Kan Li / Scout

Florida Gators announce 2016 schedule

Florida has another difficult slate next season.

The Southeastern Conference released its schedule for the 2016 season on Thursday night. The Gators will open the season with three straight home games, beginning the year against Massachusetts on September 3 with another early non-conference game against North Texas on September 17. Florida has never played against Massachusetts and only played against North Texas in 1947. The third non-conference game on the Gators’ schedule is Presbyterian, the first meeting between the programs since 1945.

Florida opens SEC play on September 10 at home against Kentucky. The Gators hit the road for the first time with back-to-back games at Tennessee on September 24 and at Vanderbilt on October 1.

The only game on the Florida schedule played outside the state of Tennessee or the state of Florida is at Arkansas on November 5. Three teams have byes before playing the Gators in 2016 Arkansas, Georgia and Missouri. Florida’s bye week comes the week before playing the Bulldogs in Jacksonville.

If the NCAA upholds Florida quarterback Will Grier’s one-year suspension, he would be eligible to return against Missouri on October 15. Florida coach Jim McElwain said on Wednesday that the Gators are still in the process of putting together their appeal to the NCAA.

The 2016 home schedule isn’t attractive as it is this year. The only marquee opponent on the docket is LSU (October 8). The only other remaining power-five conference home games are Kentucky, Missouri and South Carolina.

Here’s the entire Florida 2016 schedule:

September 3: vs. Massachusetts

September 10: vs. Kentucky

September 17: vs. North Texas

September 24: at Tennessee

October 1: at Vanderbilt

October 8: vs. LSU

October 15: vs. Missouri

October 29: vs. Georgia (Jacksonville)

November 5: at Arkansas

November 12: vs. South Carolina

November 19: vs. Presbyterian

November 26: at Florida State

December 3: SEC Championship Game (Atlanta)

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