Options being considered for Florida-Idaho game

By Adam Silverstein
September 1, 2014

With discussions ongoing and no resolution expected until Tuesday or Wednesday at the earliest, the athletic departments of the Florida Gators and Idaho Vandals are considering a number of options after the season opening showdown between the teams scheduled for Saturday was delayed and then suspended due to weather.

The primary options being discussed are either rescheduling the game this season or canceling it outright, declaring it a no contest without a victor.

However, within each of those options are a number of variables that must be considered.


The Gators and Vandals both possess an open week on Oct. 25, which would make moving the game to that date a no-brainer, right? Wrong.

The Oct. 25 bye week is immensely important for both programs.

Florida shares the off week with Georgia as both teams use both to rest and spend more time preparing for their annual neutral-site rivalry game in Jacksonville, Florida. UF giving up the week would not only put it at a disadvantage in one of its most important games of the year but also mean that the Gators would be playing nine-straight games to conclude the season.

Similarly, the bye week is at a strategic time for Idaho, which would otherwise play 11 consecutive games without a break if the contest was moved to Oct. 25.

The Idaho Statesman’s Dan Southorn reported Monday that the teams are also considering rescheduling the game for December, after what would otherwise be the conclusion of the teams’ regular-season schedule.

The Gators and Vandals could decide to play on Dec. 6 or Dec. 13; however, neither date is exactly ideal for Florida.

The 2014 SEC Championship is scheduled for Dec. 6, and UF hopes to be in contention for the league crown this season. In theory, the schools could decide to play that day and cancel the game again if Florida has that conflict.

Whether the Gators are involved in that game or not, Florida should be back in the bowl picture and scheduling a game on Dec. 13 would severely cut into its off time.


In a perfect world, the game would be rescheduled and everything would be square but want-to and feasibility are completely different animals.

Should Florida and Idaho be unable to come to a resolution about playing the game on another date in 2014, the schools will have to make an agreement on how to settle the unfulfilled contract.

The Gators planned to pay the Vandals $975,000 to travel 2,700 miles and play in Gainesville. However, that sum is not due until Feb. 1, 2015, according to UF athletic director Jeremy Foley, and the school would certainly like to avoid making that payment after missing out on stadium revenues and refunding the tickets sold for the game.

“There’s a lot of things that go into football scheduling. You take what’s in the best interest of your football team, obviously your fans, the entire program. I like to get a lot of input from a lot of different people and make a decision. That’s the process we’re going through right now,” Foley said Monday.

The schools would likely try to meet in the middle with Florida potentially paying Idaho’s travel expenses and a portion of the amount owed. There could also be an agreement – handshake or otherwise – to attempt and schedule a game in a future season.

According to CBSSports.com’s Dennis Dodd, the $975,000 guaranteed to the Vandals equates to approximately one-quarter of its football budget for the 2014 campaign.


One of the most-asked questions about the cancellation is why the Gators did not attempt and get the game played the following day, a scenario that appears logical but is also the most logistically difficult to execute.

Here are just some of the reasons why playing the game Sunday as not an option:

» In order to use Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Florida would have been forced to fill the facility with normal game day staff and security, all on short notice on a holiday weekend.

» The decision to play Sunday likely would have needed to be made late Saturday night, after the game was canceled in part due to the unplayable condition of Florida Field. There is no guarantee that it would have been in good enough shape to play on Sunday, especially for an early-afternoon kickoff.

» The Vandals were planning to fly home after the game and did not have hotel rooms reserved for the night. The game did not get canceled until nearly 11 p.m.

» Idaho had to fly back across the country and there was no guarantee its charter flight would have been available.

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  1. Tractorr says:

    There is another one. Florida pays the full amount and Idaho forfeits.

      • Dave Massey says:

        That sounds too much like trying to buy a win, and Idaho has no logical reason to forfeit.

        • Tractorr says:

          There is totally a logical reason for them to forfeit. They get nearly a quarter of their operating budget and they don’t have to fly across the country again or play 11 consecutive weeks. Simply a business decision.

          • Dave Massey says:

            That is still an attempt at a bully move. I think Florida should pay the contract amount and offer to pay their travelling expenses to reschedule. But don’t hold a knife to their throat and say that they only get paid if they forfeit. That is morally wrong. And this is not big business. If Idaho offers to reschedule for October 25 and Florida refuses because of the upcoming Georgia game should Florida then forfeit? A fair way needs to be worked out to resolve this, which is what is being attempted right now. The contract allows for Florida not to pay due to ‘acts of God’ but your proposed solution is just plain wrong. Idaho has no obligation to forfeit and their administration shouldn’t force it on the team just for money. These guys do play for pride too even if it is on a smaller scale than Florida.

