How to lavishly spend the 2017 college football season on the road and in the doghouse

 

With unlimited funds and unlimited time, wouldn’t it be fun to attend as many games involving Florida’s college football teams as possible?

Something to think about on a lazy summer day, with a preferred list of 2017 games to follow.

New South Florida head coach Charlie Strong  (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Don’t think about it too long, however. My guess is that merely committing to watch each and every one of these games on the man cave’s big screen would be the end to most marriages.

 

Saturday, Aug. 26 – South Florida at San Jose State (Charlie Strong’s USF debut)

Thursday, Aug. 31 – Florida International at Central Florida (Butch Davis’ FIU debut)

Friday, Sept. 1 – Navy at Florida Atlantic (Lane Kiffin’s FAU debut)

Saturday, Sept. 2 – Florida State vs. Alabama at Atlanta (Why, oh why, does Florida-Michigan have to be on the same day?)

Saturday, Sept. 9 – Miami at Arkansas State (Red Wolves crushed UCF in bowl game last year)

Friday, Sept. 15 – Illinois at USF (Illini went 3-9 last year but beating Big Ten team has certain cachet)

Saturday, Sept. 16 – Miami at FSU (Catch first half of Tennessee at Florida on the way to Tallahassee)

Thursday, Sept. 21 – Temple at USF (Weeknight games good for Bulls’ exposure)

Saturday, Sept. 23 – North Carolina State at FSU (Seminoles needed late rally for 24-20 win last year)

Friday, Sept. 29 – Miami at Duke (Division rival and often a pain in the ACC for Miami)

Saturday, Sept. 30 – Florida State at Wake Forest (End-zone interception secured close win on Seminoles’ last trip there)

Saturday, Oct. 7 – LSU at Florida (Goal-line stand against Tigers clinched SEC East for Gators in 2016)

Thursday, Oct. 12 – Georgia Tech at Miami (2nd straight week on ESPN national telecast for Mark Richt)

Saturday, Oct. 14 – Texas A&M at Florida (First trip to Swamp for Aggies, who joined SEC in 2012)

Saturday, Oct. 21 – Louisville at FSU (Cardinals put 63 points on Seminoles behind Heisman winner Lamar Jackson last year)

Friday, Oct. 27 – FSU at Boston College (Short week after Louisville showdown)

Saturday, Oct. 28 – Florida vs. Georgia at Jacksonville (Sooner or later Bulldogs are going to be good)

Saturday, Nov. 4 – Virginia Tech at Miami (If Miami ever wins the Coastal, it will be a game like this that does it)

Saturday, Nov. 11 – FSU at Clemson (Tigers are defending national champions)

Thursday, Nov. 16 – Tulsa at USF (Will Charlie Strong have the Bulls in the Top Ten by this point?)

Saturday, Nov. 18 – FIU at FAU (Butch vs. Kiffin in battle for major recruiting coup)

Friday, Nov. 24 – Miami at Pittsburgh (Stop grumbling about Thanksgiving travel and get to the airport)

Saturday, Nov. 25 – FSU at Florida (Would be nice to see this game mean a lot to both teams again)

 

That’s all of the schedule we know right now. The conference champions follow in December and then the College Football Playoff and the bowls.

Would you be sick of college football after traveling to all of those games? No problem. Just switch to the NFL in 2018.

 

 

 

Is FSU over South Florida really the best college football win in the state this year?

 

The Florida Gators are in the AP poll’s Top Ten so they must be pretty good.

Why, then, is there the feeling that our state just isn’t all that special in college football anymore?

I attribute it the following chart, which demonstrates better than any deep analysis of roster strengths or coaching credentials why Florida, FSU and Miami aren’t really scaring anybody to death this Halloween, and why the South Florida Bulls deserves a spot in any discussion of the best programs in our state.

Team             Best 2016 win              Last win over ranked team

Florida (6-1)   Kentucky, 45-7               No. 3 Ole Miss (10-3-15)

FSU  (5-3)        South Florida, 55-35     No. 11 Ole Miss (9-5-16)

USF  (7-2)        Navy, 52-45                     No. 22 Navy (10-28-16)

Miami  (4-4)    Ga Tech, 35-21               No. 22 Duke (10-31-15)

UCF (4-4)         East Carolina, 47-29      No. 6 Baylor (1-1-14)

 

What’s the best win of 2016 overall for this bunch? Call if FSU over South Florida. The Seminoles don’t get brownie points for beating Ole Miss in the season opener now that the Rebels are 3-5 and 1-4 in the SEC.

Miami and Central Florida are going to have to scramble to qualify for bowl games.

Florida could win the SEC East or stumble badly down the stretch for the second consecutive season. Flip of the coin.

Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher shouts instructions during the second half of the team's NCAA college football game against Clemson in Tallahassee, Fla., Saturday, Oct. 29,2016. Clemson defeated Florida State 37-34. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)
Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher shouts during game against Clemson in Tallahassee, Fla., Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. Clemson defeated Florida State 37-34. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)

FSU lost 63-20 to Louisville, which would be more easily forgotten if Louisville were going to the ACC title game or the College Football Playoff. Neither is true.

Any way you slice it, we’ve clearly forfeited some of the old bragging rights from championship seasons past.

Right now you’d have to say Alabama is the state-of-the-art state in college football, with the Crimson Tide at No.1 and Auburn No. 11.

Michigan comes in second (Wolverines No. 2 and Western Michigan No. 17).

Incredibly, Washington and Florida are too close to call in third. The Huskies are all the way up to No. 4 with Washington State at No. 25. If you want to argue the No. 10 Gators and No. 19 Seminoles outweigh that combination, go ahead. Look back to that chart above, though. Nothing much has been proved on the field yet.

[Making predictions on Dolphins is a coin-flip proposition this year]

[Tough recognizing America the last time Indians or Cubs won WS]

[Some all-time measurements for Jay Ajayi’s back-to-back 200-yard games]