Billy Napier claps on the sideline.
Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

Florida's 2024 Schedule Could Be the Hardest Ever

Florida's 2024 football schedule is shaping up to be one of the hardest college football has ever seen, if you ask some fans.

Playing college football is already demanding, but the 2024 Florida Gators' schedule is shaping up to make it even more difficult for them.

Following Wednesday night's SEC schedule release on SEC Network, plenty of fans had thoughts about Texas and Oklahoma's integration. The return of the Texas-Texas A&M rivalry plus plenty more games were major subjects of conversation. However, some are pointing out that the Gators will have the toughest schedule in all of college football come 2024.

ESPN's Dan Orlovsky went so far as to say it's the hardest schedule...ever.

This schedule comes even after the SEC ruled that they'll only play eight conference games instead of nine, even with the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners joining the conference in 2024.

As the graphic shows, the Gators will play the following teams in 2024 (not in order):

  • Miami Hurricanes
  • UCF Knights
  • at Florida State Seminoles
  • Samford Bulldogs
  • Kentucky Wildcats
  • LSU Tigers
  • Ole Miss Rebels
  • Texas A&M Aggies
  • Georgia Bulldogs (neutral site)
  • at Tennessee Volunteers
  • at Texas Longhorns
  • at Mississippi State Bulldogs

As it is, the Gators will be without Anthony Richardson as he's gone onto the NFL, and while they'll have Graham Mertz under center this year, he's yet to prove much. In 2024, they could turn things over to Jack Miller III, who played for Florida last year and was with Ohio State for two years before that. They could also turn to Max Brown, a redshirt freshman. Of course, four-star 2024 commit DJ Lagway could also be ready by then.

Additionally, they could be without their star running back Montrell Johnson, who could go to the NFL after the 2023 season. That would mean Trevor Etienne, the younger brother of Jacksonville Jaguars running back Travis Etienne, could be the leading rusher.

In terms of the opponents, facing notable SEC heavyweights like Tennessee, Texas A&M, LSU, Georgia, and more will be tough considering the unknowns for the Gators roster. Then there's the fact that they'll play the gauntlet of major Florida teams in Miami, UCF and Florida State. UCF's move to the Big 12 could mean a more formidable roster by then.

Head coach Billy Napier of the Florida Gators talks with Trevor Etienne #7 during the 4th quarter of a game

Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

The way Georgia has been rolling makes that the hardest game on the schedule. Florida will also travel to the Longhorns in their first SEC season, and the Gators could face Arch Manning. This will be the first time the Gators have been in Austin against the Longhorns since 1940.

Samford may look like a pushover of an opponent, but when these teams last played in 2021, the Gators won by a final score of 70-52. Still, that looks like the only "cupcake" team.

While the Gators schedule is gearing up to be tough, this will create exciting games each weekend in the SEC with many competing programs. UF head coach Billy Napier will need to step his game up even more to keep the Gators afloat in the premier conference in college football.

MORE: The Texas Longhorns' 2024 Schedule is Shaping Up to Be Epic