Top Gator Stories of 2010 -- Part 5

We wrap up our look at the Gators 2010 in review with the top stories of the year. Obviously there is plenty of room for debate as to what made it in, what didn't and how we ranked them, but hopefully you've had fun with this little stroll down memory lane.

Of course, I am gumming up the works a little bit by having four stories for three slots in the final edition of the series. Hopefully you'll understand.

With that, here are the first 12 stories that made out count down prior to today.

No. 15 A fast start to 2010-11 All-Sports
No. 14 Gymnastics team wins SEC, struggles at NCAA
No. 13 Denver trades up to grab Tim Tebow
No. 12 Gators crushed at Alabama
No. 11 Rookie QB is Trey-mendous
No. 10 Gators finish 2nd in National All-Sports standings
No. 9 Johnny Brantley and Gator offense struggle
No. 8 Gator Basketball returns to the NCAA Tournament
No. 7 Gator Softball returns to CWS
No. 6 Tim Tebow's career ends in New Orleans
No. 5 Gator Baseball earns trip to Omaha
No. 4 Gator sign No. 1 recruiting class

No. 3 Urban Meyer resigns… again ---
This might have been the No. 1 story of the year had it not been a re-run. Less than a year after stepping down the day after Christmas 2009, Meyer once again decided that he had to get away from the sidelines for the benefit of his family and his own healthy. His decision to step down was at the same time stunning and yet completely expected. Meyer didn't seem like himself for most of the 2010 campaign showing little if any anger over the poor performances the Gators exhibited on the field. Florida was blown out by the three best teams it faced on the way to a 7-5 regular season record. Meyer's six-year career would conclude on the first day of 2010 when the Gators beat Penn State in the Outback Bowl. He finishes with an impressive 65-15 record on the Florida sideline including BCS National Titles in 2006 and 2008.

No. 2 Gators Win Two NCAA Titles --- For the longest time I agonized how to rank these accomplishments as news stories in one order all the other and I failed. So I decided the Gators winning NCAA Titles would share second billing in our countdown. The Men's Track and Field team won the NCAA Indoor Title while the Women's Swimming and Diving team took home the other NCAA crown. The Indoor Track title was not unexpected. Florida was a clear contender heading into the event and performed largely as expected. The swimming and diving title was a stunner, made possible by a strong meet over four days and a super diving performance on the final day. Mike Holloway and his runners and throwers have become an elite program both indoors and out, while Greg Troy's performance at the helm of the Swimming and Diving program is equally impressive. So they share the No. 2 story of the year, because winning an NCAA Title is always big news.

No. 1 Will Muschamp hired --- It didn't take long at all for Gator Athletic Director Jeremy Foley to zero in on the guy he wanted to replace Urban Meyer on the sidelines at The Swamp. Muschamp seems to have everything you could want in a head coach, except head coaching experience. The long time defensive coordinator has worked at elite programs like LSU, Auburn and Texas. He's worked under top head coaches Tommy Tuberville, Nick Saban and Mack Brown. And he played in the SEC (Georgia) and lived in Gainesville for about ten years. Muschamp was most impressive in his introductory news conference saluting Florida's past going all the way back to Coach Ray Graves. Muschamp got a lot of attention nationally with the bold, though risky hire of Charlie Weis as offensive coordinator and was able to hold together most of the prospects that planned to enroll early and join the program this month. He has a lot of work ahead of him to create an offense basically from the ground up while instilling a nastier attitude on the other side of the ball. Still, there's no debate that this was the top story in Gator Nation for 2010.

So whaddya think? And what might be the top story in 2011?


Fightin Gators Top Stories