When it comes to scheduling arrangements involving a Power Five and Group of Five program, this is certainly an interesting one.
Both Florida and USF announced Tuesday a future series between the two schools. As part of the three-game series, the Bulls will travel to Gainesville’s Ben Hill Griffin Stadium for two of the matchups — Sept. 17, 2022, and Sept. 6, 2025. In between is the interesting aspect as the Gators will make the trek south to play at Raymond James Stadium on Sept. 9, 2023.
That latter game will mark the first time ever the two teams will square off in Tampa.
“We are very excited for our program and our fans to add three games against the University of Florida to our schedule,” a statement from USF athletic director Mark Harlan began. “I would like to thank Coach Strong for his desire to play a challenging non-conference schedule and the leadership at Florida for their partnership in making this happen. We are committed to scheduling opponents that our fans are excited to see the Bulls compete against and Florida certainly ranks very high on that list.”
“This is a unique scheduling opportunity that allows us to get three games against a quality FBS opponent, with two at home and one in a great venue in Tampa,” Harlan’s UF counterpart, Scott Stricklin, said in his statement. “A lot of Gator fans will have the opportunity to attend that game and we are looking forward to being able to play a regular-season game in central Florida.”
The two teams have met just once previously. In Week 2 of the 2010 season, the Gators dropped the Bulls 38-14 in The Swamp in what turned out to be Urban Meyer‘s final season with the program.
Charlie Strong, the current USF head coach, was in his first season in the same job at Louisville that year after spending the previous seven seasons as the defensive coordinator of the Gators. UF’s current head coach, Dan Mullen, spent four years as Meyer’s offensive coordinator before taking over at Mississippi State in 2009.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to host South Florida twice in The Swamp and also play them in Raymond James Stadium,” Mullen said. “The Tampa/St. Petersburg area is an important recruiting footprint for us and our players will love playing another game in an NFL stadium.”
Continued kudos, Alabama.
Earlier this month, Brandon Kennedy opted to leave Alabama as a graduate transfer. The offensive lineman, as it turns out, is interested in a transfer to Alabama rivals Auburn and Tennessee; as has been the case in the past — or not — Kennedy has been barred by UA from transferring to any other school in the conference despite the fact that he’s a graduate transfer.
Kennedy, a graduate transfer, appealed the initial decision that blocked him from an intra-conference move. In a stunning turn of events, that initial appeal has been denied by the university.
Al.com writes that “[t]he next step for Kennedy, who graduated in December, is an in-person hearing with Alabama’s appeal board.” As noted by the website, Kennedy graduated from the university in December, which makes him a graduate transfer.
When that in-person hearing in front of Alabama’s appeals board will take place for the student-athlete who has already graduated is unclear.
Kennedy, prior to becoming a graduate transfer, served as the Crimson’s Tide backup center in 2017, his redshirt sophomore season. After graduating in December, Kennedy exited spring practice this year as the defending national champion’s likely No. 2 center.
As a graduate transfer, Kennedy would have a two-year eligibility clock that begins immediately with the 2018 season even if he stays in the FBS.
On a completely related note…
Since last summer, at least two players have transferred within the SEC. In June of 2017, running back David Williams moved from South Carolina to Arkansas. Earlier this month, defensive back Nick Harvey left Texas A&M and chose South Carolina over, among others, Auburn and Tennessee.
Both Williams and Harvey left their former schools as graduate transfers.
Kudos, Alabama. Still.
Kiy Hester‘s winding college football journey is set to take him to yet another destination.
On his personal Twitter account over the weekend, Hester announced that he will be transferring to Florida International and spending his final season of collegiate eligibility playing for Butch Davis‘ squad. The defensive back will be leaving Rutgers as a graduate transfer.
Hester had also considered Pitt before opting for the Conference USA school.
Hester, once committed to RU as a high school prospect, was originally a four-star member of Miami’s 2014 recruiting class. In September of that year, he received a release from his UM scholarship and transferred to Rutgers that same month.
The past three seasons, Hester started 19 of the 29 games in which he played. Eight of those starts and 11 of the appearances came during a 2017 regular season that saw him earn honorable mention All-Big Ten honors after finishing fourth in the conference with 1.2 passes defensed per game.
In December of last year, Hester opted to transfer from the Scarlet Knights.
Welp, so much for that.
In mid-December, Bailey Granier (pictured, No. 75) announced on Twitter that he would be transferring from Vanderbilt to Tulane after graduating. However, on the same social media site this month, Granier revealed that, instead of Tulane, he would instead be transferring to UCF to finish out his collegiate playing career.
The offensive lineman, who attended the Green Wave’s spring game this year, gave no specific reason for the about-face.
Granier played in 27 games during his time with the Commodores, starting five of those contest during that time. All of those starts came at right tackle — two this past season, three in 2015.