Sports

Florida AD looked for opponents on Twitter. A Big 12 AD took issue with SEC scheduling

Florida’s James Houston IV (41) and Umstead Sanders (42) jog through the tunnel before the start of the NCAA college football game against South Carolina Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, in Columbia, SC.
Florida’s James Houston IV (41) and Umstead Sanders (42) jog through the tunnel before the start of the NCAA college football game against South Carolina Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, in Columbia, SC. AP

The Florida Gators football team hasn’t played a nonconference road game outside of the Sunshine State since a trip to Syracuse in 1991.

That will change in 2023 with a trip to Utah and in 2029 with a trip to Colorado.

But Gators athletic director Scott Stricklin is looking for more. He went the social media route to look for future home-and-home games with additional Power 5 programs.

“Attention ADs from the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 or Pac-12 … @GatorsFB is looking to add additional Home-and-Home series against P5 opponents,” Stricklin tweeted. Let’s connect and schedule quality games the fans want to see! #GoGators”

Texas AD Chris Del Conte chimed in that they had the Gators covered. The two signed a deal earlier this year for a home-and-home in 2030 and 2031.

Clemson AD Dan Radakovich replied to Stricklin’s tweet that they would love to play the Gators, but in 2037 and 2038. Stricklin said on Twitter if they could do it sooner as “17 years is a long time to wait.”

Radakovich threw a little shade at LSU with his original reply to Stricklin in reference to having the Gators at the “original Death Valley.” Death Valley is the nickname for both Clemson and LSU’s football stadiums.

And then there was Iowa State AD Jamie Pollard, who fired off a shot toward the SEC in response to Stricklin’s request.

“We already play 10 P5 games every year (9 conference games plus Iowa),” Pollard tweeted. “Maybe the @SEC should play 9 conference games like the @Big12Conference.”

Stricklin followed up by commenting with, “Then why not 11?”

The SEC’s current scheduling model pits teams against six division opponents, one permanent cross-division rival and one rotational cross-division opponent.

With FSU as an annual rivalry game as well as Miami signed to two games — the Gators and Canes opened the 2019 season at neutral-site Orlando — and USF signed to three games, there isn’t a lot of wiggle room for UF’s schedule.

USF is a Group of 5 school in the American Athletic Conference with in-state rival UCF.

A potential matchup with UCF fell through as the schools couldn’t come to an agreement. Knights AD Danny White wanted a home-and-home with the Gators, while UF offered a two-for-one deal that was turned down.

Sports reporter Jason has covered high school, college and pro sports since joining the Bradenton Herald in 2010. He’s won Florida Press Club awards for sports feature and column writing. He currently writes college and pro sports stories for the McClatchy East Region real-time team.
  Comments