Dubious Records for the Ages

As I've written earlier, ‘tis the season for lists. Making lists is a great way to pass the time during the summer months when you're in a college sports town, and it can be a fun stroll down memory lane.

My friends at the Gainesville Sun stole one of my ideas. Okay, they didn't steal it, they beat me to it. They are busily ranking the best records at the University of Florida. There's some interesting stuff there and some great memories that can be brought back, but it got me thinking.

Not all memories are good ones. In fact, it is useful and actually beneficial to realize just how far the Gators have come to be the kind of program that is the envy of virtually every other school in the nation. To do that, you might bring back some things people would rather forget, but there's some perspective to be gained.

So here we start a countdown of 20 records the Florida Gators certainly hope (and pray) will never be broken.

#20, 492 passing yards allowed, Tennessee '96 ----- Even though this record was set in a Gator victory, the idea of giving up almost 500 yards through the air has to be repugnant. Florida dominated this game, jumping out to a 35-0 lead before the Gators called off the dogs and went into prevent mode before halftime. The Vols scored (on a long pass, what else?) late in the half to finally get on the board and threw the ball all over Neyland Stadium during the second half, but only got within one score in the final minute. Peyton Manning ended up passing for almost 50 more yards than any other Gator opponent before or since.

#19, 105 yards total offense in bowl game, Peach '81 ----- The Gators headed to Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta to meet up with the West Virginia Mountaineers and put on what has to be the worst bowl performance in school history. Florida actually finished up with minus-30 yards running the football, and the passing attack was obviously nothing to write home about. The 26-6 loss was so awful that head coach Charley Pell ordered the game film buried. It's still under ground at the practice field somewhere close to the big tree.

#18, 16 SEC losses, Basketball '80, '82 ---- Now that the SEC has just a 16 game schedule this mark is pretty safe, but that could always change. The Gators actually managed to go 2-16 twice in a three year period in the early-80s. The '80 Gators beat Georgia and Auburn in Florida Gym while two years later the Gators managed home wins over Mississippi State and Auburn in the O'Dome. It's hard to imagine Gator hoops ever being that bad again unless Billy Donovan eventually jumps to the NBA and I get the job.

#17, 116 points allowed, Basketball '79 ---- Just before those miserable SEC performances the '79 Gators managed something that may never be topped (er, make that bottomed). The Gators "held" the Tennessee Vols to 116 points up in Knoxville in a miserable 44-point setback. This was not a great Tennessee team, mind you. But they sure had a lot of fun that night. To their credit, the Gators knuckled down and held the Vols to 87 when they met in Gainesville later that season.

So that's four of them; the next segment will look at some really awful football standards.

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