GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- After back-to-back brutal Octobers, the Florida Gators will get a break in 2013.
When the SEC office released the league schedule Thursday afternoon, it didn’t include an October gauntlet filled with ranked teams. In fact, only one of the Gators’ three opponents presently have winning records heading into this weekend’s games.
UF opens the month with a home game against Arkansas on Oct. 5. The Razorbacks started this season in the top 10 but are just 3-4 with two of their victories coming against Auburn and Kentucky. The Gators play at LSU on Oct. 12 in what should be a battle of two highly ranked teams.
The Gators then play at Missouri against a Tigers team that is struggling in its transition to the SEC. UF will then have a bye before playing Georgia in Jacksonville, Fla., on Nov. 2.
While not an easy stretch, it’s certainly a little softer than this October (LSU, South Carolina and Georgia) and last October (LSU, Alabama, Auburn and Georgia).
Here’s a look at UF’s 2013 SEC schedule:
Sept. 21: TENNESSEE
Comment: The Gators have won eight in a row against the Vols, who likely won’t have QB Tyler Bray or WRs Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson.
Sept. 28: at Kentucky
Comment: UF has beaten Kentucky 26 consecutive times and won 38-0 in Gainesville this season.
Oct. 5: ARKANSAS
Comment: The Razorbacks will begin the post-Tyler Wilson era with a new coach. Could it be former UF defensive coordinator Charlie Strong?
Oct. 12: at LSU
Comment: The Tigers remain the Gators’ permanent Western Division opponent -- for now, anyway.
Oct. 19: at Missouri
Comment: This will be the Gators’ first trip to Columbia, Mo.
Nov. 2: vs.Georgia in Jacksonville, Fla.
Comment: This series has gotten a lot more intense lately. Next week the Bulldogs will try to win back-to-back games in the series for the first time since they won three in a row (1987-89).
Nov. 9: Vanderbilt
Comment: Florida hasn’t lost to the Commodores since 1988.
Nov. 16: at South Carolina
Comment: The Gators are just 4-3 against their former coach heading into this Saturday’s matchup.