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Florida Gators: Where they were 10 years ago

To know where you are in the present, sometimes you have to look into your past.

For some, that can be a fun, healthy endeavor. For others, well, not so much.

Still, we're paying homage to the past and how it has affected the present in the SEC this week by taking a look at where each program was 10 years ago and where it currently stands. Some programs have made big leaps, some have steadied the course, and others, well, they're yearning for the days of old.

Next up in the series are the Florida Gators:

2006 record: 13-1 (BCS national champions)

2006 coach: Urban Meyer

Notable: After three years of mediocrity under Ron Zook, Meyer took the Gators back to the SEC championship and the national championship in his second season in Gainesville. Meyer left Utah after a 13-0 season in 2004 and went from just missing a trip to Atlanta in his first year with the Gators in 2005, to winning everything. Florida needed a bit of luck, senior leadership, a healthy helping of Zook recruits, and youngsters to complete its national championship run in 2006. Senior Chris Leak was the starter at quarterback, but the rugged running and toughness of freshman -- and future star -- Tim Tebow served as a perfect complement. There was an epic come-from-behind, one-point win at Tennessee and a Jarvis Moss field-goal block late in the year that helped propel the Gators to Atlanta and beyond. There was also a special freshman in Percy Harvin, who gave the Gators a more dynamic weapon at both receiver and running back. Florida's offense ranked 19th nationally (396 yards per game) and the defense ranked sixth (255.4 ypg).

Trending: The Gators weren't the national power under Zook that they were under Steve Spurrier. After Spurrier took what he thought was his most talented team to the Orange Bowl in 2001, he left for the NFL. Athletic director Jeremy Foley then hired Zook, a former Florida assistant, away from the New Orleans Saints' staff. Zook was an exceptional recruiter, but that never translated onto the field. The Gators never made it to the SEC title game under Zook, and he went 22-14 in his three years with the program. He was fired in the middle of the 2004 season after a 4-3 start that included a loss to a 1-5 Mississippi State team that was a 24-point underdog. Zook coached through the regular season and left the program after a stunning 20-13 win at No. 10 Florida State. Before Meyer's hiring, Florida hadn't won the SEC since 2000.

What has happened since: It's been an up-and-down ride for the Gators over the last decade. Florida enjoyed a second national title under Meyer in 2008 with one of the nation's most explosive offenses and most dominant defenses. That Tebow guy won the Heisman Trophy in 2007, too. The Gators seemed like a lock to repeat as national champs in 2009, but everything came off the rails for the program when Alabama handed the Gators an embarrassing 32-13 loss in the SEC title game. Health issues afterward caused Meyer to put in his resignation for the end of the season, but he changed his mind before the bowl game. Meyer stepped down again after an 8-5 2010 season. Will Muschamp was hired away from Texas and went 28-21 with no SEC East titles. He was fired before the end of the 2015 season, ushering in the Jim McElwain era, which began with a 10-4 first year that included Florida's first East title since 2009.