GAINESVILLE, FL – NOVEMBER 27: Florida Gators athletic director Scott Stricklin speaks during an introductory press conference for new football head coach Dan Mullen at the Bill Heavener football complex on November 27, 2017 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)Florida football is looking to level up its non-conference scheduling, and add to future slates that already feature games with Miami, Colorado, Utah, and Texas. It doesn’t sound like we’re going to be adding Iowa State to that list anytime soon.Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin put out a public call for teams from the other four Power Five conferences to schedule home-and-homes with the Gators. This is a rare move, given that Florida hasn’t played one of those games out of the state since 1991.A few ADs have responded to the interesting public challenge from Stricklin. Among them: Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard.He jumped in to levy a pretty common criticism of the SEC’s eight-game conference schedule. As of now, the ACC and SEC are the only Power Five leagues to hold on to an eight game league slate, though the leagues have mandated at least one non-conference game against another Power Five team. Florida, of course, fills that spot with an annual series with Florida State, which is currently on the books through 2037, but expected to last in perpetuity.Pollard flexed a bit here, because on top of nine Big 12 games every year, the Cyclones have a tough rivalry game with the Iowa Hawkeyes.We already play 10 P5 games every year (9 conference games plus Iowa). Maybe the @SEC should play 9 conference games like the @Big12Conference— Jamie Pollard (@IASTATEAD) October 23, 2019Ultimately, I don’t know that Iowa State wants to compare schedules with a team that has already played Auburn and LSU this year, and has an annual game with Georgia, especially with Kansas on the slate annually.I certainly support Florida, and other teams of that ilk, looking to get us more interesting home-and-home games. We’ve seen a number of schools, including Alabama, Georgia, and Texas, go on scheduling sprees with other powers to give us matchups that we rarely see, that is much better for the fans than the neutral site games we’ve had for years, and extra games against overmatched Sun Belt foes.Florida and Iowa State have never faced off on the football field.
Phil Foden was expected to have forced his way into the senior England squad by now, but Gareth Southgate says the Manchester City starlet does not need a move to make that happen.The 19-year-old midfielder starred for his country as the Young Lions won the U17 World Cup in 2017 and has since stepped up through the ranks into the U21 set-up.He is considered to be one of the most naturally-gifted performers to have been developed by the English game in some time, but faces fierce competition for places at club level. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career That has restricted him to just 102 minutes at City this season, with Pep Guardiola favouring other more experienced options.It has been suggested that Foden may need a switch, potentially a loan one, in order to get the game time he needs to further unlock his undoubted potential.Such a decision may allow the youngster to force his way into Southgate’s plans, but the Three Lions boss is not convinced that a change of scenery is required for a player with time on his side.“Phil is still physically developing and I know Pep recognises the quality of the player, but equally the quality of the opposition around him,” said Southgate, as he readies his side for Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.“So I’m sure in the coming months that game time will increase as the number of matches racks up.“I think you should always assess those things halfway through the season and towards the end of the season to see how much football they’ve got, and then I’m sure they’ll make a decision on what’s right for him as a player.“It isn’t always as straightforward as to go on loan because that is fraught with some difficulties as well at times with the style of play, different training regime, everything around him.“But I know those discussions will be going on at Manchester City at the top.”Southgate is prepared to be patient with Foden and believes others should be taking a similar approach with a playmaker that should benefit in time from being at one of the biggest clubs in world football.He added: “It’s a little bit harder to get in the side at those bigger clubs, but when you’re in, as the Chelsea boys are now, there’s a great opportunity to play important matches, big-match experience.“So, I’d probably try to calm Phil’s situation, because there’s a lot of expectation around him and I think that’s a huge pressure for a young player potentially.“At the moment, a lot of his game has been forged with our junior team. That’s how he’s appeared on the scene, so we’re really happy with his progress.“His mentality when playing with the Under-21s in the last match was great. He needs those matches. He needs that stamina and that game time, and we think it’s right to put him on.”