Steve Russell sat down with UF’s Athletic Director, Scott Stricklin, to talk all things UF Athletics. What are some things to look forward to? What plans are in the making for the future of UF Athletics?
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Football fans are wondering how the scheduling in the SEC will take place when the fall season comes around the corner. What could a potential nine-game schedule look like? Which schools would remain permanent opponents?
Last year, a discussion surrounding an eight-and-nine-game schedule model for the expanded league took place but was disapproved. This model would create momentum in which each team would be assigned three conference rivals annually and rotate the other teams. They could play six remaining teams one year, and the other six the following year.
For Florida, Georgia will almost certainly remain one of the permanents, but arguments can be made for Tennessee, LSU, South Carolina and others.
No decisions have been made thus far. Stricklin emphasized that while permanents are important, over time they’ll lose their importance.
Right now, we have a regular eight-game season with seven permanents. Moving it to the nine-game model when Texas and Oklahoma join the conference changes things. The nine-game model has three permanents, meaning in a four-year period, you’ll see every team in the league 2 times.
Ben Hill Griffin Stadium has been in talks for a very ambitious project renovation. This would be a huge project to take on, not only from a UF Athletics standpoint, but also the biggest in SEC Athletic history.
In order to renovate the Swamp, it would take a massive financial commitment as well as a lot of planning into what would be impactful for the stadium and school.
With former Senator Ben Sasse appointed as UF’s new President, the conversation will be brought up again in hopes that this project can begin its planning stage.
It’s a comprehensive long-term vision, but one that would make a mark on the school for years to come.
Hiring Coach Process
UF has been quite fortunate with hiring coaches such as Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer in the past. However, recent signings have been deemed questionable. Multiple allegations of abuse have been made against Stricklin hires. The school has since moved on from those coaches. Stricklin has since hired Billy Napier and Todd Golden to football and basketball, respectively. Which has begged the question of “Is hiring new up-and-coming coaches more valuable than those already established?”
Stricklin said that when in a hiring process, a list is constructed solely based on how high of a potential a coach bears for the school. The goal is, of course, to have a long-term coach. In addition, it’s vital to consider if they can provide an impact on the team and bring home some championship titles.