Florida Football: Breaking Down the Gators' 2013 Schedule
The addition of two schools for the 2012 season threw the normal conference rotation out of whack. 2013 was originally slated to be the first year in the new rotation, but that has been pushed back a year.
"As we began working on the 2013 football schedule, it became apparent that the conference would need another year of the ‘bridge' schedule to make everything work," Slive said in the release (via ESPN here). "I appreciate the SEC transition team and our athletics directors, who came together to put this schedule in place. We look forward to starting with our new scheduling rotation in 2014." —Mike Slive, SEC Commissioner
Not much changes with the schedule from year to year. Florida will play eight conference games, and of course, will finish the season with FSU. However, the 2013 season will have a renewed-rivalry game and a stretch of more than a month when the Gators won't play at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
Let's take a look at what the schedule has to offer for the Florida Gators in 2013.
Date: Aug. 31
Florida will open the season at home against the Toledo Rockets.
Toledo has started this season off fast with a 6-1 record. They have a common opponent in Bowling Green.
Toldeo shouldn't be a complete pushover but should come into the game as the unquestionable underdog. This is a game Florida should be able to win.
Date: Sept. 7
Florida will play just six home games in 2013 due to the back end of a home and home series against Miami.
The Gators and Hurricanes played every season from 1938-87, but they have only played six times since. Florida won the last meeting 26-3 during their 2008 National Championship season. However, Miami holds the series lead at 28-26.
Miami has struggled recently and is still awaiting additional sanctions from the NCAA for rule violations.
No matter how both teams are doing at the time, this will still be a rivalry game, and anything can happen.
Date: Sept. 21
Tennessee fans were excited this year. Their Vols were coming into the game against Florida 2-0 and, Tyler Bray was leading the SEC's top-ranked passing attack.
Things didn't work out favorably, and they have only gotten worse since then.
Florida will be coming off a bye, and Tennessee could be working in a new coaching staff when they make their trip down to Gainesville. Neither of those bode well for the Rocky Top faithful.
Date: Sept. 28
When Florida goes to Lexington to play the Kentucky Wildcats, there won't be a single player on either roster who was alive the last time Kentucky beat Florida.
You shouldn't expect that to change.
Joke Phillips appears to be on the way out of Kentucky, and Florida is just too talented to not come away with a win in this game.
Date: Oct. 5
This will be the first time Florida and Arkansas meet since 2009. Florida won that meeting 23-20.
Arkansas will certainly not be retaining John L. Smith after the season they have had, so Florida could be facing their third consecutive team that is under new management.
Date: Oct. 12
Florida and LSU will remain cross-division rivals for at least another season. There has been some talk of removing the game to allow for a better rotation of games, but if that move is going to be made, it will have to wait until 2014.
Florida was able to come away with a victory this season over LSU, and the Tigers will have revenge on their minds when the Gators come to town.
Les Miles will have the Tigers recharged and ready to make another run at a championship.
As usual, this game will be dominated by defense and each team's running game—good old fashioned, big-boy, SEC football.
Date: Oct. 19
Missouri hasn't gotten a warm reception from their new conference mates this season. Missouri is 0-4 in SEC play and hasn't looked good against SEC opponents.
It will be the first time Florida has played at Missouri in the history of the football program. Florida and Missouri have only played one time to date with Missouri beating Florida in the 1966 Sugar Bowl.
Mizzou will travel to Florida this season, and that game should give us a better idea of how these two teams match up as well as what to expect in 2013.
Georgia (in Jacksonville)
Date: Nov. 2
Depending on the outcome of the Florida vs. South Carolina game this weekend, Florida and Georgia could play a virtual SEC East Championship game next week.
2013 won't be much different. Georgia will return most of their defense, and it could get Aaron Murray back for his senior season. If Murray comes back, Georgia will be SEC front-runners again, and this will be another classic game.
This game should have a little extra meaning for Will Muschamp—who has played for Georgia—even if he insists it is just another game.
Date: Nov. 9
Florida has won 22 consecutive meetings against the Commodores, and 2013 should continue that streak.
James Franklin has turned the Vanderbilt program around, but until they start beating SEC opponents on a regular basis, you can't pick them to upset the Gators.
At South Carolina
Date: Nov. 16
Florida and South Carolina are gearing up for what is essentially a must-win game for both teams.
Marcus Lattimore will likely be gone in 2013, but the Gamecocks will have Connor Shaw and Jadeveon Clowney back.
This game holds a special meaning for Gators fans as it pits Steve Spurrier against his alma mater and a program that he developed to have championship potential. Florida fans will always love the Ole Ball Coach, but not this week.
Date: Nov. 23
Move along, nothing to see here.
Florida will win and win big.
Date: Nov. 30
We will know a lot more about FSU by the time this game rolls around.
The Seminoles will likely have Jameis Winston as their signal-caller in 2013, and we haven't seen him play this season. The former 5-star recruit is a true dual threat and should develop into a very good player.
No matter what has happened to these two teams during the year, this is a game that both have circled on their calendars, and there is no love lost between the teams or their fans.