Report: Florida football scheduled to face four FCS teams over next two seasons

By Adam Silverstein
March 15, 2018
Report: Florida football scheduled to face four FCS teams over next two seasons

Image Credit: @GatorsFB/Twitter

Though the Florida Gators have beefed up their football schedules in recent years with a neutral site contest against Michigan in 2017 and another against Miami set for 2019, that does not necessarily mean Florida is not finding time to face so-called “cupcake” opponents.

In fact, according to a report from, the Gators are scheduled to be playing not two but four FCS opponents combined over the next two seasons. This comes with some complications as FCS opponents do not count toward FBS teams’ bowl eligibility.

Florida’s 2018 schedule is a known quantity. In addition to its SEC slate and annual rivalry game against Florida State, UF will host FCS opponents Charleston Southern on Sept. 1 and Idaho on Nov. 17. Its fourth nonconference game will be against Colorado State on Sept. 15.

The Gators originally scheduled the Vandals, an FBS program at the time, in 2014 but were forced to push the game postponed due to lightening, eventually arriving at a spot on the 2018 schedule. Though Idaho is an FCS opponent, it did not announce its decision to reclassify until 2016. Florida still having it on the schedule likely means it received a waiver from the NCAA allowing the game to count towards bowl eligibility. UF payed Idaho $975,000 for the cancelled game in 2014.

However, as FBSchedules claims to have obtained contracts signed by the Gators and their 2019 opponents, it reported Thursday that Florida will be facing a similar issue in 2019 with games scheduled against UT Martin ($500,000 guarantee) on Sept. 7 and Towson on Sept. 28 ($450,000 guarantee). This means the Gators are scheduled to face three straight nonconference opponents to open the season with the Hurricanes game already set for Aug. 31.

There would be no reason for the NCAA to grant a waiver for either of those opponents, and it would make little sense for Florida to keep both games on its schedule along with Miami and Florida State. Plus, scheduling any FCS opponents — let alone multiple in the same season — has become an increasingly frowned upon practice for Power Five programs.

Florida has also scheduled a game against FCS opponent Eastern Washington on Sept. 5, 2020, and FBSchedules reports it will be playing FCS opponent Samford on Nov. 20, 2021 ($500,000 guarantee). The only other known scheduled nonconference game at this time is South Alabama on Sept. 19, 2020.

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