2021 Florida football schedule analysis: Gators host Alabama to kick off SEC slate

 Blake Lovell   in Football

(Tim Casey/Florida Athletics)

Here are some thoughts on Florida's football schedule for the 2021 season.

SCHEDULE

Sept. 4 vs. Florida Atlantic

Sept. 11 at USF

Sept. 18 vs. Alabama

Sept. 25 vs. Tennessee

Oct. 2 at Kentucky

Oct. 9 vs. Vanderbilt

Oct. 16 at LSU

Oct. 30 vs. Georgia

Nov. 6 at South Carolina

Nov. 13 vs. Samford

Nov. 20 at Missouri

Nov. 27 vs. Florida State

ANALYSIS

- Florida's non-conference schedule is once again headlined by in-state foes, plus a matchup against Samford. Luckily for the Gators, they're more talented than all of them. Florida State, unsurprisingly, figures to offer the biggest challenge. However, this is still a program trying to find its way in Mike Norvell's second season.

- With the SEC slate, there's an obvious starting point. Florida draws Alabama as its other SEC opponent aside from its regular permanent crossover opponent in LSU. That makes the path to an SEC title a bit tougher.

- Speaking of the game those two games, Florida coach Dan Mullen said at SEC Media Days that he'd be fine with eliminating the regular LSU game to mix up his team's SEC West opponents. 

"I don't want to get the commissioner in trouble here, but I'd like us to maybe do away with the permanent crossover team so you get these type of games more often," he said. "I think for the players, for the fan bases, I really think it's exciting to see some more of maybe mixing up the teams from the West and playing two different teams each year instead of a permanent crossover. I think that would be really exciting so you get this matchup."

- In the East, the Gators' toughest games - outside of the rivalry tilt with Georgia - will come on the road. Kentucky and Missouri may not compete for a division crown, but they're intriguing. However, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt are all in rebuilding mode.