The Southeastern Conference on Thursday officially announced the league’s 2013 football schedule, which led to the Florida Gators to announce the team’s entire slate of games including four non-conference opponents. The SEC schedule features eight conference games for each team in the recently adopted 6-1-1 format (six division games, one permanent cross-division rival, one rotating cross-division opponent).
Despite there being some concern to the contrary, Florida retained LSU as its permanent cross-division rival with the two teams going head-to-head for the 43rd consecutive season (dating back to 1971). UF will also return to opening its SEC slate against Tennessee, which had been an annual occurrence for the two teams from 1996-2011*. The Gators are once again scheduled to face the Volunteers in their third game of the season and during the third Saturday of September, trends that go back to 1993*.
Arkansas was scheduled as Florida’s cross-division opponent for the first time since 2009. UF will have that game at home after playing at Texas A&M in 2012. The Gators will only play six home games in 2013 (due to concluding a non-conference home-and-home) and will also spend four full weeks without playing at Florida Field.
Aug. 31 – vs. Toledo
Sept. 7 – at Miami (FL)
Sept. 14 – BYE
Sept. 21 – vs. Tennessee
Sept 28 – at Kentucky
Oct. 5 – vs. Arkansas
Oct. 12 – at LSU
Oct. 19 – at Missouri
Oct. 26 – BYE
Nov. 2 – vs. Georgia (Jacksonville, FL)
Nov. 9 – vs. Vanderbilt
Nov. 16 – at South Carolina
Nov. 23 – vs. Georgia Southern
Nov. 30 – vs. Florida State
Dec. 7 – SEC Championship (Atlanta, GA)
The SEC had originally planned to make the 2013 schedule the first in a new rotation. Instead, it is yet another stop-gap schedule with the slate for 2014 and beyond set to be decided at future league meetings. The 2013 schedule is also 14 weeks long with each team getting two bye weeks for the first time since 2008.
“As we began working on the 2013 football schedule, it became apparent that the conference would need another year of the ‘bridge’ schedule to make everything work,” said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive in a press release.
“We will start moving on 2014 and what we hope to come out of there is a long-term 12-year schedule that would show who rotates on and off and in which years,” added Mark Womack, executive associate commissioner of the SEC. “We’ve started to put the dates to some of those schedules, maybe not for 12 years out, but for a four-to-six-year period of trying to establish the dates of those games, not just who would rotate on and off your schedule.”
* UF-UT was scheduled for the third week of the 2001 season but delayed due to the Sept. 11 attacks.