What to Know
The Miami Hurricanes will look to prove that their 10 win season was not a one year deal while both FSU and Florida intro new coaches.
For the second straight season, NBC6.com will preview each of the top battles involving Florida teams and ranking them.
For fans of college football, the long wait of summer is finally over as the first full weekend of games takes place to ring in the month of September – and for fans from the Sunshine State, that means a slate of games that will feature plenty of intrigue and some new names.
The Miami Hurricanes will look to prove that their 10 win season was not a one year deal while both the Florida State Seminoles and Florida Gators look to break in new coaches with much different levels of difficulty in their openers.
At the same time, South Florida programs like FAU and FIU begin their hunt for another bowl game finish – while the UCF Knights have already gotten their season off the right way with a blowout win in their opener to extend the nation’s longest current win streak.
For the second straight season, NBC6.com will preview each of the top battles involving Florida teams and ranking them the only way we know how – on a scale of one to four peacocks.
Miami vs. LSU (Sunday)
Head coach Mark Richt had the Hurricanes on the brink of being an elite program last season after winning the first 10 games of the season. Losing the final three games of the season brought things down a notch, but the anticipation is there for a team predicted to win the ACC Coastal Division for a second straight season as they take on a Tigers team that has been one of the hardest to figure out in recent seasons.
FIU vs. Indiana (Saturday)
After leading the Panthers to the postseason in his first year, head coach Butch Davis has the men from Southwest Miami-Dade thinking about something bigger: a chance to compete for the Conference USA title. Even though the Hoosiers are not one of college football’s elite, a win over the Big Ten program would be a big step in the right direction this season for FIU.
Florida State vs. Virginia Tech (Monday)
For just the third time since the 1976 season, the Seminoles will have a new head coach on the sidelines as Willie Taggart begins his Tallahassee tenure – and has a schedule ranked by many as one of the toughest in the country this season. The Noles will start things off with Deondre Francois at quarterback after he missed almost all of last season with an injury against a Hokies defense that is traditionally one of the best.
Florida vs. Charleston Southern (Saturday)
The Gators are also joining the new coach party as Dan Mullen, who was the offensive coordinator for their last two national titles, returns to lead a Florida offense that has been non-existent for much of the last few seasons. Feleipe Franks, who spent several games starting last season as a redshirt freshman, will get the nod to begin the season under center against this FCS foe.
FAU at Oklahoma (Saturday)
After winning their conference last season, the Owls are among the conversation for teams who could make a New Years Six bowl game this season – of course, they will be tested very early by a Sooners team who was one of the four teams that made the College Football Playoff last season before losing their Heisman Trophy winning quarterback, Baker Mayfield, to the NFL.
Other State Games
The South Florida Bulls open their season at home against FCS foe Elon while the FAMU Rattlers host Fort Valley State in their season opener – as rival Bethune-Cookman starts their season on the road against Tennessee State.