Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Streak ending for Florida, Georgia?
By ESPN.com staff
As I noted Tuesday when linking The Sporting News' preseason Top 25 for the 2011 season, it's been a while since we've seen any preseason football poll that didn't feature either Florida or Georgia.
The Gators and Bulldogs were both left out of The Sporting News preseason rankings. The only Eastern Division team ranked was South Carolina at No. 19.
The Associated Press preseason poll won't come out until August, but I did some digging on the last preseason AP poll that didn't include either Florida or Georgia.
The year was 1990, Steve Spurrier's first season at Florida and Ray Goff's second season at Georgia.
In fact, that was the last time that one of the two teams didn't start the season ranked in the top 10 of the AP poll.
The last time the Gators weren't ranked among the top 10 nationally in the AP preseason poll was 2004, which was Ron Zook's final season in Gainesville. However, the Bulldogs opened that season at No. 3 in the AP poll.
It appears that top 10 streak will come to an end when the 2011 AP preseason poll is released in a few months.
Of course, Auburn started last season No. 22 in the AP poll and was still able to carve out an unbeaten national championship season.
But since the league expanded in 1992 and split into two divisions, no team that started the season unranked in the AP poll has gone on to win the SEC championship.