Alabama beat Florida’s ass yesterday.
The Gators are not SEC Champs, have no chance to become national champs, and Tim Tebow won’t win his second Heisman.
Is there anything to remember about this season?
What are the moments that will stick out five years from now?
Is the Seminole game memorable, possibly LSU?
This is what happens when teams tweak their schedules to hopefully go undefeated, and they fail.
The Gators have done this for 20 years, and it’s worked zero times.
Steve Spurrier came home in 1990 and brought the Gators out of obscurity, but one of the ways he did it was to stop scheduling potentially interesting games voluntarily.
He took the Fun ‘n Gun to Syracuse in 1991. That was the last time the Gators left the state of Florida to play an out-of-conference road game—1991.
The SEC was too strong every year, so the Gators couldn’t risk any additional potentially tough games with FSU already on their schedule if they wanted a chance at a national championship. (This was before the BCS.)
They also couldn’t afford to schedule home-and-home series, because. if they didn’t play six home games (now seven), the program would lose money.
Gator fans were OK with it because 9-2, which was brand new, was better than 5-6, which was what they’d known for most of the previous 100 years.
They didn’t care about being fed a steady diet of Middle Tennessee State, Western Kentucky, Eastern Michigan, and a bunch of other directional schools willing to take a beating for a paycheck.
Gators over visitors was all that mattered.
However, now it’s almost 20 years later, and the Gators are the premier program in college football.
Their expectations are a lot higher, yet the cupcakes remain.
This was the year for the Gators.
They were the defending national champions.
They had the best head coach in college football.
They had the best defense in college football.
They had the best football player in the history of the universe.
Rivals FSU and Tennessee had to come to Gainesville, and the SEC having a down year was just the cherry on top.
The 2009 Florida Gators were going to be the first team in school history to run the table, but it didn’t happen.
The Gators were outcoached, manhandled on both sides of the line of scrimmage, and Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy outplayed Tim Tebow.
Now the Gators are 12-1, and there’s no undefeated season.
There’s no national championship. There’s no conference championship.
There’s also nothing remarkable about this season because both the SEC and FSU were down, and Florida International, Troy, and Charleston Southern are all meaningless now (aren’t they?).
Florida is 1-1 against ranked opponents this year.
My question for the Gator nation is: If you had to do it all over again, knowing that Alabama was going to win the SEC, would you trade the three pay-for-play cupcakes for road games with Texas, USC, and Notre Dame?
Even if you lost all three, you could at least say you’d been somewhere new.
Or is 12-1 better than 9-4, no matter the competition?