For the last 22 seasons, the Florida Gators football team has suffered from an acute psychological disorder. No, we’re not talking about PTSD (Post Traumatic Spurrier Disorder). It’s actually something much more debilitating, at least in terms of scheduling – agoraphobia, or the fear of public or open spaces that often holds the afflicted a prisoner in their home (even if it’s a swamp).
It didn’t take a stroke of miraculous genius on the part of House to diagnose this case, as the facts are pretty straightforward. The Gators have not played a nonconference game outside the state of Florida since going to Syracuse in 1991. But that will soon change.
The Gators have agreed to take on Michigan in the 2017 season-opening Cowboys Classic in Dallas, both schools announced Thursday. Florida makes their first appearance in the game, while the Wolverines will head back to Arlington to face an SEC team five years after being manhandled by Alabama at AT&T Stadium.
We’re not sure if the Gators have teamed up with reps from Paxil, Xanax or some other anti-anxiety medication to help them with their disorder. Regardless, we do know that Florida will finally leave the Sunshine State to play a non-conference opponent.
It’s not hard to imagine why Florida has shied away from venturing out too much, as a Gator too far from home can easily become a new pair of designer shoes, high-end carry-on luggage, a trophy in someone’s living room, or a deep fried appetizer. But Florida’s decision to play in the Cowboys Classic is somewhat of a head-scratcher.
For Michigan, the game should provide a nice bump in strength of schedule, but from Florida’s perspective, it could just end up leading to even more prescriptions. With the SEC expected to go to a nine-game league schedule by then and an annual game against Florida State, Florida’s 2017 schedule could be one of the most difficult ones in school history.
That leaves just one slot remaining for a cream puff like (ahem) Georgia Southern. Who knows, the Gators might even finish 2017 with a losing record, sparking a sweeping reliance on antidepressants throughout the Florida fan base.
Whether he’s around in four years is a mystery, but I hear Will Muschamp does have some good recommendations for psychiatric treatment centers in the greater Gainesville area, or at least he should!