Where Florida stands as Gators try to extend national title streak to eight years

By Adam Silverstein
May 15, 2017
Where Florida stands as Gators try to extend national title streak to eight years
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Image Credit: ESPN

Florida Gators fans have been spoiled this decade. Not a year has gone by where the Gators did not bring home a national championship. Unfortunately for Florida, that streak is in serious jeopardy … unless it pulls out a victory at the last moment.

Before we look at where the Gators stand in 2017, let’s understand what’s on the line. Going without a national title in 2009 — Florida had been stuffed with four (two football, two basketball) in three seasons after not having won a national championship since 2003 — they have won at least one in seven straight campaigns.

Men’s indoor track & field and women’s swimming & diving came first in 2010. Track three-peated in 2011 and 2012, adding an outdoor title in the latter campaign; it was joined by women’s tennis, which won consecutive crowns in 2011-12. Men’s outdoor track earned its second straight championship in 2013, and gymnastics picked up its first of three straight (2013-15) that spring. Softball also captured consecutive titles in 2014-15, and outdoor track got the job done once again in 2016.

As for the 2016-17 season, men’s indoor track & field came the closest when it finished second at the 2017 NCAA Indoor Championships. Gymnastics finished a rare third in the 2017 NCAA Super Six, men’s basketball dropped an Elite Eight game to South Carolina, and men’s swimming finished third in the 2017 NCAA Championships back in March.

Volleyball and lacrosse both suffered upsets as they bowed out of NCAA Tournament play, the former to rival Florida State despite winning the first two sets of the match, and the latter at home to unranked USC.

So with all that now in the rear-view, what chance does Florida have to bring home at least one national title before the campaign is out?

Softball: Ranked No. 1 overall, Florida (50-6) will host Florida A&M, FIU and Oklahoma State in the Gainesville Regional. The Gators fell in their first SEC Tournament game and are 4-3 in their last seven but have win streaks of 21, 10, eight and seven this season.

Baseball: Florida has won five straight SEC series and 12 of its last 13 games overall. After a rough start to the season, the Gators (38-14) have bounced back thanks to their bats and find themselves ranked No. 5 nationally. UF is still looking for its first baseball national title.

Women’s tennis: In the middle of the 2017 NCAA Tournament, No. 1 Florida beat UMass 4-0 and Miami 4-1 to advance to the Round of 16 on Friday. The Gators are 25-3 on the season and have former player Lauren Embree, one of the best athletes in the history of the athletic program, in tow as a volunteer assistant.

Men’s tennis: No. 15 Florida has 4-0 wins over FGCU and Georgia Tech already with No. 2 Virginia coming up on Thursday in the Round of 16. UF has continued to improve under coach Bryan Shelton but remain a longshot.

Golf: The No. 5 women have closed the season strong, winning the SEC Championship in late April and finishing T1 at the NCAA Regional Championship. The No. 5 men have not been as lucky, falling in the SEC Championship with the regional still to play starting Monday.

Track & field: The No. 1 men and No. 8 women will both be in contention once NCAA competition begins on May 25.

One Comment

  1. SW FL Joe says:

    Won’t be Mens golf.

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