A look at how the Gators performed the season after not qualifying for a postseason game


Quarterback Shane Matthews led the Gators to a 10-2 record the season after NCAA sanctions kept them from a bowl game following the 1990 season.

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Published: Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, December 31, 2013 at 10:42 p.m.

There is nothing like the momentum created by a victory in a bowl game, at least if you are a voter in a college football poll or are putting out a preseason magazine the following summer. The truth is that winning or losing a bowl game has little to do with the next season. But what about a team that doesn't make a bowl? For the Florida Gators, it has gone both ways.

THE GOOD

1. 1990.

Bowl-less

The 1990 Florida team found out before the season that it would be hit by NCAA penalties that included no bowl participation. So despite a 9-2 season and the fact that none of the current players or coaches were involved in the allegations, the Gators sat home.

The next season

Who needs those extra bowl practices? With Shane Matthews at quarterback and Steve Spurrier calling the plays, the Gators won their first official SEC championship and went 7-0 in league play.

2. 1984.

Bowl-less

Again, NCAA sanctions prevented the Gators from bowling despite a 9-1-1 record. Florida won the SEC that year (despite Charley Pell being fired three games into the season), but had the title stripped by a league vote in the spring.

The next season

Florida didn't miss a beat recording another 9-1-1 record and reaching the top spot in the Associated Press poll for the first time in school history.

3. 1979.

Bowl-less

Charley Pell's first team was competitive, but had issues at quarterback (he tried five of them). The Gators also lost star linebacker Scot Brantley in the second game of the season. The 0-10-1 season is almost a badge of honor.

The next season

The Gators had what was at the time the biggest turnaround in college football history by winning eight games, including the Tangerine Bowl in Orlando.

4. 1968.

Bowl-less

It was supposed to be the Year of the Gator (again), but it fell apart. Florida lost in Jacksonville 51-0 when Ray Graves switched coordinators the week before the game. The final 6-3-1 record was not bowl-worthy.

The next season

With a bunch of sophomores running the offense, the Gators went 9-1-1 in Graves' last season. Florida started with a stunning win over Houston and finished the season with a win in the Gator Bowl.

THE NOT-SO-GOOD

1. 1986.

Bowl-less

The NCAA sanctions started to hit in '86 and Florida managed a big win over Georgia. But the 6-5 record was a major disappointment after 18 wins the previous two years.

The next season

Even with quarterback Kerwin Bell back for his senior season, it didn't get much better. Florida lost its opener against Miami and scored two safeties for its four points. UF finished the season by losing four of its last five games to finish 6-6.

2. 1970.

Bowl-less

Doug Dickey's first year as the head coach was a struggle. The Gators beat Georgia and Florida State, but finished 7-4 and were not invited to a bowl game.

The next season

It got worse before it got better. The Super Sophs were now seniors, but the 1971 team started 0-5 and finished 4-7 despite wins over FSU and Miami. This team was also the author of the “Florida Flop.”

3. 1945.

Bowl-less

No bowl game was looking at Florida in Thomas J. Lieb's final season. He went 4-5-1 to complete a five-season stint at 20-26-1.

The next season

Welcome to Gainesville, Raymond Wolf. It didn't get off to a great start for the new Gator coach, who went winless in nine games in 1946.

4. 1978.

Bowl-less

Doug Dickey was under fire late in the season and losses to FSU and Miami sealed his fate. The Gators finished 4-7 and Dickey was let go.

The next season

Charley Pell walked into a mess, taking the job before he ever looked at the facilities. His rebuilding job started with an 0-10-1 season.

5. 1934

Bowl-less

D.K. Stanley had a pretty solid team with a 6-3-1 record and wins over Georgia Tech and Auburn. But at the time there were fewer bowls than there are Kardashian sisters.

The next season

It didn't work out for Stanley, whose team in 1935 went 3-7. He was let go following the season.

Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at dooleyp@gvillesun.com. And follow at Twitter.com/Pat_Dooley.

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