SEC Conference

UF football middle of the pack in The Oklahoman’s non-conference schedule rankings


Sorted by interest level, The Oklahoman’s Berry Tramel ranked the non-conference schedules of each of college football’s 64 Power Five programs on May 30.

With many fans viewing 2020 as the Florida Gators’ most manageable slate of non-Southeastern Conference games in recent memory, Tramel placed the program right in the middle at No. 32.

“Eastern Washington, South Alabama, New Mexico State, at Florida State,” he wrote.

“(The) Gators sometimes play a good non-conference foe other than Florida State, but not this year.”

This schedule continues a pattern of softer non-conference schedules in even-numbered years for the program. Florida opened the 2019 campaign against the in-state rival Miami Hurricanes at Camping World Stadium in Orlando and began the 2017 season with a showdown with the Michigan Wolverines at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

In both 2016 and 2018, the Gators’ did not play another Power Five program during their non-conference portion of the schedule, excluding the annual tilt with the Seminoles.

The Southern California Trojans, who will open head coach Clay Helton’s fifth season against the Alabama Crimson Tide in Arlington on September 5, earned the top spot on Tramel’s list.

“Alabama in Arlington; New Mexico, Notre Dame. You can always count on the Trojans to uphold college football pride,” he said.

Georgia Tech, Florida State, Wisconsin, and Stanford rounded out his top-five.

On the other end of the spectrum, Lovie Smith’s Illinois Fighting Illini checked in at No. 64.

“Illinois State, Connecticut, Bowling Green. You don’t need the pandemic to cause social distancing with a schedule like this,” Tramel said of the Champaign-based program.

Bowling Green could represent a potential trap game for the Illini. Under then-head coach Dino Babers, now with the Syracuse Orange, the Falcons knocked off three Big Ten programs in a two-year span, topping the Indiana Hoosiers at Doyt Perry Stadium in 2014 and the Maryland Terrapins and Purdue Boilermakers, both on the road, in 2015.

The Kentucky Wildcats, Indiana, Syracuse, and Northwestern Wildcats occupied spots No. 60-63, completing Tramel’s bottom-five.

Florida’s 2020 season will begin on September 5 at home against Eastern Washington. Members of the Football Championship Subdivision’s (FCS) Big Sky Conference, the Eagles posted a 7-5 (6-2) mark in 2019.

Wait there may be more to this story

COLLEGE FOOTBALL GAMEDAY

GameDay
GameDay
Welcome to GameDay.Blog. Powered by SportsBook-Live.com. We offer Tickets, fan Merchandise, News and RSS feeds for all your Favorite Professional sports leagues.
https://collegefootball.gameday.blog