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  1. Gators

Florida’s 2019 college football viewing guide

Now that we know the schedules for the Gators, FSU and Miami, here are the biggest dates ... and the ones that work for a fall wedding.
BRONTE WITTPENN   |   Times
Florida Gators quarterback Feleipe Franks (13) runs the ball in the first quarter in a game against Florida State University at Doak Campbell Stadium at Florida State University in Tallahassee on Saturday, November 24, 2018.
BRONTE WITTPENN | Times Florida Gators quarterback Feleipe Franks (13) runs the ball in the first quarter in a game against Florida State University at Doak Campbell Stadium at Florida State University in Tallahassee on Saturday, November 24, 2018.
Published Jan. 17, 2019

With the ACC’s 2019 football schedule released yesterday, we know the full slates for the Gators, Seminoles and Hurricanes. We can update this once USF and UCF unveil their schedules, but here are the dates to know in Florida college football for this season:

Opening with a bang: This isn’t as big as 2017 (when Florida opened against Michigan and Florida State opened against Alabama), but it’s still pretty awesome. The Gators start the year against Miami in Orlando, where Manny Diaz’s head coaching debut comes against his former boss, Dan Mullen. FSU has an in-state neutral-site game, too, against Boise State in Jacksonville. I’ll take it.

Make sure you’re free on: Nov. 2. Florida meets Georgia in Jacksonville, perhaps with the SEC East on the line. FSU hosts Miami that same day. I don’t like the fact that two of the state’s biggest games overlap, again, but I wasn’t consulted during the scheduling process.

Second-best date: Oct. 12. Assuming there’s no hurricane, UF returns to LSU. The ’Noles, meanwhile, travel to Clemson to face the defending national champions in what could be another blowout.

Schedule your fall wedding for: Sept. 7 or Nov. 23: The earlier date features two lame non-conference games (Tennessee-Martin at UF, Louisiana-Monroe at FSU) and Miami on the road against Mack Brown’s Tar Heels. The Gators and Seminoles are both off on the later date when Miami plays Florida International at the Marlins’ stadium. Because who doesn’t love football in a baseball stadium?

Other random thoughts: Former Gators coach Jim McElwain’s returns to the state to face Miami as the new boss at Central Michigan. That’s pretty cool. … FSU’s first five games before the bye are pretty manageable, if the Seminoles can top Boise State (without four-year starting quarterback Brett Rypien) in Week 1. FSU’s November is nice, too, with an Alabama State cupcake and open weekend before playing at UF. ... Is Kelly Bryant Missouri’s starting quarterback when the Tigers host UF on Nov. 16?