            • Tractorr says:

              You are reading all sorts of things into my comments that are not there. I am saying that Foley could float this idea to Idaho’s AD. They probably don’t want to have to travel their team across the country again and they don’t want to lose a quarter of their football budget. I don’t think Florida should pay them for a non-game. Either we should play the game, they should forfeit, or they should not get paid. I was merely suggesting another course of action to where they would get paid.

              • Ken (CA) says:

                Even if they chose to forfeit, UF would never get the win. The NCAA would never allow it, what a dangerous precedent that would set. “Let’s not bother to play 3 OOC games/yr, let’s just pay them take the weeks off, and win 3 conference games to get bowl eligible”. Even with the mismatches, at least they still have to earn it. Look at ND State in recent years or more painfully Ga. Southern.

              • Dave Massey says:

                To Tractorr,

                Just “floating” that idea to Idaho is an attempt at leverage. Quit trying to split hairs. Either reschedule the game or declare it a no contest. Can you even imagine the criticism Florida will receive on ESPN if they “buy” a forfeit. Have some foresight for God’s sake. You think Herbstreit, Corso, Pollack, or Kanell, all known Gator haters, won’t be howling like wolves over that?

                To Ken (CA),

                That really is a ridiculous argument, as Berman would say, “come on man”.

              • Ken (CA) says:

                Actually, not ridiculous at all. That would set an incredibly dangerous precedent and then an “If they did it why can’t we?” mentality, then it certainly would snowball over time with all the rich alumni out there

              • Dave Massey says:

                To Ken (CA)

                It is ridiculous. You should read what you wrote. There is zero percent chance of that ever happenning. Teams like Florida play teams like Idaho in order to make the money not just get a win. Florida stands to lose a lot of money from the Idaho game if it is not rescheduled. They will lose the ticket revenue, tv money, concessions, parking, etc. Not to mention the affect a game has on local businesses such as restaurants, hotels, souvenirs, etc. It is just a preposterous statement.

  2. Michael J. says:

    UF needs to reschedule the game for October 25. Playing a patsy before playing Georgia doesn’t put UF at a disadvantage. It also isn’t a given that UF might need a win over the patsy to become eligible for a bowl. If UF had to play a legitimate team before the Georgia game, and Georgia did not, maybe an argument could be made for cancelling the game. As seen by the first week of play, no one knows if UF will be a good team this year, regardless of the babel from Muschamp, and to close out an option of maybe needing the win over Idaho to make a post season trip would be idiotic. It wouldn’t surprise me if UF again chooses to be stupid, though. Why is UF playing three awful teams like Idaho and the two Eastern whatever schools in the first place? Because the A.D. is scared to play a real team like Miami or any other legitimate team that would agree to a home and home series with Florida. If you think recruiting is going bad for UF in the state now, how’s it going to look if UF doesn’t play in the post season a second straight year, especially if the reason is that they were scared to play a scrub before the Georgia game?

    • This comment is pretty ridiculous.

      Any game that you have to game plan for and exert energy vs. not playing a game, puts Florida at a disadvantage before Georgia.

      I laughed at the rest of your comment. It is getting harder to believe you come here as an unbiased fan.

    • G2 says:

      I say play the game 10/25 but pull the starters, gives 2/3 strings some valuable playing time.
      I know we’ll need the time to get ready for Ga (especially after what I saw in the Clemson game) but we’ve already gameplanned Idaho anyway. Financial arrangements aside, lets do it. Who is with me?

      • ECFIVESTER says:

        I am of the mind set that Florida still stands to gain more by rescheduling than they do by cancelling. Whether October 25th or December 13th. Revenue from the game would be higher in a fall/winter month as more fans will be inclined to go to the football game instead of other summer activities. Experience for the depth of the team would also be a welcome feature for this game, to help avoid any future pit falls from injuries.

        I do not believe Florida would lose much in the way of game planning for Georgia, as Florida has already game planned for Idaho. I believe they would be able to use about 80% of that if not more, allowing the coaches to turn their focus to Georgia, and have the players work on refining skills, understanding of scheme in practice leading up to Idaho.

        The next week the players would join the coaches and go all in on UGA.

        I perfer the December date, as it extends the season and my viewing pleasure, but I also don’t see enough pit falls with the October date.

  3. g8ter27 says:

    Guys looking at the schedule we need this win to be in a bowl…and we need to be in a bowl for many reasons.

