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Monday, February 06, 2023

Streaks are fun.

Especially when it comes to sports, streaks are the stuff of legends. Events like a consecutive-game hitting streak in baseball and a goal-scoring streak in soccer are amazing to see.

Streaks can even be exciting for the players. When former Florida third baseman Jonathan India went on a 24-game hitting streak last season, you could see the smile on his face widen with every swing of the bat.

In most cases, however, streaks mean absolutely nothing to the players and coaches. It’s something only fans care about.

Case in point, Florida football vs. Kentucky. The 31-game win streak.

I wasn’t alive last time the Wildcats beat the Gators. Heck, I wasn’t even a thought. My parents hadn’t even met in college when UK last beat UF in 1986.

Sure, it’s cool from the fan perspective. It’s like Kentucky is just destined to lose to Florida forever, and it feels great reminding Wildcats fans of their misfortunes every year.

There’s a but in here.

But...

Only fans care about that stuff. Not the players, not the coaches. The fans.

“I don’t know what that has to do with the game this week,” Florida coach Dan Mullen said on the importance of the winning streak to the team. “Our guys didn’t have a whole lot to do with that, and neither did the guys on their team.”

Just because Florida just so happens to beat Kentucky every time the two teams play doesn’t mean they care about what happened in the past.

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All these players and coaches can do is control the outcome of this one specific game.

“I’m definitely aware of it but that’s not something we’re really focused on,” UF cornerback Marco Wilson said. “Most of those games we didn’t even play in so it doesn’t really matter. It just matters next game go out there and just perform.”

So go ahead Gators fans, keep flaunting this win streak. The longest active win streak in college football. But keep it to the Kentucky fans.

The players don’t care about it, nor do the coaches. They just want to go out and earn a win, whether there are other implications on the game or not.

 

You can follow Jake Dreilinger on Twitter @DreilingerJake or contact him at jdreilinger@alligator.org.

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