It started the way so many of these lists start, two friends sharing beverages and scribbling them down on a cocktail napkin.
In this case, it was a going-away meeting with Larry Vettel, the longtime Gator broadcaster who is moving to New York City. He mentioned that last year’s Florida-Georgia game was the most unexplainable result in all of his years of covering the Gators.
I couldn’t agree more. But we didn’t stop there. After all, we had a history both on radio and TV of semi-intelligent conversation. One for the road?
So here are our top 10 most bizarre results in Gator football during our time paying attention. These aren’t the biggest upsets or biggest wins or losses. They are the 10 most bizarre results.
1. Florida 38, Georgia 20, 2014: It wasn’t just that Florida won two weeks after Will Muschamp hammered another nail in his coffin with the embarrassing loss against Missouri. It’s that Florida won while putting up 27 passing yards and running the same play over and over en route to 418 rushing yards. Fittingly, the bizarre game ended with Georgia kicking a field goal with three seconds left.
2. Georgia Southern 26, Florida 20, 2013: Georgia Southern without completing a pass. End of story.
3. Florida 28, Rutgers 28, 1985: Florida led 28-0 when Galen Hall decided to play his backup quarterback in Rodney Brewer. A pick-six changed momentum and the Scarlet Knights actually had a chance to win it at the end. Remember, this UF team went 9-1-1.
4. Florida 59, Houston 34, 1969: Nobody saw it coming. Nobody. And game where their are more fans in the stands in the fourth quarter than the second belongs on this list.
5. Florida 19, LSU 7, 2003: Florida was unranked, 3-3 and had been destroyed by the Tigers the year before in The Swamp. LSU would eventually win the national title this year under Nick Saban. LSU ran back the opening punt for a touchdown. What happened the rest of the way is unexplainable.
6. Duke 12, Florida 6, 1971: Opening game of Doug Dickey’s second season. The Super Sophs were now seniors. Still can’t understand what happened.
7. Mississippi State 38, Florida 31: The game that got Ron Zook fired. The Bulldogs had lost to Maine earlier in the season. That’s all you need to know.
8. Georgia 51, Florida 0, 1968: Ray Graves switched his coordinators for this game. The result gave all of the writers an easy line — “Florida looked like its offense was coached by its defensive coordinator and its defense was coached by its offensive coordinator. Which was true.”
9. Florida 41, California 13, 1980: Florida was 0-10-1 the year before and Cal was loaded with talent. The fans didn’t know that Bob Hewko was pretty good.
10. Florida 23, Alabama 14, 1987: Emmitt Smith’s breakout game is still difficult to believe.