Louisiana. In 1962, it became the first school to offer a masters degree in Computer Science, and is currently a Tier II school according to US News & World Report.
The Ragin' Cajuns (that is one of the coolest nicknames in college football) have been playing football since 1902, and are coming off of their most successful season in Division I (or the Football Bowl Subdivision), with a 9-4 record and a New Orleans Bowl win over San Diego State (the program's first bowl win). The Cajuns play their home games at Lafayette Stadium which, like Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, is also know as the Swamp, a nickname that dates back to 1988.
This will be the Ragin' Cajuns' fifth visit to Gainesville, with the previous four meetings being Gator victories by an average of 52-9. The first meeting occurred in 1945, when the Gators shut out the Cajuns 45-0. The two teams met again in 1985 with the same result, a 45-0 Gator win. In 1993 and 1996, the Cajuns managed to put points on the board, but still fell short, losing 61-14 and 55-21 respectively.
Jacksonville State University was founded in Jacksonville, Alabama in 1883 as Jacksonville State Normal School. US News & World Report ranks it 85 for Regional Universities in the South Region. It's 9500 students attend class at a small-town campus in northeastern Alabama.
The first football team from Jacksonville State was fielded sometime in the late 1800's, and played under the nickname Eagle Owls. In the late 1940's the team's nickname was changed to the Gamecocks, and the colors were changed from blue and gold to red and white. The gamecocks boast 12 conference championships, and the 1992 Division II National Championship. The high point of the Gamecock program (other than the national championship) would have to be their 49-48 overtime win at 'Ole Miss to kick off the 2010 season.
This will be the first meeting between the Gators and the Gamecocks.