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May 27, 2014

Roundup: Florida's SEC slate coming together




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The summertime new cycle can be slow and nitpicky, barring arrests. It usually consists of looking for the smallest pieces of news and analyzing them to death. So when CBS announces the skeleton of its television schedule for the 2014 football season, we listen.

Just three games are set in stone, one of them being a Nov. 1 meeting between Florida and Georgia that will be televised at CBS' trademark 3:30 p.m. timeslot for the 12th year in a row. CBS also announced it will have two doubleheader Saturdays - a noon/3:30 p.m. lineup on Oct. 11 and a 3:30 p.m./8 p.m lineup on Nov. 8. The latter gives the network the opportunity to continue its recent tradition of showing Alabama-LSU in primetime.

Here are some Florida-related observations-guesses-etc. for the 2014 schedule:

* Florida at Alabama on Sept. 20 is almost guaranteed to be the 3:30 game of the week. There are only two other SEC games on the docket that weekend.

* Don't be surprised if the Gators have to go into Neyland Stadium for a night game when they face the Volunteers on Oct. 4. LSU at Auburn is likely to be the marquee game of the weekend, leaving Florida-Tennessee in the selection pot for ESPN. It doesn't have the gusto it once did, but the matchup would still be an intriguing primetime fixture in a hostile environment.

* Probably Florida's biggest home game of the season, LSU comes to town Oct. 11. But whether or not it is one of the conference's biggest games of the weekend depends on how the Gators and Tigers have fared in the three weeks leading into the game. Road tests at Alabama and Tennessee will be tricky for Florida, while LSU is coming off a trip to defending national runner-up Auburn. If Georgia-Missouri gets the 3:30 nod, Florida could host LSU in a night game for the first time since 2010. The noon CBS game would be a possibility as well, but CBS would have to pick the Gators over Alabama-Arkansas, Ole Miss-Texas A&M and Auburn-Mississippi State.

We could overanalyze the schedule all day but it's a simple as this: If Florida is a one-loss team or better after Oct. 11, they'll play during showcase time slots. If they're not, get ready for more noon games.

-- BASEBALL AWARDS --

Florida's baseball team has accomplished plenty this season, especially for a team that barely slid into the 2013 NCAA Tournament and was gone in two games 852 miles from home in Bloomington, Ind. A turnaround like that usually plays right into postseason awards.

The Southeastern Conference happened to announce its awards Tuesday. Lots of orange and blue.

Coach of the Year: Kevin O'Sullivan
Freshman of the Year: right-handed pitcher Logan Shore
First-team All-SEC: catcher Taylor Gushue, Shore
Second-team All-SEC: outfielder Harrison Bader
SEC All-Freshman Team: Shore, first baseman Peter Alonso, third baseman John Sternagel


This is the second time O'Sullivan has received the award, the first time coming in 2010 when the Gators eventually reached the College World Series. Shore, a Minnesota native, went from a relative unknown to Florida's regular Friday night starter over the course of the season.

-- ODDS AND ENDS --

* Brett McMurphy and Mark Schlabach of ESPN issued their preseason bowl projections for 2014. McMurphy has the Gators playing in the Capital One Bowl against Iowa. Schlabach has Florida in the Gator Bowl against Michigan.

* The Minnesota Vikings announced Tuesday former Gators defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd will get to wear No. 73 in 2014. Floyd wore the number at Florida and in high school but sported No. 95 as a rookie.


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