I have often been an advocate for more difficult and interesting non-conference schedules, but if ever the Gators needed to go shopping for "cupcakes" this was the year to do it. Florida enters the 21007-08 campaign with one upper classman, junior Walter Hodge. The combo guard will be joined on the floor by three sophomore and five freshmen.
The Gators need time to grow, mature, learn and play before taking on the SEC and others. This schedule will give them a chance to do that. Florida will get to build confidence while playing in front of friendly crowds night in and night out. It might leave them a little less than ideally prepared for the intensity of life on the road in the SEC, but early success is far more important.
Next year, with a veteran team returning and another top freshman class the Gators will likely go back to the kind of schedule they played last year. For now, however home is where the wins are.