Game Day: No. 6 Florida at Vanderbilt (ABC), noon

NASHVILLE, Fla. — Here at, we love context, and there’s no better way to contextualize than to cite precedent. Even relive it. 

So, with that in mind, and No. 6 Florida (5-1, 5-1) headed to face winless Vanderbilt (0-6) Saturday at Dudley Field, let’s venture back to Nov. 9, 1996, for a refresher course in perils of overconfidence. 

[Read senior writer Scott Carter‘s comprehensive “Opening Kickoff” setup here]

Steve Spurrier‘s Gators weren’t just ranked No. 1 and unbeaten through eight games, they were beating opponents’ brains in to the tune of nearly 52 points and 531 yards per game. Early in the week, Spurrier was reminded of the team’s last trip to Vandy, a pseudo-comfortable 17-point win in 1994, when the Commodores’ faithful (the ones still remaining in the stands) booed the Gators when their backups scored a late touchdown. Oh, Spurrier remember, all right. The UF coach warned that similar circumstances and a similar response would be greeted with a rain of passes that would really give the Vandy folks, whose team had won just two of nine games, something to boo about. 

[Note to first-generation Florida fans: Yes, that actually happened. Stuff like that happened all the time back then] 

Anyway, the

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