Florida Gators football just got a bit more interesting.
Both the University of Florida and the UCF Knights have agreed on a deal that would have the programs play three times over the next several years, including two games in Gainesville and one game in Orlando.
The matchups are set for Oct. 5, 2024, Sep. 14, 2030, and Sep. 3, 2033, with the 2024 and 2033 games set to ensue at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Fla.
The two programs have faced each other just two other times in history, in 2006 and 1999. Florida won both matchups, rather handily.
The two fanbases have had a pseudo rivalry for quite some time, though many would say it has been one-sided. The two sides have gone at it on social media, particularly when UCF went on to finish its season undefeated, claiming to be the 2018 National Champions, going so far as to throw a parade.
Since then, Florida and UCF have attempted to create a multi-game series, but the talks would ultimately fall through. Former UCF athletic director Danny White and Florida AD Scott Stricklin ultimately couldn't come to an agreement, something that White understood at the time.
"We have a ton of respect for [Florida AD] Scott [Stricklin] and their stance on the issue, but playing a non-conference home-and-home with us doesn’t really make sense for them and playing a 2-for-1 really doesn’t make sense for UCF,” White said at the time.
“We’re sold out most likely for the entire season. We don’t need to play games on the road to set up a home sellout. We sell out all the time. I just think financially and competitively, it doesn’t really make sense for us to play each other and we’re going to move on.”
Now, with new UCF athletic director Terry Mohajir in charge, those talks re-ignited with the two sides finally coming to terms on a deal.
There had been speculation regarding whether or not the two sides would re-engage in a new deal ever since new UCF head coach Gus Malzahn took charge, however. During his introductory press conference, Malzahn was asked whether or not the program wanted to play the Gators or any program in Florida for that matter.
"I know we definitely want to play Florida in the future, and I expect [coach] Dan [Mullen] probably wants to play us, too,” Malzahn said, via ESPN’s Andrea Adelson.
“[Florida State coach] Mike Norvell, we’re really close, we go way back. I know he’d probably want to play us, and we’ll try to play Miami, too. Before I leave out of here, I want to play them all.”
It appears that will soon become a reality as Florida and UCF have agreed to make their end of the deal happen.
You can find UF's entire out-of-conference schedule through 2033 below.
- 2021: Florida State
- 2022: Utah, at Florida State
- 2023: at Utah
- 2024: Miami, UCF
- 2025: at Miami
- 2026: Cal, at NC State
- 2027: at Cal
- 2028: Colorado, at Arizona State
- 2029: at Colorado
- 2030: Texas, at UCF
- 2031: at Texas, Arizona State, at Notre Dame
- 2032: Notre Dame, NC State
- 2033: UCF