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Ranking football's toughest tests | Gainesville.com
In degree of difficulty, Florida's 2011 schedule was, say, about an 11 on a scale of one to 10.
It's not as daunting this season, mainly because Alabama is not on it. But it's a demanding schedule nonetheless, and the challenges come early and often.
In the past, the Gators usually have had two preseason-type games against lesser opponents to ease into the season. This season, they pretty much dive right in.
LSU looks to be the most dangerous team on Florida's schedule and the Gators get them in Gainesville. Texas A&M is still a huge question mark.
There's no such animal as an "easy" SEC schedule, but Florida's 2012 slate won't be as brutal as the 2011 season. With another year under Will Muschamp, Florida expects to be better and the record on this schedule should show it.
Still, it's a nice conceit to know that a schedule not including Alabama is such an improvement over one that does.