April 7, 2012; Gainesville FL, USA; Florida Gators wide receiver Quinton Dunbar (1) celebrates his touchdown with wide receiver Latroy Pittman (13) during the first half of the Florida spring game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-US PRESSWIRE
This is an overview. Predictions come later. Home games in CAPS.
9/1: BOWLING GREEN
9/8: at Texas A&M
9/15: at Tennessee
If you were hoping to see Urban Meyer face the first school to make him a head coach, then oh well. The next couple of weeks are very unusual for Florida for a few reasons. First, it's the first time that Florida has two road games in September since 2003. Second, this is the first time in 16 years that Florida's first SEC game will not be against Tennessee (and also likely won't be on CBS). Third, the trip to College Station will be the Gators' first trip west of Fayetteville since going to Los Angeles to face USC in 1983. Neither of those opponents are expected to be divisional contenders, but the game at A&M will be a very strong test. Aggieland will by hyped up about its new conference affiliation for sure. Kentucky closes out the action for the month before an early bye week.
10/13: at Vanderbilt
10/20: SOUTH CAROLINA
10/27: vs. Georgia (Jacksonville)
Playing LSU in October is standard for the Gators, and it will be a very interesting game in Gainesville. The next two games are also oddities. In every single year of divisional play, Florida has closed its conference schedule against Vanderbilt and South Carolina (except 2001 when 9/11 postponed the Tennessee game). Instead, they will make up the middle of the October slate. Going to Vanderbilt would appear to be more dangerous than usual, and another loss would drop UF to just 4-4 against Steve Spurrier at South Carolina. The one anchor of tradition is preserved here, fortunately, with the Georgia game in Jacksonville on the last weekend of October.
11/17: JACKSONVILLE STATE
11/24: at Florida State
Florida's final conference game is the first weekend of November, the earliest of any team in the league. Everyone else has a game on the 10th or later. Missouri will probably give a number of SEC teams trouble with its offense that conference teams don't often see, but Will Muschamp saw it twice while he was at Texas. Florida has had trouble filling its stadium for November cupcakes in the post-Tebow era, and if it's out of the East race by this point, it's going to get ugly with two of them this time around. Finally, the season closes as always with FSU. If the defenses play as well as they did last year but the Florida offense doesn't turn it over, it will end 3-0.