Urban Meyer and Florida's SEC West Curse

Darrell OwenbyContributor IOctober 12, 2009

LEXINGTON, KY - SEPTEMBER 26:  Head coach Urban Meyer of the Florida Gators prepares his team before they take on the Kentucky Wildcats at Commonwealth Stadium on September 26, 2009 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

This article originally appeared on Darrell Owenby's SEC Sports Blog, SECRivals.com

With a career record of 88 wins and only 17 losses, Coach Urban Meyer has established himself among the nation's elite coaches. Half of Meyer's total wins (44), have come during the regular season while at the University of Florida.

Who Has Meyer's Number the Most?

UF Coach, Urban Meyer
UF Coach, Urban Meyer

While at Florida, Meyer has never lost an out of conference game.  Granted, the out of conference schedules have included such national power houses as Central Florida, Western Kentucky, and Charleston Southern.  One can not lose sight of the fact that Meyer had very little input to the setting of the schedule.

All eight of Meyer's regular season losses have been to SEC teams.  Do any particular teams seem to have Coach Meyer's number?  While no one particular team seems to have an upper hand on the current Florida Gators coaching staff, six of the eight losses came by the hands of SEC West schools.

Digging a little deeper into Meyer's record, of the eight SEC losses, only three occurred in The Swamp.  When the Gators lost to an SEC West team, four of the six losses came on the road.

2005 was Meyer's first season in Gainesville and while the team dropped three SEC contests, two of the losses were to SEC West teams.  Alabama trounced the Gators 31-3 while LSU won 21-17.  Both of these games were road games for Florida.

Florida finished the 2006 regular season 11-1, and only Auburn prevented the Gators from finishing with their first ever undefeated season, losing 27-17.

2007 brought the Gators three losses, all in the SEC.  A rare home loss in The Swamp (to Auburn, 20-17), a loss to Georgia in Jacksonville, and yet another road loss at LSU (28-24).

Ole Miss, a 22 point road dog, ended Florida's hopes of an undefeated season in 2008.  The Rebels walked out of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium with a 31-30 win.

Four seasons, eight SEC losses.  Outside of the loss to the Crimson Tide in 2005, Meyer's average margin of loss is a low 4.75 points.

A complete rundown of the losses to SEC West teams:

2005:  at Alabama (UF favored by 3), lost 31-3
at LSU (UF was a 6 point road dog), lost 21-17

2006: at Auburn (UF was favored by 2), lost 27-17

2007: vs Auburn (UF was favored by 17), lost 20-17
at LSU (UF was a 7 point road dog), lost 28-24

2008: vs Ole Miss (UF was favored by 22), lost 31-30

Coming into this weekend's game against the Arkansas Razorbacks, the Gators are favored by 22 points.  After losing in a blow-out against Alabama, Arkansas has looked sharp on offense the past two weeks.  Will the Razorbacks be this year's SEC West road loss for Florida?

Florida is riding high as the number one team in the country.  While Tim Tebow is still suffering the effects of a major concussion, and the wide receivers lack of ability to separate from defensive backs, the odds makers are apparently either oblivious to history or simply believe that the Gators will destroy the Razorbacks.