    • jimmyjohns says:

      So you think we go 5-6 this year w/o this game?

    • Dave Massey says:

      It seems to me you are already conceding losses to teams we haven’t played yet. After watching the games this weekend I actually feel our schedule isn’t as bad as originally thought. I think I would rather play LSU and Bama than Texas A&M and Auburn. I still can’t believe LSU beat Wisconsin because they were completely outplayed. Bama looked very weak against WVU and they don’t have McCarron at QB anymore. South Carolina really is suffering from all those D-line and cornerback losses. Georgia’s secondary looked very weak considering the DB’s they dismissed from the team although they look very strong in the running game. Right now to me it looks like we might have the best defense in the conference. And FSU and Jameis the rapist didn’t look very good against an unranked OSU team. I don’t see a game on the schedule that Florida can’t win much less try to squeeze six out.

  4. 1955Gator says:

    If Michael J. doesn’t understand the whole scheduling situation by now, he has an anti Gator agenda or is just stupid.

    • Dave Massey says:

      He’s both. Don’t know what he wrote because I refuse to read anything he writes because he’s a nole troll. Hopefully soon he’ll take his garbage and leave us alone but I don’t think ignorant people like him have the ability to figure that out.

    • Michael J. says:

      I understand the scheduling situation. Foley is a coward, he’s scared to play a good team. Why did UF drop Miami, because Miami beats UF, plain and simple. Do you know that UF only plays FOUR road games out of a twelve game schedule? Do you know that Idaho and the two directional schools UF scheduled this year are some of the worst teams in college football? I guess I’m different from some of you, I don’t bother going to such awful games, it’s like watching the Christians in the arena in Rome. If There were more fans like me that refuse to be entertained by such garbage, maybe Foley wouldn’t be able to get away with being such a coward. But as long as there are tens of thousands of suckers that actually like seeing UF beat up on a out manned team, he’ll continue to get away with a schedule that has only four road games a year. Just like the excuse given for cancelling Miami in the late 80’s, it’s total B.S. that Foley is handing out. Come on and don’t be scared, the way UF schedules the sisters of the poor is embarrassing. It’s also embarrassing that some of you are actually excited to see UF play a team like Eastern Michigan. I expect more. I’ll go see the Kentucky game, at least they are a conference team, and it’s not the case of UF choosing to play an inferior team. I’m a little more discerning customer, I just wish there were more like me, rather than the lemmings that actually enjoy seeing a game against a cupcake like Idaho.

      • Florida did not renew a series with Miami because it already gives up a home game every other year to play Georgia in a neutral-site game. It does not want to give up another including all that revenue. If UF and UM can agree on a neutral-site situation (let’s say once every four years) where the team’s can get a similar payout to what Florida and Michigan are set to receive in 2017, they’ll do it.

        • Dave Massey says:

          Florida plays seven games at Florida Field. All the other major universities play seven games on their home field. Isn’t Florida obligated under their contract with the University Athletic Association to play seven games at Florida Field to pay for the expansion? Playing a neutral site game every year in Jacksonville makes Florida very limited in what it can do as far as away games. Of course, they could move the Georgia game to a home and home series and that would change everything. I know there has been discussion about that before but I don’t see that realistically happening, all parties are pretty satisfied with the current arrangement.

        • SRQDawgs15 says:

          That’s funny Adam. Georgia still manages to schedule legitimate teams despite playing in Jacksonville every year also. Clemson the past 2 years, Okie St and Az St before that, had Ohio St for 15-16 but they backed out, now ND is in place. The best team outside of the SEC and FSU you clowns play in the next 5 years is who? ECU? I guess its just sooooo much harder for UF to make that trip, ya know, being that UF is 270 miles and about 4 hrs closer than UGA.

          • Georgia has a neutral-site game with Florida every year.

            Florida has a neutral-site game with Georgia AND a PERMANENT, ROTATING game w/ Florida State every year.

            For you to equate FSU as just a given part of Florida’s schedule is a bit ridiculous. You’re talking about Georgia scheduling Clemson, OKSt, AzSt…that fills the FSU spot on Florida’s schedule…and none of those teams annually are on par with FSU.

            As far as the second half of your comment – which I did delete as it was not only way off but extremely disrespectful – I allow dissenting opinions on here all the time. There is one poster in particular that is bothering some of my commentors, but I continue to allow him to post.

            If memory serves, your previous comments broke some rules and were universally pissing my readership off, so I stopped allowing them. I approve 99.9 percent of all comments on this website. The approval process exists only to avoid spam (of which there is plenty on WordPress blogs).

