A primer for the new to Florida vs Georgia

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Florida and Georgia hate each other in many special ways. How much hate do we have for one another? Hell, we can't even agree on how many games we have played! Those idiot mutts up in Athens insist on counting a game played in 1904 with a scrimmage team from Lake City on the official record when the University its current form did not even start until 1905 and didn't have a football team until 1906! It would be like someone beating you at something in High school and then insisting it means they also beat you in college.

We play for no trophy - student government attempts to play friends be damned! - because teams that truly hate one another do not give each other trophies.

Georgia won a bunch of the early games, with Ray Graves being one of the few coaches that found ways to beat them. Except, that is, for 1966 when Florida QB Steve Spurrier won the Heisman while leading Florida to an almost unprecedented (for Florida) 7-0 start with a chance to win the school's first ever SEC title. Georgia won that day, however, and the OBC has hated them ever since. He made crushing Georgia his single biggest goal when he took over at Florida and has done the same since taking over South Carolina.

Ray Grave's successor at UF was Doug Dicky, who had limited success vs. Georgia's Vince Dooley. A lot of Florida fans were not happy with him because of his coaching style. Several (including my father) turned away from the team and coach 4th and dumb, largely because he managed to choke in Zooken fashion to Georgia.

Georgia did get their one shining moment in 1980 with "Run, Lindsey, Run." We mostly just give them this. The past couple decades have been rough for them.

Florida did win its first SEC title in 1984 by beating Georgia, largely because of the 96 yard TD pass and run from Kerwin Bell to Ricky "The Rocket" Nattiel. It was Florida's first undefeated conference season, one of only 4 in school history. The title is long gone but the results on the field will always remain.

The OBC took over Florida in 1990 and proceeded to exact his revenge. Since then Florida has dominated the series. The highlight was probably in 1996 when Florida played at Georgia while the stadium in Jacksonville was being worked on. Florida won 52-17, the final touchdown coming in the final couple of minutes. When asked why he didn't just run out the clock, Spurrier admitted that he wanted to be the first to hang half a hundred "Between the Hedges" because he'd heard no one had ever done that before. So far as I know, no one has since.

Florida has lost a couple games since coming to power in 1990, two of which really stand out. The first was in 2004 when Florida coach Ron Zook was one of several coaches that got Croom'ed and paid the price. Zook was fired the Monday before the Georgia game by Florida AD Jeremy Foley, with the immortal phrase "what must be done eventually should be done immediately." While the team would rally at the end of the season to spoil the big field naming and stain glass revealing of Bobby Bowden in the Florida-FSU game (earning the field the name Ron Zook Field), they were in no condition to play Georgia and lost a close game.

Bonus Hate: Two stadiums have stained glass. Notre Dame has Touchdown Jesus. FSU has Bobby Bowden.


The other memorable loss came in 2007 when Georgia celebrated their first score by clearing the bench and dancing in the endzone. Aside from the total lack of any semblance of class, the dance also had little to do with Georgia's eventual victory. Most fans on both sides forget it but Tim Tebow took advantage of the penalty yards awarded Florida after the celebration to score an answering touchdown a couple plays later. The game was a shootout, one of several we had that year, setting a record for the most combined points scored in the rivalry. Florida lost the game - and several other games in 2007 - because of a green, green defense and one of the worst secondary's the Gators have ever fielded. Somewhere right now, poor Kyle Jackson is still on fire.

Of course, those defensive players wound up getting burned so much throughout the season that they turned into stone cold killers that won a national title the following year, went undefeated in the regular season the year after, and are sprinkled throughout NFL rosters now. The lesson here is that you can catch Florida down, but never for very long.

Florida got a little revenge for the 2007 game in 2008 not only by winning convincingly on the way to another SEC and National title but also by calling two late timeouts to do nothing more than rub Georgia's face in the scoreboard.

So that's Georgia for you, in a nutshell. A team we hate like they are FSU or Auburn but hold modern numbers against like they are Vandy or Kentucky.

Here we are now, a year removed from a loss to Georgia. Most the players on either team were not even alive the last time Florida lost two in a row to the mutts. What do you think is going to happen on Saturday?

Yeah, me too.

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