NCAA Football Rumor Alert: Florida and Utah Could Play in 2009
First off, this is just a rumor, but comes from a credible source. Lya Wodraska from
The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting on her blog and will be on a Jacksonville, Florida radio station to talk about these rumors. The word comes from Florida that...
"The Gators aren't too happy with their non-conference schedule and might want to replace a game with a game that would get "national attention."
Currently the non-conference schedule for Florida has them playing Troy, Florida State, Charleston Southern, and Florida International. Those are not exactly big names, but the scenario could be interesting because this would have to be a four-team deal.
The Troy game, which is scheduled for Sept. 12, looks to be the best date for Utah if this were to happen. On the 12th Utah is scheduled to play at San Jose State and for this complicated deal to work it would require all four teams agreeing to switch opponents. That would lead to Troy playing at San Jose State and Utah at Florida.
Utah just recently moved up its date with Utah State to Thursday, Sept. 3 and that would provide Utah with some travel flexibility.
One factor that has to be considered is money because this game is going to be a one-game deal with no return game and Florida rarely leaves the state for non-conference games.
This game could come at a pretty penny for Florida because the Utes received an $800,000 guarantee from Michigan and will get a $950,000 guarantee from Notre Dame for playing there in 2010. Expect this game on short notice to be close to that if not more. The money could increase if this game gets picked up by CBS, ESPN, or ABC.
If I were Utah I would not do this game.
There are a few reasons, and the biggest is because the national media and laymen college football fan will think this game will prove who was better in 2008 since Utah was the only undefeated team and Florida won the BCS title game.
The difference is that Florida returns their entire two deep on defense and on offense that only loses Percy Harvin. As for Utah they lose their two best defenders (even though the 2009 defense could be better), QB Brian Johnson, RB Darrell Mack, and their top three wide outs.
Utah most likely would not win this game if it were to be scheduled, and the Utes would be billed as an inferior opponent. 2008 would be passed off as a fluke and 2009 will end up being a down year. The 2009 Utes should be able to win at worst nine games and compete for the title.
The local media in Utah knows that it is not fair for outsiders to peg this as a matchup to determine who is the best from 2008.
Go in the way-back machine to 1984 when BYU won the national title and Washington State was No. 2. The two schools met in 1985 and BYU crushed the Cougars.
That game is similar to what a potential 2009 matchup between Utah and Florida would be, but with a Florida win.
There is also talk of this game replacing Utah State on the schedule, but that would give a young offensive team three straight road games. That scenario should not even be considered as the Utes already have a solid non-conference schedule with road games at San Jose State and Oregon, then home games with Utah State and Louisville.
The only way Utah should take this game is if they can get a return trip from the Gators, or even a 2-for-1 set up. However, since Florida rarely leaves the state for non-conference matchups, that is very unlikely.
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