Florida Basketball: Gators lose key annual home game with new SEC schedule

With Texas and Oklahoma entering the SEC, unfortunate changes had to be made
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

With Texas and Oklahoma entering the SEC next season, inevitable changes had to be made to the conference schedule. Florida Basketball will play every team in the SEC once, with three opponents with whom they get a home and home.

The Gators will be playing Georgia, Tennessee, and South Carolina twice during the 2024/25 season, but it is who isn't coming to Gainesville next season that just feels wrong.

Florida Basketball: Who Are We? The Wildcats!

Florida's slate for the SEC is notable because seemingly all of their toughest opponents will on the road. The Gators will have to travel to Alabama, Auburn, and Kentucky, among others, in 2025.

Kentucky will return to Gainesville for the annual rematch...

Oh, there is no return trip to Gainesville for the Wildcats.

This is the price of progress and expansion: to have one of Florida's marquee games taken away every year. It's cool that newcomers Texas and Oklahoma will be coming to Gainesville next season, but the home game against Kentucky has always been a benchmark game for the Gators.

Since 1964, the Wildcats have come to town every year, and every year, the campus comes alive when they do. Yes, Kentucky has dominated the series, including winning 14 of 15 in the late 1970s into the early 1980s and a similar stretch in the 1990s, when they won 12 of 13.

During the height of the Billy Donovan Era, the Gators fought back and won seven in a row at one point. Mike White had minimal success, though he did have one stretch where he won three out of four. Todd Golden is 1-3 against Kentucky, though Florida was on the doorstep of winning in two of those defeats.

The times they are a changing. We just aren't convinced we like the changes.