The Southeastern Conference on Wednesday announced the league’s 2014 football schedule, which for the second-straight year features a 6-1-1 format of six inter-division games, one permanent cross-division rival and one rotating cross-division opponent.
In addition to playing the rest of the SEC East, the Florida Gators will go head-to-head with permanent cross-division rival LSU for the 44th consecutive season (dating back to 1971) and face Alabama for the first time since 2011. UF will play that game on the road in Tuscaloosa, AL, after hosting Arkansas in 2013.
Since defeating the Crimson Tide 31-20 in the 2008 SEC Championship Game, the Gators are 0-3 against the two-time defending champions in the teams’ last three meetings. Florida has lost those three contests by a combined score of 26-101.
UF and UA squared off in the 2009 SEC Championship Game and then in a home-and-home series spanning the 2010-11 seasons.
Florida will not open its SEC slate against Tennessee for just the second time in the past 13 seasons^. The Gators and Volunteers are scheduled to go head-to-head following a bye week on Oct. 4, breaking a trend of playing each other on the third Saturday in September that dated back 22 years to 1992*.
Aug. 30 – vs. Idaho
Sept. 6 – vs. Eastern Michigan
Sept. 13 – vs. Kentucky
Sept. 20 – at Alabama
Sept. 27 – BYE WEEK
Oct. 4 – at Tennessee
Oct. 11 – vs. LSU
Oct. 18 – vs. Missouri
Oct. 25 – BYE WEEK
Nov. 1 – vs. Georgia (Jacksonville, FL)
Nov. 8 – at Vanderbilt
Nov. 15 – vs. South Carolina
Nov. 22 – vs. Eastern Kentucky
Nov. 29 – at Florida State
The SEC had originally planned to make the 2013 schedule the first in a new rotation. Instead, it was a stop-gap schedule with the 2014 slate looking quite similar. A formal rotation is not expected to begin until 2016 at the earliest, according to conference commissioner Mike Slive.
^ Florida opened its league slate in Week 2 against Texas A&M in 2012.
* UF-UT was scheduled for the third week of the 2001 season but delayed due to the Sept. 11 attacks.