The latter group chimed in with sentiments that sounded a lot like “Okay, it’s a home-and-home series, but ... it’s just Colorado.”
For those people, and the rest of Gator Nation, Florida has a remedy — the Friday announcement of a home-and-home series with mighty Texas that will take place in 2030 and 2031.
Per the announcement, Florida will first host Texas in Gainesville on September 7, 2030, then travel to Austin to take on the Longhorns on September 6, 2031.
And I can’t believe I’m excited for a college football game that will happen when I’m 41 — but I am.
Florida and Texas have long considered each other peers, but have not met on the gridiron since prior to U.S. involvement in World War II, with the Longhorns posting a 2-0-1 record in three matchups that occurred from 1924 to 1940 and allowing just seven points to the Gators over those games.
One would hope that Florida, whether it is coached by Dan Mullen in 2030 and 2031 or not, could do slightly better in the fourth and fifth games of the all-time series.
But beyond matching two peer programs on the field, a Florida-Texas home-and-home brings two of the proudest fan bases in college sports together in two of the better college towns in the country. Gainesville aspires to be something rivaling Austin, a sprawling city that has retained some small-town charms and trademark weirdness, while Austin, uh, is Austin, a mecca for many valid reasons.
There has been no better potential non-conference home-and-home series partner for Florida than Texas for years, if not decades, and Florida has to be at or near the top of Texas’s list, though Texas A&M’s departure for the SEC cast the Aggies in a separate category for the Longhorns.
And so athletic directors Scott Stricklin and Chris Del Conte should be applauded for making a sensible decision and finally making this series happen — even if it’s far enough in the future that neither man may be in his current chair by then, and the players who will be participating in this game are in grade school at the moment.