The Gators released their 2020 football schedule on Wednesday, and from the looks of it, UF fans can breathe a sigh of relief.
Florida has a total of three “gimme games” on its schedule in the form of Eastern Washington (FCS), South Alabama (Sun Belt) and New Mexico State (independent). Georgia and LSU remain its toughest opposition, but the out of division opponent – Ole Miss – isn’t exactly prime competition for a team that appears to be a 10-win squad.
The problem here is a problem with almost every Power 5 college football team: The scheduling is detrimental to the product as a whole.
Florida went 10-3 last year off of some strong victories against LSU, Mississippi State and Michigan, but also saw wins over paltry Tennessee and Florida State teams. Granted, it was tough to foresee how pitiful FSU was going to be, but with regular wins over South Carolina and Vanderbilt, it’s often clear that UF plays in the weaker division of the SEC.
Three days ago, Alabama head coach Nick Saban said he’d like all Power 5 schools to play 10 Power 5 games over the course of the season, and I agree wholeheartedly. Should that happen, the Gators schedule would no longer include three games against opponents they are almost certainly guaranteed to barrel over, and it would perhaps include other teams out of their division in the SEC, such as Alabama and Texas A&M.
The problem with scheduling in college football is that you really never know how good a team is. Florida may be a 10-win team, but it’s hard to tell just how good a 10-win team is, and with the 2020 schedule, it could be even murkier.
If Florida played by a six-three-three schedule, where it plays all six divisional opponents, three out-of-division SEC teams (one of which is LSU every year) and three strong out-of-conference games (including FSU), it would be easier to determine exactly how good of a team the Gators are as well as the strength of their competition.
If you get rid of those “gimme games” and let the FCS teams play each other, I think college football becomes a far better product. Fans in Gainesville, too, would get to see far more intriguing games that would hold weight instead of buying a season-ticket package that includes three games likely decided by thirty points or more.
Make teams play more games out of division. Stop handing Power 5 teams wins against paltry opponents.
Let’s play some football and see just how good these teams really are.
Follow River Wells on Twitter @riverhwells and contact him at [email protected].