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Florida's Schedule Flips the Script for SEC East Contenders | SEC 2013

The Gators' competitors in the East will face incredible difficult Septembers. Florida will take its lumps in November instead

Mike Ehrmann

This is an overview. Predictions come later.

8.31.13 | TOLEDO
9.7.13 | at MIAMI (FL)
9.21.13 | TENNESSEE
9.28.13 | at KENTUCKY

Of the SEC East contenders, Florida probably has the easiest first month of them all. The preseason consensus from Stassen puts Miami in the Top 25, but that's the only ranked team Florida will face. The other potentially troublesome team on the schedule -- Tennessee -- is at home. And, of course, Florida is unlike South Carolina and Georgia, who are scheduled to face each other in the first month. If the Gators can win in South Florida, they could conceivably be 5-0 by the time they face another truly difficult team.

10.5.13 | ARKANSAS
10.12.13 | at LSU
10.19.13 | at MISSOURI

Arkansas returns to Gainesville for the first time since this happened. That was the latest installment in an eight-game winning streak for Florida; Arkansas hasn't beaten the Gators since 1982, the initial meeting between these two teams and a game that happened before the Razorbacks joined the SEC. Next up is the trip to LSU as part of the SEC's diabolical plot to make life more difficult for Les Miles. At this point, Florida has only played one team that is currently viewed as Top 20 material. That is about to change.

11.2.13 | vs. GEORGIA
11.9.13 | VANDERBILT
11.16.13 | at SOUTH CAROLINA
11.30.13 | FLORIDA STATE

Florida plays the remainder of the likely Top 4 in the SEC East in back-to-back-to-back weeks. Only one of those games -- Vanderbilt -- will be played in the Swamp, though Mark Richt would remind you that Jacksonville is cooler for the Gators than it is for the Dawgs. Really, this is sort of the reverse of what the other top teams in the SEC East face, with Florida having a final month that will make or break its chances at a division championship. There three preseason Top 10-caliber teams in a five-week stretch, with a team that was ranked in the Top 25 last year also sprinkled in. Georgia Southern is the only thing remotely resembling a gimme win in this stretch.

Think of it this way: It's completely plausible to think that Florida could enter November 7-0 and leave it 9-3. It's not impossible to think that Florida could lose all four games against FBS teams in this month (though Vanderbilt still has to be considered at least a few years away from being able to win in Gainesville). All that said, the division will likely be decided by the end of Nov. 16, when South Carolina and Florida square off in the last battle among the Big Three.