Don’t look now, but a Florida streak is in jeopardy.
The Gators sports program has been dominant in the SEC, winning 12 consecutive SEC All-Sports Awards and 28 overall.
But the UF program is going to need a rally to make it 13 in a row.
Florida heads into the final stretch trailing both Texas A&M and Tennessee in the overall standings.
The margin among the three teams is narrow in scoring by Gatehouse Media, but Florida may not be able to count on strong finishes in two sports where it usually does well.
All sports have been counted except baseball, softball, men’s and women’s golf and men’s and women’s track and field. Although SEC teams have participated in the SEC indoors and cross country, those scores will not be added to the totals until outdoor track and field is completed.
But while Florida will get a boost from track, the usual big points from baseball and softball are in question.
Florida’s baseball team is 6-9 in the conference and sitting in a tie for 10th place heading into the second half of the season. Florida’s softball team — at 9-6 — is in fifth place. The softball Gators are two games out of first, but also two games out of eighth in the ultra-competitive conference.
UF won both SEC titles a year ago and has won four straight in softball.
According to the current All-Sports standings, Florida’s men are in first place ahead of No. 2 Mississippi State. Florida men won the SEC in tennis and swimming this academic year.
The women are currently fourth with a lone title in gymnastics. A surprisingly low finish in soccer (13th) certainly didn’t help.
But Florida can still win the trophy again with a strong finish. The SEC women’s golf tournament began Wednesday in Birmingham, Ala. Men’s golf starts April 24 in St. Simons Island, Ga.
SEC track and field will begin May 9 in Fayetteville, Ark.
GateHouse Media, which owns The Gainesville Sun as well as many other newspapers in the SEC footprint, will award the trophy for the fifth straight year.
The Halifax Media Group awarded the 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14 trophies. The New York Times Regional Newspaper Group gave the awards from the 1994-95 through 2010-11 seasons.
Prior to that, the league tabulated the SEC All-Sports totals before deciding to do away with what was then called the Bernie Moore Trophy partly because of Florida’s dominance.
The award started in 1973-74 and was spread among five schools before Florida started rolling. LSU won six titles including four in a row, Alabama won five and Tennessee four.
But Florida won three in a row by wide margins and the Bernie Moore Trophy was discontinued by the league.
Points are awarded based on the number of competing teams in a sport. A program’s points total is divided by the total number of teams competing in the sports the school fields and that quotient ranks the teams in the final GateHouse Media standings. The sports of cross country, indoor and outdoor track & field are combined.
The last school to win the award other than Florida was Georgia in 2005-06.