Gators coach Will Muschamp leaning toward eliminating FCS opponents
With increased emphasis being placed on strength of schedule to determine the four teams that will play for the national championship, Florida coach Will Muschamp said Tuesday the time may have come for the Gators to stop playing FCS opponents.
Muschamp said he and Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley have had brief conversations about future schedules now that the SEC has decided to stay at an eight-game conference schedule. Muschamp said eliminating the FCS games may be the best thing for the Gators.
"I think every institution ought to be making their decision on what they want to do," Muschamp said during a gathering of reporters at Tuesday's SEC Spring Meetings. "I know moving forward that for us obviously having four non-conference games, one of those would be Florida State every year. We’ve talked about upping our non-conference schedule. My opinion is what everybody else does doesn’t matter."
He added" "We’re probably going to move forward without playing FCS opponents."
Foley said while Muschamp doesn't have final authority in scheduling, he does have the right to weigh in with his opinion. However, eliminating FCS opponents completely may be easier said than done.
"The issue for me is not FCS in terms of wanting to play necessarily an FCS school," Foley said. "The issue for me is I have to have an opponent for a certain date before we play Florida State; we have an open weekend there. So I think next year or a couple of years from now, we don't have an FCS school because we were able to get all D-1 schools. I understand what Will's saying: In a perfect world, you play all D-1 schools, but also you have to have 12 opponents. But he has the right to weigh in and give that opinion. We'll certainly work through that together."