No Road Glory In UF’s Schedule

MIAMI (CBS4) – Wednesday, the Florida Gators football schedule was released and it had the typical cupcakes to start the season. But looking deeper, there’s a proud tradition of the University of Florida of avoiding tough non-conference road games.

Looking at the last 20 years of schedules, the last time the University of Florida set foot outside the state of Florida for a major non-conference game was in 1991 when the Gators traveled to New York to play the Syracuse Orangemen.

This season’s non-conference slate includes home games against Florida Atlantic, UAB, Furman, and Florida State. But, all of those games will be held at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, also known as the Swamp.

It’s true the Gators play in the toughest conference in the country, but that hasn’t stopped other upper echelon SEC teams from shying away from tough out-of-conference games on the road.

The University of Alabama played FSU in Jacksonville in 2007; played Clemson in Atlanta in 2008; played Virginia Tech in Atlanta in 2009; and will travel to Happy Valley in 2011 to take on the Penn State Nittany Lions.

LSU is no stranger to hitting the road for big out-of-conference games. In 2009, the Tigers traveled to Seattle to open the season against the Washington Huskies. In 2010, LSU came to Atlanta and played the North Carolina Tar Heels.

And this season, LSU opens the season against last year’s BCS runner-up, the Oregon Ducks. The game is set to be played in Texas.

Even the Tennessee Volunteers, who haven’t been a major SEC player in several years, traveled to Los Angeles in 2008 to play the University of California Los Angeles.

And you can’t talk about tough out-of-conference games without mentioning the University of Miami. “The U” has made a habit of scheduling some of the toughest non-conference games in the country.

Last year, the Canes traveled to the Horseshoe in Columbus, Ohio to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes. And in 2007, the Canes traveled to Oklahoma and took a beating at the home of the Sooners.

Florida has cited various issues with traveling for non-conference games, including playing a tough SEC schedule and a desire to get in enough home games. But, every other school manages to do it almost every year, which begs the question; what are the Gators afraid of?

  • Joe gator

    Clearly writtien by a Semi-hole….

  • George Mira

    This article was written by one of their sports interns, Jason Parker, who… amazingly enough… is a student at FSU. I’m a huge ‘Canes fan and even I find this article ridiculous.

    • Joe Manzo

      Why do fans lie about their allegiance on anonymous posts in order to make their comments seem more credible? The only people who would find this ridiclous are UF fans who are in denial about their program’s lack of balls.

      If this writer was biased toward FSU, why would he not mention FSU’s consistently tough non-conference schedule, which is just as difficult as any other program’s in the country?

      I have two degrees from UF, but I can’t understand why almost all UF fans feel compelled to act like advocates for the team rather than acknowledging flaws in your own program? Grow up and stop bullshitting every time something negative comes out about your team.

  • George Houck

    TRUTH BE TOLD! Gators taste like chicken!!!

  • Dale Griffin

    The University of Florida is greedy and scared to play tough non conference games. The university has made it know they will play anybody as long as they will play in the swamp and don’t want a return game the next year as a road game for florida.

  • Ryan

    As a FSU fan, I hate supporting UF in any scheduling issue. HOWEVER… the argument that UF doesn’t play quality nonconf teams outside of FL is misleading. Every year, FSU and UF play home-and-aways. That right there is UF’s big nonconf game, and always has been. Should they schedule another big nonconf matchup? Possibly. FSU plays potentially #1 Oklahoma as well this season. You can’t compare UF to other SEC teams that only play 1 quality nonconf though and say they are scheduling weaker than them.

    • lisi

      Thank you! I was going to write just this. While they COULD go out and play another tough nonconference team, by making this argument, the ‘Noles are basically insulting themselves.

      • mark

        true, but at the same time UGA plays GT every year, yet still has scheduled Oklahoma St, and Boise St in recent years. South Carolina also plays clemson every year, but has also scheduled NC St and virginia, so its not completely undoable. Honeslty i just think they dont schedule these games because they dont have to. I personally would love to see UM-UF more often but dont expect it since the Gators administration doesn’t see the point

  • KJ

    I am also a huge Canes fan and find this to be more than a little biased. They mention Miami Playing big out-of-conference games in 2007 and 2010. What about 2008, 2009?

    They mention Alabama only playing one “OOC” game every year, but the gators play FSU every year, do they not? How is this not an OOC game, because it happens to also be an in-state rivalry?

    Don’t get me wrong my GF is a HUGE (almost too much) of a Gators fan and I HATE to see her side of anything related to NCAA football, but I have to say that reading this doesn’t really put Miami in a very competitive light.

    • Danilo Abreu Landron

      Texas A&M in 08. Wisconsin, South Florida (who have a descent team), and Oklahoma (which we won 21-20) in 09. I’m a hurricane fan and the only team I have respect for is FSU cause they play us every year. NO EXCUSES!!! Gators only play us when they think they have a team.

      • lisi

        So, what? You want them to run around the state of Florida just playing Florida teams? Last year, if Florida had played The U, they would have played USF, FSU and Miami. The year before that Gators would have played FIU,FSU and Miami. Come on, they’re not going to stop playing their ACTUAL rival because Danilo says he has no respect for them otherwise.
        Also, it’s a bit whiny to argue, “The Gators only play us when they’re good!!” As contrived as it sounds, The U should be up for the challenge: To be the best, U have to beat the best.

  • SemperFi

    KJ=Gator Fan….cmon dude, you have to be a little more convincing when you try to pretend you are a Canes fan.

    • lisi

      And how did you come to this conclusion, because he didn’t agree with you?

      • Ziggy

        The U’s last athletic director and coaching staff openly stated they have tried to schedule games with UF with no success… the U is up for the challenge and have been begging to play UF. The big 3 college football school in FL have always been UM, FSU, and UF… all have won national championships and I get excited when we play each other because of the tradition of all the past meaningful games… I could careless if one of the big three plays FIU, FAU, UCF, or USF. So I agree you don’t have to build your entire non-conference schedule in the state of FL… just schedule 2 of your 4 non-conference games against the 2 other true rivals. UM & UF actually had a Seminole war canoe trophy awarded to the winner of the annual game and would play for the Florida Cup (going to the team that beat the other 2 top FL teams) all before UF stopped playing UM. What honors does UF get for playing those other Florida schools you mentioned?

  • Caneiac

    Miami also went and played in the swamp, and went to play at Tennessee. Miami does get a return game in exchange for the road trip though, but that’s fair to ask for, but doesn’t guarantee a win as the Vols beat us at home. The Gators play in the toughest Conference and that’s enough of a schedule for me, lord knows they won their trophy’s legitimately.

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