A popular argument against the SEC is its so-called lack of out-of-conference travel. The argument falls flat against several SEC teams, but holds true for Florida. The Gators — believe it or not — haven’t traveled outside of the Southeast as a guest since 1991 when they lost 38-21 to Syracuse in the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y. That’s 21 years ago.

New Orleans: The 1991 SEC Championship team was the first official one for Florida, which finished 10-1 in the regular season, losing only to Syracuse in the Carrier Dome. However, the Gators lost 39-28 to Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl.

Florida points to its annual neutral field rivalry with Georgia in Jacksonville as to why it takes every opportunity to schedule extra home games (for the extra revenue) instead of traveling. However, Georgia, which faces the same situation, has been to Tempe, Ariz., Stillwater, Okla., and Boulder, Colo., within the past 4 years. Of course, Florida could point to Georgia’s 1-2 record in those games as a reason to keep things closer to home. The Bulldogs were also hammered by Alabama in 2008 the week following their only win out west in Tempe.

The Gators travel to College Station, Texas, this Saturday for Texas A&M’s inaugural SEC game. If an out-of-conference opponent couldn’t draw them out, then it seems as if the SEC was ready to send Florida west as its welcoming committee. Jeff Driskel has been Florida’s starting QB after a camp-long battle with Jacoby Brissett. The Gators played both in the first half against Bowling Green, and head coach Will Muschamp tapped Driskel for the second half as Florida slogged through a 27-14 opening win. Gators’ coaches and players won’t say how much of new offensive coordinator Brent Pease’s offense they showed last Saturday, but the consensus is they played it close to the vest.

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