Tennessee just defeated the Florida Gators on Saturday, ending the 11-game losing streak to the Gators with a come-from-behind 38-28 victory. And if the past is any indication, beating Florida bodes well for Tennessee’s 2016 season.
The last four times the Vols won against Florida, they’ve gone on to win at least 10 games in their season. In fact, since the two teams began their annual rivalry in 1990, the Vols have never lost more than three games in any season that they beat the Gators.
In 1990, the Vols demolished Florida 45-3. They went on to have a 9-2-2 season and were SEC champions. In 1992, Tennessee beat the Gators 31-14 and finished 9-3 on the season.
Then there’s 1998. The Vols beat Florida 20-17 in overtime and went on to have an undefeated season, won the SEC, and won the National Championship.
The early 2000s also saw Tennessee find major success in the years they defeated Florida. When the Vols bested the Gators 34-32 in 2001, Tennessee went 11-2 and won the SEC East. Although that Tennessee team lost to LSU in the SEC Championship Game, they went on to blow out Michigan 45-17 in the Citrus Bowl.
In 2003, Tennessee beat Florida 24-10, finished second in the SEC East behind Georgia, and ended the season with a 10-3 record. The 2004 Vols won 30-28 against the Gators and went on to win the SEC East. The Vols would lose the SEC Championship Game to Auburn, but they would go on to defeat Texas A&M 38-7 in the Cotton Bowl.
So in every year the Vols have beaten Florida, they’ve won a minimum of nine games in their season. Tennessee has gone on to win the SEC East three of the last four seasons they defeated the Gators prior to this season. Tennessee has also gone on to be SEC Champions twice when they beat Florida.
Beating the Gators usually bodes well for Tennessee’s season. The 2016 was already supposed to be a big year for the Vols, and beating Florida only makes that look more promising.