We heard it all offseason.
"If UF got to play against FSU’s schedule, they’d finish undefeated."
"But FSU doesn't play anyone."
"Who cares about Oklahoma State? They aren’t that great (as opposed to Eastern Michigan who is ‘better than you think’)."
There was no shortage of excuses coming out of Hogtown this summer, but are they based on any sort of reality? Let’s take a look at some numbers.
I’m going to give UF the benefit of the doubt and for now just ignore their first seven decades of mediocrity, focusing strictly on 1990-present (i.e. the Spurrier era and forward). During this time, UF is just 16-20-1 against current ACC teams and 1-4 under Muschamp. I chose to highlight current ACC teams because they are most relevant to our current schedule. However, just to be complete, UF also has a losing record if only teams in the ACC at the time of the game are included; 12-13-1 and 1-3 under Muschamp.
Clearly these numbers don't tell the whole story, but they should teach a valuable lesson to the Gators: worry about getting to .500 against the ACC before assuming that you'd walk in and own the conference. Miami (FL) fans made similar statements before joining, and they've still yet to win their division. Before the "S-E-C" chest thumping and meaningless conference superiority arguments begin, I want to make this perfectly clear: this has nothing to do with SEC vs ACC, just UF vs the ACC. And if you're a UF fan, the numbers aren't pretty.
I'm going to shift gears and look at nonconference scheduling now. Given the recent noise out of Hogtown regarding FSU’s
loss win against Oklahoma State on Saturday, I decided to focus on nonconference games outside the state of Florida. These are games that present unique challenges, as the unfamiliarity with the foe and venue can substantially impact the game.
The Gators have played exactly one of these contests since 1990, a loss to Syracuse at the Carrier Dome in 1991. To find a UF win, you have to go back to September 1989, where the Gators were able to defeat the mighty Memphis Tigers (2-9) in front of dozens of rabid fans (and in the process avenge their 1988 loss to Memphis in the Swamp). The last win in such a game over a major conference team was on October 18, 1986 when they outkicked a bad Rutgers team 15-3.
I tried to find an example of a UF win in such a game against a quality major conference team but was unable to do so. I'll repeat myself, because this is important: going back to at least 1966 (the earliest season available on the site I used), UF has won exactly zero regular season games outside the state of Florida against major conference teams that finished with a winning record. Not one. In other words (assuming OSU wins at least 7), not only did FSU accomplish something on Saturday that current UF students have never seen their beloved Gators accomplish in their lifetime, it’s likely that most of their parents have never seen it in their lifetime either.
To recap, I offer the fundamental formula of Gator math:
.444 vs ACC + Total ineptitude in out of state nonconference games = Undefeated