Monday, October 16, 2006

1993 or 2001?

Well, now that the dust has had some time to settle, my previous posting on the dangers of facing Auburn has me thinking – is it 1993, or 2001, all over again?

To recap, in 1993 an undefeated and 2nd ranked Florida team went to the plains and lost to 19th ranked Auburn 38-35. Florida then followed up with one of the most thrilling wins in the Spurrier era over Georgia 2 weeks later (33-26). After beating the Dawgs, Florida went on to beat South Carolina 37-26 and Vanderbilt 52-0, to qualify for the SEC Championship against Alabama (In the interim UF lost to eventual national champ FSU).

A win in the SEC Championship, then held in Birmingham, gave Florida the 1993 SEC title.

In 2001, 1st ranked Florida lost 23-20 to an unranked Auburn team at Auburn. Florida then went on to beat Georgia, Vanderbilt and South Carolina (and even FSU) before losing to Tennessee 34-32 at Gainesville. The Tennessee loss, a game rescheduled due to 9-11, cost the Gators a shot at the SEC, and perhaps national, titles.

2006 seemingly has eerie parallels.

A highly ranked UF team losing, once again, to Auburn.

Games against Georgia, Vanderbilt, South Carolina and FSU ahead.

So where to this year?

1993, 2001 or something entirely worse?

One thing is for sure though – much of what we come to think about Urban Meyer's early Florida legacy in years to come is at stake..

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