You know, I don’t think it should come as a surprise to any of you that it’s tougher to blog about college football during the dead period from May through July.
So I’d like to take a moment to thank the University of Florida for helping me get through what’s usually a slow time. This post’s gratitude comes via an Andy Staples piece about colleges finally getting around to schedule upgrades. Watch how he sticks the landing:
After years of being asked to pay for full-priced tickets to half-assed games, fans began voting with their (whole) butts. They stopped showing up for the games that serve only to give the home team a win and the visiting team a check. The tickets were still sold in most cases, but concessions went un-bought and the empty seats gave athletic directors and coaches pause. They knew once the butt has opted out, the wallet that rests on the butt isn’t far behind.
Georgia dove headfirst into the breach. Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart professed a desire for three Power 5 nonconference games a year. Georgia—which already plays Georgia Tech every year—set up games with Oklahoma (2023 and 2031), Clemson (’29, ’30, ’31, ’33), Florida State (’27 and ’28) and Texas (’28 and ’29). As Georgia announced the last of these matchups last week, Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin hinted on Wednesday that the Gators—who hadn’t played an out-of-state nonconference game on another school’s campus since visiting Syracuse in 1991—also were about to announce some home-and-home series against Power 5 opponents.
The next day, Florida announced a series with Colorado in 2028 and ’29. That underwhelmed the Florida fans who wanted something resembling Georgia’s list. But on Friday, Florida announced a series with Texas in 2030 and ’31. This was met with the appropriate amount of glee, but fans who will be asked to pay actual money for a 2020 home schedule of Eastern Washington–Kentucky–South Alabama–LSU–Missouri–South Carolina–New Mexico State naturally wondered if there might be some interesting nonconference games outside of the Florida State series before everyone has flying cars. Stricklin says he’s working on it.
(Which would be one fewer than Georgia’s stated goal. Not that anyone is keeping score other than everyone.)
When Greg McGarity is outdoing a rival AD at his job, it gets harder for me to keep the smug tone down. I appreciates you, Gators.