I think it's fair to say that the Florida Gators' football schedule seems to be dominating Alligator Army's discussion lately.
There was Jean Shorts Torture's piece on "The Case for a cupcake free 12 game schedule", my piece from inallkindsofweather.com about saving the Florida-Miami rivalry that Andy linked in a CAB, the news that the SEC would stick with an 8 game schedule, and even the announcement of kickoff times for two games. Each of those articles generated discussion as to who Florida should play each year, and I decided to try to get everybody's opinions in one place.
So what I'd like you guys to do is list the 12 teams you'd like to see Florida play in a random future season. I've polled my IAKOW Facebook group about this, and the results have been everywhere on the map, so nothing anybody could say would surprise me. That also means that any examples I list below, I've seen before.
I realize that this is probably much longer than a FanPost asking what your ideal schedule should be, but it could get a little confusing because there's a lot of housekeeping stuff to take into account here, so I'll post an example for you guys to follow at the bottom of this page if you don't understand something, so ours can all look similar and we can compare notes.
A few things:
-Obviously, Florida's got to play the six other SEC East teams. So you can just say "SEC East" to save time and I'll know what it means. I have no idea how many of you this would apply to, but if you want to move the Georgia game out of Jax and onto the two campuses, please specify.
-After that, though, anything goes for the SEC schedule. Please specify everything: 8/9 game, SEC schedule, permanent opponent(s)/no permanent opponent(s) from the SEC West, if you want a permanent opponent, who would it be, etc. For rotating SEC West opponents, put down SEC WEST.
-If you want to keep FSU, put them down. You want Florida to play Miami every year, put them down. You want to rotate playing FSU and Miami every other year, put down FSU/Miami. Also, if you want to play either opponent on a neutral field for some reason (yes, somebody in my Facebook group wants to play FSU in Jacksonville), please specify.
-If you want to see Florida play different power conference teams each year, just put POWER and I'll know what it means. I'll assume that means you're indifferent about playing home and homes vs. playing neutral sites UNLESS you specify otherwise. If you want to play a cupcake, put down CUPCAKE.
-Also take into account how much you care about having an exciting season vs. the best chance at making the four team college football playoff.
I'll first show you what my ideal schedule for 2015 (and all odd years) would look like. Just flip who's home and who's away and you've got your schedule for even years. Below that, I'll show you the shortcut version that you can do to save time. In a perfect world, I'd have a 9 game, 6-2-1 SEC schedule (meaning two permanent SEC West opponents and one rotating SEC West opponent), play Georgia in home and home style, play Miami every year, and play FSU every year (I'd sever my hand before ending that rivalry).
So here's what an odd year of that schedule would look like.
Or, if you want to save time, you could do it this way. Staying with my desired opponents, follow this skeleton:
(6-2-1 SEC schedule)
-SEC East (Georgia home and home)
My rationale behind this is simple. I, like Jeremy Foley, want to host seven games when I can to give Florida seven games to go to and give the team home field advantage for. But I do like the 9 game SEC schedule, because it cuts down on the silly games like Charleston Southern or the Citadel (you know, back when Florida was GOOD, because they will someday be good again). So UF would host 13 games every two years. Other reasonings: I don't particularly care for Jacksonville, I like playing LSU, I want to save the Miami rivalry, and I want to play Auburn just as much as JST and Andy do.
Remember, this is in a hypothetical world where each one of us could get to hand pick Florida's week by week schedule. Don't worry about likelihood of seeing this come to fruition. Just your dream schedule.
I can't wait to see what you guys say!