Howdy, Y’all: Florida, Michigan to Play in 2017 Cowboys Classic

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You read that right, Jeremy Foley actually scheduled a non conference opponent outside of the state of Florida for the first time ever. And boy, am I excited.

The last time Florida left the Sunshine State for a regular season non conference game was in 1991, when 17th ranked Syracuse upset the 5th ranked Gators in the Carrier Dome 38-21, and the last time Florida won a non conference game played outside its state was back in 1989, when the Gators beat up on Memphis (then known as Memphis State) 38-13.

Before I say more, I’d like a little credit for this: I told everybody this was coming almost three years ago.

Here’s the proof.

If nothing else, it’s a good indicator that Florida plans on beefing up its non conference schedule in future years in anticipation of the new college football playoff. The SEC may be the career mode of college football right now, while the other conferences are merely “play now” mode, but this may not be the case forever. It just takes one bad season by the SEC collectively for another conference to rise up and snatch the title of the most feared conference in the land. And when the SEC’s prestige and top to bottom talent drops off (and if Florida State happens to suck that year), that could be where a non conference win over a team like Michigan could really come in handy.

This also means that we could be seeing the Gators renew their rivalry with Miami. I’ll touch on this some time soon, but there are a number of ways to do it- even with a nine game SEC schedule. The good news for the future of that rivalry, though, is the mere fact that Florida is scheduling more legitimate teams than just FSU. Scheduling Miami would actually be easier, because, hey, it’s in state, and just a five hour bus ride, and plus, they already want to play Florida.

But that’s jumping the gun a bit. For now, I’m just happy to see Foley finally do something that can make the fans excited about football, because his last two coaching hires (Zook and Muschamp) and his scheduling habits have been… just awful.

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6 thoughts on “Howdy, Y’all: Florida, Michigan to Play in 2017 Cowboys Classic

  1. One thing to remember, this is a huge payday. Foley is all about $ (as he should be) and this is not like a true road game. He is getting $6 to give up his creampuff.

    It is actually a defacto home game for Florida and, despite UM’s massive alumni base across the country, I would be so bold as to say I wouldn’t necessarily count this is a neutral site.

    With the Big 12-SEC partnership and A&M joining the SEC, you can make the case that Texas is, at least in part, becoming SEC territory and by then, it might not be a debate.

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s progress. But it’s September in Texas, not October in Michigan. Advantage still lies with Florida and it is Michigan taking the bigger risk here.

    1. Not necessarily.

      North Texas is so far away from Gainesville that you can’t even drive it in one day. In fact, according to Google Maps, my school, Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA is closer to in miles than Jerry’s World. So while there may be a good number of Gator fans living in Texas (and I know there are a few), there aren’t nearly enough to call this a home game. It’s true, it’s a couple hours farther from Michigan than Florida, but I remember the Elite 8 last year, too, also against Michigan, and that game was more important than this one will be, and it was at best half and half, if not more Michigan.

      Just because aTm is now in the SEC, and thus makes Texas SEC ground, doesn’t mean the state is Gator territory. That’s like saying because Dallas and NYG are in the NFC East, Texas is NFC East territory and thus part Giants ground just because a few people in Texas root for the Giants. I’m telling you, aTm entering the SEC had no effect on the Gator fanbase in the Wild West.

      I agree that it’s progress, and that it’s not quite what we all want to see. It’s not a home and home, two year rivalry, but it is something, and I’ll take it.

      And thus, officially, our epic debates have been revived…

      1. You know how fans have a way of coming together, putting aside their rivalries against “outsider” and chanting SEC SEC SEC ?

        That’s what I am talking about.

        Even if that is not the case – it’s a controlled weather game in September. Not exactly daring. Again, it’s not Michigan in October, or Wisconsin in November.

        It’s bold, but not THAT bold, know what I mean ?

        1. Makes sense. But in Foley’s defense, most bold out of conference games take place in the first two weeks of the season. Cases in point: Florida-Miami, Cowboys Classic, Chik-Fil-A Classic, Ohio State-USC, Michigan-Notre Dame, Kickoff in the Capital, etc.

          Very rarely, aside from the annual rivalries between schools in the same state, do you see any major out of conference games in November, or even October.

  2. Damn. Nice call there back in 2011. How’d you know?

    But this seems like a huge middle finger to Miami more than anything. Foley clearly doesn’t give a shit about “7 home games a year” if he’s willing to do this. Why not just schedule the Canes? It’s much easier in terms of travel and you’ll get more Gator fans at an away game to Miami than you will in the Cotton Bowl, or Jerry’s Palace, or whatever the hell this is.

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