Time to Avoid those "MI" schools

The next time a school whose name starts with those letters appears on the Gator schedule Florida fans should run and hide. Florida's loss Saturday was the third in four meetings with Mississippi. Twice in the last six years the Gators lost bowl games to Michigan.

Despite a win over the Hurricanes earlier this year, Florida has lost two bowl games and two regular season games to Miami this decade. But that's just part of the recent history.

1989 MIssissippi 24, Florida 19 ----- The last time the Florida Gators lost a season opener was 19 years ago. Kyle Morris threw crucial interceptions. Emmitt Smith had nowhere to run and the loudest booing I have ever heard was directed at the Florida team as it left the field.

1992 MIssissippi State 30, Florida 6 ----- The Gators were the defending SEC Champs, but were coming off a loss at Tennessee. Still, they were ranked No. 13 heading into a Thursday night game in Starkville. Florida QB Shane Matthews was beaten senseless all night long in one of the worst losses of the Spurrier era. The only good thing that came out of this one was Jason Odom stepping into the starting lineup the next week.

1999 MIchigan State 37, Florida 34 ----- This Citrus Bowl shootout went to the Spartans who gave the Gators the first three game losing streak under Spurrier. Florida had no chance to defend MSU receiver Plaxico Burress. It was ironic since Burress desperately wanted to be a Gator coming out of high school but UF couldn't recruit him.

2000 MIssissippi State 47, Florida 35 ----- As usual the Gators were highly ranked at No. 3 but the Bulldogs trampled all over Florida's defense in Starkville. It wasn't quite the Fiesta Bowl against Nebraska, but it was close. Spurrier got so frustrated he took a safety that took the game from a one possession difference to two.

2004 MIssissippi State 38, Florida 31 ----- The final nail in Ron Zook's coffin came discourtesy of a Mississippi State team that couldn't get out of its own way up to that point. The Bulldogs had scored just 47 points total in losing their previous five games but had no problem scoring on the Gators. Zook was dismissed two days later.

The moral of our story, despite the occasional Middle Tennessee State the presence of an "MI" school on the Gator schedule is not a pretty sight. It'll be put to the test should the Gators end up playing Missouri in a Bowl game.


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