I’m going to start off this post by saying that I totally understand why a lot of fans want to play Idaho. Trust me, I do. It’s an easy win, and hey, who doesn’t like wins, right? I really do get it.
But when you step back and think about the big picture, it doesn’t really make a ton of sense for the University of Florida, and the University of Florida gets to make this call.
As I wrote last night, there are two plausible options. Declare the game a no-contest or replay it on October 25, when both teams have byes- and a week before Florida plays Georgia in a game that means a hell of a lot more than this one. While I’m sure all the fans who invested any time and energy into this game- like these two Gator superfans– really want to see the game get played, and see Florida win big, it’s just not in the best interest of the Florida Gators to do that. It sucks, but it’s the truth.
A bye week before the Georgia game is of vital importance for two main reasons. First, it gives any key players who might be dinged up a chance to rest and recover before the huge game in Jacksonville. After what we experienced last year in the injury department, I’d guess that you would nod your head and say “sign me up for that!”… right? Risking injury to any player who may play a role in beating Georgia in a game that essentially means nothing seems downright foolish.
Second, it gives coaches the chance to install new packages and formations, which is something that’s extremely taken for granted these days. It’s almost like a mini-training camp in that regard. Players get more reps with the new stuff, not to mention more confidence, and that’s something that means more to college football football players than anybody could understand.
Flashback to 2004. Florida’s season opener against Middle Tennessee State was pushed back to the week before Georgia. Florida lost that game to Georgia for the second time in 15 years.
So having that bye before the Georgia game has historically proven to be quite crucial. I don’t want to give it up on a game that’s ultimately going to mean nothing other than a gimme win, and I doubt Jeremy Foley does either.
The only way this win could possibly help Florida is for bowl consideration, and if that turns out to be the case, we’re going to have bigger problems than that. Namely, who should be our next coach?