Florida's 2014 football schedule was released by the school on Wednesday in conjunction with the 2014 SEC football schedules released by the conference. And the Gators' schedule might be the most interesting in the entire SEC — In 2014, Florida will open SEC road play at Alabama. In September.
Two years after the Gators took on Texas A&M on the road in their SEC opener, Florida will travel to Alabama on September 20, 2014, for an early-season showdown at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. It is the first time Florida and Alabama will meet in September since 2006, the earliest in the year Florida and Alabama will play since 1991, when the Gators blanked the Tide, 35-0, in Gainesville on September 14, and just Florida's second SEC road game in September against a team other than Tennessee or Kentucky since 2007.
It's also not at all too early to call that game the highlight of the 2014 SEC schedule. Both teams should be poised for potential national championship runs — Alabama always is, and Florida will be stocked with the most talent of the Will Muschamp era to date — and an early-season victory in that game would likely anoint the winner as the SEC's front-runner, while a loss might make it difficult to get to Atlanta for the 2014 SEC Championship Game.
Fortunately for Florida, some of the concessions made to an Eastern Division team that has Alabama on the schedule work out in its favor. Florida opens the year with three home games, against Idaho, Eastern Michigan, and Kentucky, and has a bye week after the Alabama game and before traveling to Tennessee on October 4. Florida gets another bye later in October, one week before playing Georgia in the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party on November 1, as well.
The Gators' November is also relatively mild: Florida plays five games in five weeks, but has to leave the state of Florida just once, on November 8, to play at Vanderbilt, and will see Eastern Kentucky, an FCS team, the week before its final road trip to Florida State.
Here's the full 2014 Florida Gators football schedule as we know it:
2014 Florida Gators Schedule
|August 30, 2014||Idaho||Gainesville, FL|
|September 6, 2014||Eastern Michigan||Gainesville, FL|
|September 13, 2014||Kentucky||Gainesville, FL|
|September 20, 2014||Alabama||Tuscaloosa, AL|
|September 27, 2014||BYE||N/A|
|October 4, 2014||Tennessee||Knoxville, TN|
|October 11, 2014||Missouri||Gainesville, FL|
|October 18, 2014||LSU||Gainesville, FL|
|October 25, 2014||BYE||N/A|
|November 1, 2014||Georgia||Jacksonville, FL|
|November 8, 2014||Vanderbilt||Nashville, TN|
|November 15, 2014||South Carolina||Gainesville, FL|
|November 22, 2014||Eastern Kentucky||Gainesville, FL|
|November 29, 2014||Florida State||Tallahassee, FL|