1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Gators

Why did Florida and FSU need to announce a four-year series extension?

“I don’t think we get enough credit for the Florida State game,” Gators AD Scott Stricklin said a year ago, in what seems like a pretty big clue.
The Florida Gators and Florida State Seminoles will continue playing each other through at least 2022. Because of course they will. (BRONTE WITTPENN | Times)
Published May 21
Updated May 21

Florida and Florida State have spent the spring announcing big non-conference football series with programs like Georgia and Texas.

The Gators and Seminoles announced another one Tuesday: They’ll keep playing each other through at least 2022 after signing a four-year contract extension.

Shocking, I know.

Both teams had already announced their 2019 meeting (Nov. 30 in Gainesville), even though the contract wasn’t finalized until earlier this month. So no, that meeting was never in doubt.

Nor was there any uncertainty about the teams meeting the Saturday after Thanksgiving for the next three years after that (in Tallahassee in ’20 and ’22 and in Gainesville the other year).

Then why make an official announcement about an annual series that dates back to 1958 and will probably still be around in 2058?

Read between the lines with what Gators coach Dan Mullen said last month after being asked about Georgia beefing up its schedule with Clemson and FSU.

“We play Florida State every year, right?” Mullen said. “They’re trying to catch up to us, I guess.”

But what about UF adding a home-and-home with a program like Oklahoma?

“Like I said, we already have that with Florida State,” Mullen said. “I think that’s one thing that gets looked down upon. Would it be better to drop Florida State and schedule Oklahoma? That probably wouldn’t go over so well. We already have that in the schedule.”

The UF-FSU game is, technically, optional, even if the high-profile non-conference matchup between two powerhouse programs seems like a given. If you’re going to credit Georgia and Texas for adding UF and FSU, the argument goes, you should credit the Gators and ’Noles for meeting each other, too.

UF athletic director Scott Stricklin made that point a year ago at the SEC’s spring meetings in Destin.

“I don’t think we get enough credit for the Florida State game,” Stricklin said then. “Maybe every year we put our schedule out, we should make a big press release that we’re playing one of the best teams in another Power Five conference in Florida State.”

On Tuesday, they did.


  1. In this Jan. 2, 2017, file photo, Florida Gators coach Jim McElwain looks at the action on the field in the first half against Iowa in the Outback Bowl. Times
    Coaches hired early in the 2017-18 carousel are 40-38. Coaches hired late: 39-52.
  2. Florida Gators quarterback Kyle Trask runs the ball in for a touchdown during the third quarter against Charleston Southern last season. MONICA HERNDON  |  Tampa Bay Times
    If Kyle Trask gets the first snap, it will be his first start since he was a freshman in high school.
  3. Notre Dame running back Tony Jones Jr. (6) runs through a hole in the line during the first half against Louisville on Sept. 2. TIMOTHY D. EASLEY  |  AP
    More national college football: Jimbo Fisher, meanwhile, should be hyper focused on his quarterback, who hasn’t looked all that spiffy this season. Plus staff predictions.
  4. Tim Tebow. [Associated Press)] Associated Press
    Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Tom Jones and Rick Stroud debate Tebow, Dickie V, the first-place Bucs and the Rays playoff chase
  5. Notre Dame defensive lineman Jonathan Bonner (55) celebrates a sack of Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm (11) during the second half of 2017 game. Georgia defeated Notre Dame 20-19. MICHAEL CONROY  |  AP
    Unlike last week, Saturday’s slate is loaded. Sit back and enjoy. Plus: Times staff predictions.
  6. The Bucs will get their first look at rookie Daniel Jones Sunday when he starts for the New York Giants in a 4:25 p.m. game against Tampa Bay at Raymond James Stadium. FRANK VICTORES  |  AP
    Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Exploring quarterback changes for the New York Giants, Florida Gators and USF Bulls.
  7. Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt yells to his players in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Brigham Young Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne) WADE PAYNE  |  AP
    The Florida Gators’ next opponent is still stuck on Rocky Bottom thanks to bungled coaching searches.
  8. Tim Tebow answers a question during an interview on the set of ESPN's SEC Network in Charlotte, N.C. Associated Press
    Martin Fennelly: His sanctimonious rant against college athletes being paid is out of line
  9. Jim McElwain, now the Central Michigan coach, endured a rocky tenure as the Florida Gators coach from 2015-2017. He brings his Chippewas to the state to play Miami on Saturday. MORRY GASH  |  AP
    Jim McElwain’s Chippewas will play at Miami. If he had recruited that area better, maybe he’d still be leading the Florida Gators.
  10. Quarterback Kyle Trask (11) winds up to pass during the third quarter of the Orange and Blue Debut at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville. TAMPA BAY TIMES
    Could Trask-Jones be the next Chris Leak-Tim Tebow? “We’ll see,” Dan Mullen says.