Florida will meet Colorado State on September 15, 2018, in a non-conference "guarantee game" that helps fulfill the terms of an agreement that got Jim McElwain a release from his Colorado State contract to head to Gainesville, The Coloradoan reports.
Florida will pay Colorado State $2 million for the game, making it likely to go down as one of the most expensive "guarantee games" — games in which one opponent pays the other a guaranteed sum to come play a home game at the (usually) more prominent and better-funded program — in the history of college football.
The $2 million guarantee is part of the $7 million buyout agreement that McElwain, Florida, and Colorado State reached last December. In addition to the payment for the game, Florida is paying Colorado State $3 million in installments over the next six years — money the Rams are using to pay cost of attendance stipends for their athletes — and McElwain agreed to pay $2 million to CSU.
The game against Colorado State is the first one to be scheduled for Florida's 2018 season, and is likely to be the second game of that season for the Gators. Florida will host Massachusetts and North Texas to open its 2016 schedule, and will face Michigan at Cowboys Stadium to begin the 2017 season.