Despite the fact that the Gators made a road trip to Auburn in 2011, there was no return trip as the conference added new members Missouri and Texas A&M. The Gators instead got a road game at A&M and follow that up this year, not with a return trip for the Aggies to Gainesville, but a less attractive Arkansas team. Instead of a home and away with the Razorbacks, the Gators will draw the Crimson Tide and on the road in 2014.
Florida head coach Will Muschamp wasn't caught off guard this week by the official announcement, but he sure has noticed that the television folks and the people in charge of the scheduling like to have Florida matched up against the best in the other division of the SEC.
"I am worried about this season and Toledo… got those schedules six months ago," Muschamp said and started to blow off a question about the schedule, before going into a little checklist of things that certainly were playing on his mind about it all.
"At the University of Florida we embrace whoever we play and whatever happens. A season ago we were asked to go to College Station, we embraced it and welcomed the (Aggies) to the SEC. We have been asked to kick off at noon August 31, or September 1, every year, we embrace it. We have been asked to play a cross-division opponent in LSU (every year), we don't gripe and complain about it, we embrace it. Whatever our league asks us to do we certainly will do that and look forward to it."
Are the schedules fair? Well they certainly don't seem to happen this way by accident and Muschamp in a roundabout way points that out.
"At the end of the day no one wants to say it," he started. "It comes down to matchups… people want to see the Gators play. They want to see Florida and Alabama play. I know that isn't the company line, but that is the bottom line."
The prestige and notoriety that follows the Florida Gators are something they can recruit to. They are the leader in several huge state of Florida television markets when it comes to college football teams that the fans want to see. Those television dollars generated by the fans are what push the schedules that the Gators play.
Is it fair? That can be argued. But, it certainly should be good for recruiting as the future prospects know they will be on television at Florida and they know Florida will be playing the best when it comes to their schedule.
All Will Muschamp can do is just grin and coach his team up.
"There's a rumor going around that they want us to play nine conference games next year and everyone else play eight," Muschamp quipped. "If they do, we'll embrace it."