Television seems to think highly of the Florida Gators’ direction under Jim McElwain, even though they haven’t played a game yet. Or maybe television just doesn’t think much of widespread failures of the last two seasons under Will Muschamp. Either way, they’re throwing Florida right back in the spotlight.
The Gators’ first three games of 2015 will be night games, the first two of which are in the Swamp. Florida will open the season against New Mexico State on September 5th at 7:30pm on the SEC Network. The following week, they’ll host East Carolina in a rematch of the 2015 Birmingham Bowl at 7:00pm on ESPN2. They will then open up their SEC schedule against Kentucky in Lexington. That game will kick off at 7:30pm on the SEC Network.
In addition, Florida-Georgia will kick off at 3:30pm on CBS.
It’s a great move to start the first two games at night, not just because it’s awesome to play in the Swamp at night, but because of the insane heat and humidity that always gets somebody sick (most recently Mack Brown against Toledo in 2013). And you can’t ask 90,000 fans to endure triple digit weather with high humidity.
But for a fan base that needs some excitement, this is the perfect gift. The Gators are supposed to be coming back, and the fans are supposed to be excited about the new direction of the program. And everybody knows that the Swamp, while an awesome home field advantage to begin with, is even more special when the lights are on.
Florida hasn’t started off a season with three night games since 2006. That’s a good sign.