Florida and Tennessee's 1993 matchup in Gainesville is best known for Philip Fulmer's allegation that Florida fans threw cups of urine at him — something that prompted the SEC to disallow student sections behind opposing benches.
It was also the first of nine matchups in 13 years in which both teams were ranked in the AP top 10.
Between 1993-2005, Florida and Tennessee combined for 244 wins, an average of 18.8 wins per season. They also combined for seven conference titles, 11 division titles and two national championships. Only twice over this 13-year period did either team win fewer than eight games.
Since 2006, they have combined for 183 wins, or an average of 18.3 per season, along with two conference titles and seven division titles — though there have been far more dud seasons. They have 10 seasons with seven or fewer wins, including five with five or fewer (four by Tennessee). Florida fired one coach (Ron Zook) between 1993-2005, while Tennessee fired none. Over the last decade, the teams have fired three total coaches — which may have been four had Lane Kiffin stayed beyond his seven-win 2009 campaign.
When they meet on Saturday in Gainesville, both teams will be ranked outside the top 10 — again. As noted by Matt Brown of Sports on Earth, the once-can't-miss game hasn't been a top-10 matchup since the No. 6 Gators beat the No. 5 Vols, 16-7, in 2005.
“A wise little bird told me that this is that game that Tennessee has circled,” Jim McElwain said this week. “They know that for them to get to where they want to go they have to come to The Swamp and take it from the Gators.”
The losing head coach will face hot seat questions. Though it's unclear how long of a leash both Butch Jones and McElwain have, a loss for either team would crush their SEC East title hopes, which was the minimum expectation entering another year in a very winnable division.
In 1993 and eight other times over the next 12 years, Tennessee-Florida was played to determine who may win the division and conference title — and possibly remain in the national title picture. Now, it's played to determine which head coach's hot seat will be less hot.