With the devastating situation of Hurricane Dorian jeopardizing the east coast of Florida and the United States, football is obviously secondary to safety. However, both the Florida Gators and the Jacksonville Jaguars have their eyes on what will potentially be transpiring over the next 2 – 3 days.
First, Dorian made landfall as a Category 5 over the Bahamas on Sunday afternoon and Monday morning, devastating the islands with over 190 miles per hour winds and storm surge.
The latest projected path, as of lunchtime Monday, is the hurricane will begin to turn North and to the West Monday night and Tuesday. There is encouraging news that Dorian may miss the state of Florida and potentially, skirt the Southeastern Atlantic coast of the United States altogether.
However, the University of Florida is monitoring the situation and has already canceled classes for Tuesday.
And, athletic director Scott Stricklin took to Twitter Monday morning to answer a fan question about the status of Saturday night’s primetime game scheduled at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium against UT – Martin:
No changes to weekend schedule at this point. The only adjustment that has been made is that campus is closed Tuesday.
Current forecast has Gainesville receiving relatively minimal wind/rain, but that of course could change. Stay tuned and be safe! https://t.co/PQRfZIcQpF
— Scott Stricklin (@ScottStricklin) September 2, 2019
The Gators are obviously very familiar with Hurricanes threatening and/or canceling their home games. This includes, the infamous in decision to cancel the LSU home game in September of 2016 due to Hurricane Matthew.
Thankfully, that hurricane never came on shore, but it did have wind and storm surge damage to Jacksonville and the surrounding area. However, it did not impact Gainesville and the game could have likely been played, even the following day, etc. Instead, it was postponed and moved to Baton Rouge that November.
Now, the same situation exists for later this week. And, that includes the Jaguars, who are getting ready for their regular season opener at home with a scheduled 1 p.m. game time with the Kansas City Chiefs.
The NFL will obviously be involved with the Jags to make a determination on the game day and time and whether it might need to be pushed back to later Sunday. And in the past, the league has also moved games due to hurricanes Sunday night or Monday night.
The NFL would obviously not prefer to have the Jaguars game on Sunday than on Monday night. That’s when they already have a scheduled doubleheader with the Saints and Texans and Broncos and Raiders, but the hurricane and it’s possible damage will take precedence.
In the meantime it’s “a wait-and-see,” as Dorian slowly turns and heads North.
Gators announced home and home series with Cal Friday
The Florida Gators continued their philosophy of striking “home-and-home” deals with Power 5 opposition, when they announced on Friday that they will be doing so with the Cal-Berkley Bears out of the Pac-12 coming later in this decade.
The Gators made the announcement through their website and social media mid-day Friday that they will play Cal at home first and then travel to Berkeley the following year:
Coast to coast❗
🐻 at 🐊 2026
🐊 at 🐻 2027#GoGators
— Gators Football (@GatorsFB) February 7, 2020
A.D. Scott Stricklin has broken up the long tradition that Florida would only play two home out of conference games in September and usually, against much lesser competition before entering SEC play. Stricklin has been very outspoken that in the age of the College Football Playoff, strength of schedule is emphasized and the selection committee holds schools responsible for not playing top-notch out of conference opponents, at least some of the time.
With that in mind, the Gators opened the 2019 season in Orlando against the Miami Hurricanes and won a sloppy game. And, they already have other Power 5 schools laid out to play home and away.
As we previously wrote, Florida will be playing the Texas Longhorns first in Gainesville in 2030 and then. return the game the following year in Austin.
Florida had previously announced last year that they will also play the Colorado Buffaloes out of the Pac-12, again with the first game in Gainesville in 2028 and then, returning it to Boulder the following season.
It’s interesting with Friday’s announcement that Stricklin and the football program are working backwards with the schedule. And, they will now play Cal before Colorado in September of 2026, and then will be opening on the Berkeley campus the following season.
Florida and Cal have only met two times, having played first in Gainesville in 1974 as the Gators wo 21 – 17 and then, they also met in Tampa to open the 1980 season with a Florida 41-13 blowout victory.
Second National Signing Day recap for top state schools
National Signing Day 2020 has come and gone, and several in state schools were able to improve their classes heading into spring ball. The University of Florida watched rival Georgia secure the number one overall class, but the Gators were still able to land the best class in the state with the number eight class overall.
The Gators officially signed former five-star receiver Justin Shorter from Penn State, and Florida stayed in the family today as well, Xzavier Henderson officially joined the Gators. He’s the ounger brother of former DB C.J. Henderson.
Dan Mullen also able to dip into the state of Texas inking four-star DE Princely Umanmielen. It wasn’t all great news for the Gators, as they missed out on a few key guys, including losing out on arguably top state safety Avantae Williams to in state rival Miami. Overall it was a good cycle for the Gators both recruiting and in the transfer portal.
The Miami Hurricanes continued an impressive offseason on National Signing Day. The Canes made arguably the biggest move in the state by landing Williams and keeping him Florida. Williams became the highest rated Hurricane in the class and propelled the U to the number 13 spot.
Miami has the second-best class in the ACC behind Clemson. With an impressive offseason in the books, once again excitement will be in the air in Coral Gables. The question is: will they live up to it in year two for Manny Diaz?
Florida State and new coach Mike Norvell have been working hard to get this class rolling last minute. After a good early National Signing Day Norvell looked to keep the momentum going. The Noles took a big hit Wednesday though, with the loss of Venice four star WR, Malachi Wideman, who flipped to Tennessee.
The Noles came back from that by landing a handful of other recruits. They got the number six Juco running back La’Damian Webb, ass well as, Robert Scott, an offensive lineman and Corey Wren, an athlete/running back.
Replacing Cam Akers will be tough for Norvell and building the offensive line is a top priority. The former Memphis coach came in late like he did, yet he finishes with a decent class sitting at 22 on 24/7.
Now the work begins turning around the former powerhouse.