BIG HAIRY BLAWG: Rivalry (Cocktail Party)

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BIG HAIRY BLAWG: Rivalry (Cocktail Party)

94th Georgia-Florida Game 31-OCT-2015 (Photo Greg Poole/Bulldawg Illustrated)
94th Georgia-Florida Game 31-OCT-2015
(Photo Greg Poole/Bulldawg Illustrated)


The bitter poetry of this first-played annually of our three traditional rivalry games (with Auburn, Tech) having been so graphically horrible for Georgia fans since 1990, that this game always causes me to have a pit in my stomach. Every year, this Cocktail Party, the great neutral site event, is THE big game for Georgia, and we’ve performed far less than admirably. We need to win this game.

Dawgs have won just 6 of the last 27 games since Florida turned the series after the Dooley era, which Vince totally dominated. Goff got a win in his first Cocktail Party; Donnan got one win over Spurrier behind Robert Edwards, Mike Bobo, Hines Ward.


Richt’s Davids, Greene, and Pollack won only on their final try in Jacksonville. Georgia danced once, with Moreno and Stafford – who were badly blown out by Florida on their next try. Then, Floridian Aaron Murray went to overtime his redshirt freshman season and then won out from 2011-2013. Mark Richt beat them a third total, 5-of-15, by far his worst series.


So, check it, we are, like I was having to say to tell you the whole truth, folks, a sad 6-21 over a stretch, right, so if we can somehow get the win as a (14-point) favorite Saturday at 3:30, UGA will improve to 7-of-28, which means we will have taken (only) one full fourth of the games played since Spurrier arrived as coach. Less than 25%? That’s just too embarrassing considering the talent of our program…Georgia is due.


Keep an eye on: Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. Leading the SEC in yardage this season, Chubb had an off game last year, he and Sony calling for a meeting with offensive coordinator Jim Chaney in the wake of the tough loss, where we had gone scoreless in the second half after competing in the first behind strong play from Jacob Eason. They asked for more touches and got them the rest of the way as the Dawgs went 4-1, losing only a rivalry heartbreaker to Tech in Athens. Add four to our 7-0 this season, and we have remarkably won 11-of-12 games, that’s a mark, that over a stretch run, would equate to top-tier success in any era of Georgia football.


How ready are we to claim back the SEC East already? How ready are we for Florida?


The divisional crowns in the East have shown an unusual trend with Florida winning twice in Jim McElwain’s first two years as Gators head coach, Mizzou winning twice in their first two seasons in the SEC, Georgia twice. Going back through those six years, none won the SEC and only Georgia’s second team was even close.


With a current full two-game lead over all the programs in the SEC East, Georgia is in complete command and pushing towards much bigger football games down the road, which it would have been hard to justify in saying most years of recent history. We could play in the Rose or Sugar Bowl of the College Football Playoff; we seem to be on a collision course to play #1 Alabama for the SEC crown in Atlanta. While Alabama has handily won three straight SEC titles and 4-of-5, with one national title in the last four years, Georgia looks to me to be the team best equipped to match up with the Tide. Most years, this late October game in Florida has been the de facto end to our season, big picture. We must improve!


History is on our side. Founded in 1785, UGA is the oldest state-chartered public university. Florida is, relatively speaking, of course, a modern occurrence on the football landscape. The Bulldogs have won 14 conference championships in school history, including 12 SEC championships, and are clearly contending for the conference crown this campaign. As divisional titles have no real historical significance, we focus on the whole SEC.




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