Florida's 2014 schedule: Gators travel to Alabama in September, play Tennessee in October

John David Mercer-US PRESSWIRE

Florida's 2014 schedule was released on Wednesday morning. It is a doozy.

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

Date Opponent Location
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
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