Novembers to remember, forget


South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier and Florida head coach Urban Meyer meet at mid-field following the Gators' 56-6 victory over South Carolina in Gainesville on Nov.15, 2008.

Doug Finger/Staff photographer
Published: Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 5:14 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 5:14 p.m.

In college football, November is the month that defines a school's season. This is where BCS stars and slayers are born. This is also where championships can be gained and taken away.

For Florida and South Carolina, Novembers have been very different in the past five years. Florida has flourished in its final month of play, while the Gamecocks have struggled to finish seasons strong.

Florida put itself in a one-game playoff with South Carolina with its 55-14 win over Vanderbilt last week. The Gamecocks come in hurting after losing 41-20 to Arkansas.

Florida holds an impressive 20-1 record in November under coach Urban Meyer, in which the Gators are averaging 43 points, 459 total yards and surrendering just 21 points and 282 yards.

Conversely, South Carolina is just 7-11 under Steve Spurrier, averaging 23.6 points and 344 total yards, while allowing 26.3 points and 390 yards.

Let's take a closer look at how these schools have fared in the most important month of the season:


SOUTH CAROLINA
2005: 2-1
Highlight: Spurrier beat his alma mater 30-22 in his first try, knocking the Gators out of an SEC Championship Game berth.
Lowlight: Spurrier's first game against rival Clemson ended with the Tigers winning 13-9 in Columbia.

2006: 2-2
Highlight: Spurrier defeated Clemson 31-28 to conclude the regular season.
Lowlight: The Gamecocks dropped their last three SEC games (two in November), finishing 3-5 in the conference.

2007: 0-3
Highlight: After being beaten by a combined 99-67 to start the month, South Carolina played Clemson tight but lost, 23-21.
Lowlight: Going winless meant the Gamecocks finished on a five-game losing streak after starting 6-1.

2008: 2-2
Highlight: South Carolina remained bowl-eligible by winning two straight SEC games to begin the month.
Lowlight: The Gamecocks were embarrassed by Florida and Clemson, giving up 87 points and scoring 20.

2009: 1-2
Highlight: A 34-17 win over Clemson snapped a three-game losing streak.
Lowlight: Two SEC losses at the end of the year relegated the Gamecocks to the Papajohns.com Bowl.


FLORIDA
2005: 2-1
Highlight: Meyer earned his first win over rival Florida State, blowing out the Seminoles 34-7 at home.
Lowlight: Meyer lost his first game to SOS and failed to make the SEC Championship Game.

2006: 4-0
Highlight: Jarvis Moss' field-goal block against South Carolina will always be remembered as the play that saved Florida's national championship season.
Lowlight: The Gators almost gave up their national championship bid after finding every way to almost lose a close one at FSU.

2007: 4-0
Highlight: Tim Tebow probably secured the Heisman Trophy with his five touchdowns against South Carolina and his dismantling of FSU.
Lowlight: Florida gave up 20 points to lowly Florida Atlantic.

2008: 5-0
Highlight: Florida defeated rivals Georgia, South Carolina and FSU by a combined 150-31.
Lowlight: In its 45-15 win over FSU, Percy Harvin left with a severe ankle injury to the sound of cheering FSU fans.

2009: 4-0
Highlight: Florida sent out its 2009 senior class with a special 37-10 thrashing of FSU on Senior Day.
Lowlight: The Gators almost suffered their only regular-season loss after sputtering on offense for most of their 24-14 win at South Carolina.

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