I’ve never thought much about open dates before, well other than that is just a week in the season when the Gators do not play.
However, a lot of information can be gained from just looking at the numbers in an open week and the week that follows.
The Gators’ first open date was before the game played Nov. 22, 1907. Since then the Gators have had 115 more open dates. Now, the first thing I’ve noticed was we have had more open dates than years played.
There was quite a stretch where there were no open dates and then even as late the 1980s there were seasons that had three open dates. From 1923-27 no open dates. There was no open date in 1931 or 1936-37, but 1933 did have two.
Open dates did become the rule in the 1950s even though the Gators went through the 1957 season without one. That was the last season without an open date. The last season with three open dates was in 2002. With expanded schedules, I doubt we will have another three open date season.
So how have the Gators fared over the years the week following an open date? Well, at this point the Gators are 73-39-4 following an open date. That is not counting bowl games as following open dates, just regular season games.
The Gators average 23 points on offense and yield 16 points on defense following an open date.
At home the Gators are 29-11-1 following an open date by a score of 29-12. The last game the Gators lost at home following an open date was in 2003 against FSU. There has only been one game against LSU following an open date. That was in 2009 at Baton Rouge, La., a 13-3 Gators win.
The Gators’ last loss in a game following open date was last season against Georgia.