Florida football is going to have a new road ahead of them soon, along with the rest of the SEC. It was announced today that in 2024 the Gators would be using the same eight-game conference schedule, but eliminating divisions.
The schedule for the 2024 season will be released on an SEC Network special in June.
At first, this is pretty exciting. We’ll get to see teams that we don’t usually play more often, and the current schedule system was pretty shaky.
The Gators had to go to College Station twice in three years, while UGA didn’t make that trip the whole time the Aggies have been in the SEC.
As my cousin George says, “If it’s broke, fix it.” He’s very direct.
But with this change of format come a few drawbacks that may not be looked upon favorably, most notably the loss of some annual games.
Based on the way SEC commissioner Greg Sankey made it sound, Florida-Georgia will be preserved, as well as a “secondary rivalry.” Their goal is to maintain certain traditions while also moving forward.
This begs the question: Will the Gators and the Tennessee Volunteers lose their annual game?
One of UF’s permanent games will be UGA. There’s no denying that. But the secondary game is a toss-up between two teams in my eyes, Tennessee and LSU.
The Gators play both teams annually now and are their biggest rivals in the conference aside from the Bulldogs.
The reason my gut goes with the LSU game being preserved is that it has a little more parity than Florida-Tennessee. Neither team is just a few years removed from an 11-year winning streak.
But the year will feel different without looking forward to facing off with the Vols every year. And it’s crazy to think that this season is the last time we’ll know when we play them next.
We won’t know the answer to this question until we try it out for a few years. But is losing a traditional matchup like UF-Tennessee worth it?
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