The Florida-Florida State rivalry has never been more difficult for Florida fans to deal with than it has been this offseason.
Florida State was the best team in college football last year. Florida had its worst year in four decades, and even if the Gators weren't the worst team in college football, they were certainly painted as such by rival fans, especially 'Noles, who took great glee in mighty Florida finally being felled.
It's a pity for most of them, then, that some of us Florida fans have memories that span beyond merely the time of Tim Tebow and Urban Meyer.
We remember The Greatest Game Ever Played in The Swamp like they remember The Choke at Doak. We remember 2012 as well as they remember 2013. We remember a national title earned with a 52-20 throttling, a team coached by Ron Zook ruining the dedication of Bobby Bowden Field; some of us remember the 53-14 pasting from 1983 seen above, and some of us know the history of the rivalry, mostly tinted in orange and blue hues.
Since Florida State's development into a power to join Miami and Florida, and especially since Florida's long-awaited national championship in 1996, no one team has ruled Florida for very long. Florida's reign from 2006 to 2009 is probably the best since then, but four years is a short time on top, given the historical span of college football. Florida State's arguably owned the four years since, though the Gators obviously made 2012 seem like a one-year interregnum at minimum.
We know, like they should know, that the balance of power in this football-rich, football-mad, football-soaked state rarely rests with any one program for long. And we should know that, because winners get to write history and shape arguments, the best thing we can do in 2014 about Florida not being as good in 2013 as Florida State was is what Will Muschamp's been telling his players to do this offseason: "Shut up and have a good memory."
And a good memory is a better thing to have where there are good memories to recall.