There’s a good, thought provoking post over at the Gator blog Orange and Blue Hue entitled Florida’s Schedule Myths.
In it, this caught my eye:
…The truth is that most big time programs don’t want to play at UF WITHOUT A RETURN GAME!!! Why should a team like Michigan State come to play in Gainesville with all the expense and take home a paltry $500K when they can make 4 times that with a home and home series with someone else??? Florida is unwilling to entertain the idea of playing on the road (and apparently outside the state of Florida too) and also unwilling to shift their schedule around to accommodate other program’s schedules. Many top matchups are early in the year when Meyer prefers to play two lesser teams before starting the SEC season play with Tennessee…
Over the years, how much crap have we Georgia fans read and heard about how our school won’t go out and schedule on more of a national basis? Does anyone recall Florida being bashed similarly?
And before you throw out those three letters – F S U – you should read this:
I do remember the matchups during the Spurrier years when these teams were consistently ranked in the Top 5 or Top 10. However its been 6 years since FSU was at that level and if you look at the recent history of the program they are showing themselves to be a more consistent 3 to 5 loss team than 1 or 2 loss team. If we had a yearly game with South Florida instead of FSU would Gator fans be satisfied in not scheduling any other good matchups? Technically, in the past few years South Florida has been the better of the two programs. In fact, FSU was probably the second best non-conference team we played behind Southern Mississippi.
I did appreciate this:
Myth – SEC teams play too difficult of a conference schedule to risk playing two non-conference BCS schools in the same year, especially in the ultra competitive SEC East.
Truth – Tennessee has NC State and UCLA on their 2008 schedule (not to mention playing both before the UF game). Georgia who played Georgia Tech and Colorado this year also plays both Georgia Tech and Arizona State in 2008.
Obviously, the 12 game schedule has done a lot to alleviate this criticism as to Georgia; kudos to Damon Evans for going out and aggressively scheduling outside of the conference over the next few years. From the tone of the post, it looks like Florida has some catching up to do.