10. Nov. 3, 1990
No. 4 Auburn Tigers at No. 15 Florida Gators
Final score: Florida wins 48-7
This is actually a bittersweet one for Tennessee football. That’s not because the Vols had to pull for the Florida Gators. It’s because this game was the difference between the Vols winning a share of the SEC Championship with the Auburn Tigers or winning it outright but by default because Florida had the better record.
Heading into this weekend, the Vols’ last outing was a heartbreaking 9-6 loss to a vastly inferior Alabama Crimson Tide team. That put Auburn ahead of the, as the two schools had tied earlier in the year.
So UT needed Auburn to have two more blemishes, with one of them being a loss, in order to move back into first place in the SEC. They needed Auburn to have one more loss for them to be in a share of first place.
Well, this was the weekend for that to happen. Steve Spurrier’s first team in Gainesville crushed the Tigers 48-7. It was a night game for Vols fans everywhere to enjoy, as it put the two schools back into a tie for first place. However, it actually put Florida in first place, despite losing to the Vols 45-3.
The problem was Florida was on probation that year. So given the way things ended up, which we’ll get to later, Florida winning ended up helping the Vols win the conference outright. But they had an asterisk by it since UF finished with a better record. Ideally, the best thing that could have happened here was for the two teams to tie. This is why we have the game at No. 10 on our list.