            In terms of sharing my opinion, yes I have one, so I’ll share it on my own website if I damn well choose.

            • SRQDawgs15 says:

              Yes, Adam, and UGA also has a “PERMANENT, ROTATING game …. every year.” So, its GT, not FSU…..I’d say until the past 2 years, UGA actually had the harder of the 2 match-ups there for the past 10 years or so. You know, GT, the team that runs the same offense as Georgia Southern only with D-1 players. Tell me how your team does with handling the option attack? GT fills the FSU spot, those other teams fill the spot of Charleston Southern, Idaho, Ga. Southern (ther they are again, oooops!) etc. on UF’s schedule.

              • Equating Georgia Tech to Florida State is laughable.

                And again. I’m deleting the second portion of your comment.

                I am always open to having a discussion – those that always post here know that – but I am not open to allowing people to make ridiculous statements like you are in these deleted comments. Good day.

              • Dave Massey says:

                Seems to me Georgia was pretty irrelevan during the same period you claim FSU was irrelevant.

            • Dave Massey says:

              Right on Adam, support you 100%. Still my favorite website by far. In fact, paid my subscription last week. You are far fairer than most.

              And Dawg boy, , we played Miami last year and we play Michigan within five years so don’t speak lies. And I read your post before Adam edited it and you are rude.

              Michael J. he’s talking about you, take the hint. Feel good though, there are now two of you who I will delete without reading first.

      • Ken (CA) says:

        UF dropped Miami because UF loses to Miami? Don’t let facts get in the way of your irrational statements. How about looking up the only team that had a winning record against UM in the 80s? How about checking who that 1 loss was to in UM championship seasons in the 80s?

        Again, don’t let the facts get in the way of your absurdities.

  5. SW FL Joe says:

    If I’m the Idaho AD I argue “The game started and was stopped because the field was unsafe and not an act of God. Granted the act of God caused the unsafe field but it was the unsafe field that caused the game to be stopped. If UF had pro turf the game would have been played. Therefore Idaho fulfilled their part of the contract and should be paid.”

    • Tractorr says:

      A game must have a result to be considered a game. I don’t think it is possible for a tie to be declared in NCAA rules, so that is why I suggested above that Idaho could forfeit the game if they want to be paid.

    • Dave Massey says:

      To SW FL Joe,

      There are other parts to that clause other than acts of God which would cover this situation no matter what, including a decision by the governing body of which both teams are members, and also other similar events beyond the control of any party.

    • GatorGrad98 says:

      I disagree… Lightning kept that game from being played. Turf or not! GO GATORS!!!

  6. Ken (CA) says:

    Would be interesting if they could schedule it later on the weekend of the SEC Champ game (if we don’t win the east) or the week after like some of the smaller schools and service academies play on.

    • Dave Massey says:

      If Florida wins the East and plays in the SEC championship game they would have absolutely nothing to gain by playing that game and realistically who would care. If they don’t win the East and need that win for some reason we have bigger problems. Muschamp would probably be gone by that point. The only scenario to me is call it a no contest and go on with the rest of the season. The only thing that would have worked is to have played it on Sunday.

      • Ken (CA) says:

        Foley has a dilemma on his hands, that is a ton of revenue to give up, what is it, something like 8-10 million in revenue per home game (maybe more nowadays)? It may not be in the team’s best interest to play the game but it may be really necessary from the UAA point of view to cover all of the other annual expenses of the other sports. Even though they turn a profit every year, they can’t afford to cut it too close.

    • sean kidd says:

      True, as PAC 12 teams do as well. (year before last Oregon State and Nichols State that weekend in hurricane makeup).

  7. Michael Jones says:

    I say play Idaho in the bye week before UGA with nothing but 2nd and 3rd stringers. Gives the back-ups some valuable playing time and a chance to shine in the spotlight. If we can’t beat Idaho under those circumstances, then we’re really REALLY bad.

    And, yes, I remember Georgia Southern (who doesn’t). But Idaho is about as close to a high school team as you can get and still keep Div. I status.

  8. Steven says:

    Was the field really that unplayable to go through all this?

    • SW FL Joe says:

      They may have been able to play but the field would have ended up beyond repair for the next 2 home games. I bet Foley is already researching some form of synthetic surface for the future.

      • Steven says:

        It seemed to look unplayable after the first delay but then drained really quickly.
        I know some fans who are really pissed after spending a lot of time and money on hotels rooms and driving up to gville to not even see a game.

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