Florida and Vanderbilt will kick off their annual meeting at noon on October 1 on the SEC Network, the SEC announced Monday. The game will kick off an SEC Network triple-header that also features South Carolina hosting Texas A&M and Missouri traveling to LSU for the first time.
The Gators and Commodores have often been relegated to unwanted time slots, especially recently. Their matchup has aired just once on ESPN or ESPN2 since 2009 — in 2015, Florida clinched its first SEC East title since 2009 by defeating the Commodores in Gainesville — and last wasn’t a noon-hour or evening game in 2004.
That game was a 2 p.m. kickoff, and — in case you were wondering just how long ago 12 years ago really is — was televised by same-day tape-delay on the Sunshine Network, as fired Florida coach Ron Zook’s 4-4 Gators trekked to Nashville to take on the 2-6 Commodores.
Florida’s last noon game in Nashville came in 2010. For a sense of how long ago that was: John Brantley and Jordan Reed each threw for more than 100 yards and a touchdown in that game, with Reed also being Florida’s leading rusher; Chris Rainey both caught four passes for 75 yards and blocked two punts that turned into touchdowns; and Chas Henry pulled double duty as Florida’s punter and kicker.