The Gators face a daunting schedule in 2014. Two of the games come against the preseason No. 1 and No. 2 teams – Florida State and Alabama, respectively – on the road; Georgia and LSU are both considered top 15 teams heading into the season; and neither Tennessee nor Missouri are going to be pushovers.
Taking into consideration exactly what a win means against each opponent (and just how severe a loss would be), here are Florida’s biggest games for 2014.
It’s Georgia. Riding a three-peat. In a season where Will Muschamp needs as many quality wins over rivals as possible. This isn’t a must win, but then again, it kind of is. A loss here would be the biggest out of the five games.
2. Florida State
While knocking off Alabama in Tuscaloosa would be nice, a win over the Seminoles in Tallahassee would be the biggest of the season, and it’s not even close. Ending on a high note over the defending national champions would erase almost any shortcomings from earlier in the year.
It’s simple: win the rivalry games. Taking the SEC East back from Georgia, South Carolina, and Missouri is a big enough task. The last thing the Gators need is for Tennessee to be thrown into the competitive mix as well.
This is the litmus test. All the Gators need to do is perform well and make the game competitive in Tuscaloosa. Stout defense, solid offense, and no more than a two score loss.
The Alabama and FSU games have the highest ceilings for the Gators. A win and UF is not only back, but will also be thrown into national title discussions.
The ol’ rivalry that Les Miles doesn’t like to consider a rivalry. This game is always a measuring stick for where both programs are. Florida needs to beat the Tigers in The Swamp.