Crunching numbers


My column which will appear or has appeared (depends on when you read this) in The Sun’s Thursday editions and on-line Wednesday night was the product of one of those late nights watching a baseball game in my office. I started thinking about how great it has been to cover the Gator football program over the last couple of decades and the next thing you know I was feverishly jotting down numbers.

I have four different notebooks with statistics that show Florida’s dominance of the SEC 2.0. That may not be the best name I could come up with for the league since it became 12 teams in 1992 so I’m open to suggestions. After all, this fodder has already been a big part of my speeches to Gator Clubs and will continue to be this season.

My brain is fried now because I added the numbers so many times to make sure they were right and even then I’m sure I missed something. But if I’m one off on something, it doesn’t take away what Florida has done in the last 17 seasons.

Here’s something I promised in my column, a more detailed look at the SEC in terms of conference wins and losing seasons since the start of the 1992 season.

Team Wins Avg. LS*
Florida 109 6.4 0
Tennessee 99 5.8 2
Georgia 85 5.0 4
Auburn 83 4.9 4
Alabama # 78 4.6 6
LSU 76 4.5 6
Arkansas 63 3.7 8
Mississippi 56 3.3 9
South Carolina 54 3.2 10
Mississippi State 49 2.9 10
Kentucky 38 2.1 13
Vanderbilt 23 1.4 16
* LS is for losing seasons.
# Alabama is credited with an 0-8 record in 1993 because of forfeited wins.

Every time I’d bounce some of these numbers of my wife or a friend, they were always surprised, especially when I mentioned that Florida is the only SEC team which has been to a bowl game each of the 17 years and the only one which has never had a losing SEC record during that stretch. They’d start thinking real hard until you could smell toast burning.

The point of all of this is to illustrate how great it has been for the Florida Gators since the league was re-aligned. Maybe this will make the Gator Nation appreciate this golden age.


  1. Thank you for taking the time to complete this arduous task. Now if only we could get the BCS re-aligned. Suggestion: All teams drop 2 of their cream puff teams from their schedules during the regular season. Allow those teams being dropped to receive the amount of money for playing from the Conferences they were to play. This can justify the two extra games being added in a playoff format. I find it hard to believe that this system wouldn’t generate more money then a 1 game Bowl System. Take the top four teams, 1 vs. 4 and 2 vs. 3. Winners play for the Crown. That’s 4 more Elite Bowl Games that would draw tremendous national audiences. Thoughts???

  2. Pat, Nicely done. I was looking at some stats as well and realized that Florida has been in 9 of the 17 SEC championship games, 3 more than the next best Alabama. The Gators were in the Championship game 53% of the time. That’s pretty damn good.

    I graduated from FL in 1984 but live in Alabama and it’s amazing to hear and read the hype and inward focus of the Tide fans. They are generally great fans but consistently lose perspective about their program and recent history.


  3. Didn’t do your stats, but have been saying this for awhile. My first season was Graves’ first, 1960, so I remember the “almost” years. Since 1990 (SOS) it has been special. Young fans (including most of the students) take it for granted. How many of them don’t remember our 5-15 records against UGa in the ’70s & 80s? When I tell some of them our UF-UGa record of 21-18 since 1970, they are stunned.

    Agree “SEC 2.0” is OK, but not great. How about “SEC 12” or “modern SEC” (which isn’t real good either, but it’s accurate)?

    Sad thing about your column is this: You’ll be characterized as a “homer” for writing it. One other down note: When Kiffin reads it, he’ll use it to justify every stupid statement he’s made about UF since landing at UT.

    Stay safe.

  4. Frankly, going 6-6 WITH Emmitt Smith makes me appreciate this golden age. As does 0-10-1. Or this result: Herschel Walker 44 UF 0. No one is entitled to winning, and it’s been a long hard climb to SEC respectability. Does anyone remember when our calling card was defense, and our best shot at respect was a hard-hitting game rather than victory? WHO DAT?

  5. Pat,

    I remember you talking about this when you were here in Pensacola and you are very right. My late father, who covered the Gators for several state papers in the 60’s while an undergraduate and in law school, and grandfather (both of whom were also Grover Robinson) agonized through so many years that last 17 or 19 are truly amazing. My father did get to enjoy the Spurrier years; however, my grandfather passed before we ever won a SEC title. My grandfather was a serious,respected attorney and judge who would say that there were only two acceptable places for cussing: one was playing golf and the other was while listening, we weren’t on TV much back then, to the Gators. This emphasises the point that there wasn’t always alot to cheer about.

    The numbers you referrence are amazing and they demonstrate why it is Great to be a Florida Gator right now. Keep up the good work and we look forward to seeing you next time you get up to the “Original” Florida.


  6. Great blog….I thank GOD for this golden age of Gator Football. I was born in 1970. My parents moved here in 1954 and wre seaon ticket holders since they moved here. My Dad was a long standing member of the quarterback club(even in the day of 50.00 handshakes) I remember two players coming over for dinner once every year as part of the clubs benefit.I was so young then. I remember suffering through many trips to Jax. Every time I hear about 4th and dumb and a couple of years later the name Lindsey Scott it still makes my stomach hurt. Even as a child it just meant so much to me. My parents divorced when I was 14. 1984, It just killed me when insult was added to injury and the SEC title was stolen from us. That title was the only good thing that happened to me that year. Fast forward to 1990. SOS returned to bring us glory and delivered us the title that for so many of us meant so much more than that. Since then I have been so appreciative of the way that tings have gone for the Gators. Since 1990 I’ve been married (’96 what a great year) and had children of my own. I am now a middle aged couch potato, sports talk radio geek and proud dad of two kids hopefully headed for UF. I’ve had tragedy and triumph in the last 19 years, but as far as Gator football goes I can’t believe that things could ever get better than this.I know that this sounds corny but to me Gator Football is part of the circle of life to me. I tell my friends to appreciate everything. The tailgates, road trips, times with family friends etc….It tuly is the straw for the drink that is life. Winning only makes the experience that much greater. It seems like a lifetime away from me gasping with horror as Mr. Scott ran down that field into history. That’s why to me beating GA is paramount. They are tied in to all of the crap that was going on in my family then. So thank you for pointing out that this truly is a great time to be a GATOR. Well done.

    Dave Diuguid

  7. It is even more impressive than that: UF has not had a losing season since 1979, and has had only winning seasons since going 6-6 in 1987. I wonder how many schools in the country have had only winning records going back 30 years. FSU?