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Tuesday September 24, 2013During Florida-Kentucky Week, talk of 'the streak' is an annual tradition

Tyler Murphy

Florida will try to defeat Kentucky for the 27th consecutive time Saturday in QB Tyler Murphy's first start.

The last time the Gators lost to Kentucky, Ronald Reagan was President.

The last time Florida lost to the Wildcats, Tim Tebow wasn't even born.

The last time Kentucky beat Florida, the Rolling Stones had a lot less wrinkles.

You know where this is going.

Another Florida-Kentucky game, another week of "the streak."

Football coaches like questions about winning/losing streaks about as much as ingrown toenails.

Still, when you have beaten a team every year since Mars was discovered -- or at least it seems that way -- there's going to be a question or two.

Florida coach Will Muschamp answered one Monday about Florida's 26-game win streak over Kentucky. The Gators will try to make it 27 in a row Saturday night in Lexington.

"I don’t really talk about that at all. I just focus on this game, this week, this season, this team, what we need to do to be successful,'' Muschamp said. "I don’t think anything in that regard helps or hurts your football team in their preparation."

That's probably about as good as anything you'll hear from Muschamp about Florida's win streak over the Wildcats.

But coach-speak aside, Florida's streak over Kentucky is pretty remarkable.

To the best of our knowledge, the schools don't have a gentleman's agreement like, say, the Harlem Globetrotters and Washington Generals.

Kentucky tries to win. It just hasn't been able to since a 10-3 victory in 1986.

The streak is currently the longest of any series between major programs in the country that play each other annually.

Muschamp needs about two more decades of strong recruiting classes to match the all-time record, Notre Dame's 43-game win streak over Navy that ended in 2007.

If the Gators win Saturday, they will set an SEC record for longest win streak over a conference opponent in an uninterrupted series. Florida and Tennessee currently share the record.

The Vols beat Kentucky 26 consecutive times from 1985-2010 until the Wildcats finally got a win in 2011. Gators receivers coach Joker Phillips was Kentucky's head coach at the time.

With the Gators coming off a win over Tennessee on Saturday -- stretching their win streak over the Vols to nine games -- let's take a look at Florida's longest win streaks against SEC opponents all-time (interrupted series and SEC Championships games included):

Opponent     Streak           Years

Alabama         4                   1993-98

Arkansas        8                   1995-current

Auburn           7                   1995-2000*

Georgia          7                   1990-96*

Kentucky         26                1987-current*

LSU                9                    1988-96*

Ole Miss         3                   1964-72, 1980-88

Miss. State      5                  1966-70, 1974-78, 1987-91*

Missouri          1                  2012^

S. Carolina      14               1964-2004

Tennessee      9                 2005-current*

Texas A&M      1                 2012^

Vanderbilt       22                1989-current

 

*Wins came during uninterrupted series

^Missouri and Texas A&M entered SEC in 2012

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