When this game got rescheduled, the question was immediately asked, what’s the coldest and/or worst weather game Georgia has ever played in. The 1987 Liberty Bowl, the 2000 Ole Miss game, November night tilts with Kentucky in 2013 and Auburn in 2014, and the infamous 1974 loss to the Jackets in the freezing rain of Sanford Stadium.
There could be a new contender at high noon EST/11 a.m. CST when the Bulldogs and Missouri square off in a high profile Southeastern Conference showdown from Faurot Field in Columbia, Mo. The game was originally scheduled to play on November 14, but contact tracing issues within the Tigers program forced the postponement.
Cold temperatures are forecasted. Hopefully high midwestern winds and snow – the Bulldogs have never played a snow game – don’t come blowing in.
Both teams are coming in with a jolt of confidence, though Georgia was certainly disappointed, angry and upset at the late cancellation of the scheduled meeting with Vanderbilt last Saturday. The Bulldogs are 6-2, winners of their last two, downing Mississippi State 31-24 and rolling at South Carolina 45-16. Kirby Smart’s team has a chance, with a strong finish, to close out one of the great four year stretches in Georgia football history. Dating back to the 2017 Southeastern Conference championship team, the Bulldogs are 42-9 over the last four seasons. If – and that’s a big word, especially in 2020 – Georgia could beat Missouri, win the scheduled game against Vanderbilt and triumph in a bowl game, it would represent the most victories over a four season period in Bulldog annals. From 2002-2005, Georgia went 44-9. Of course the greatest four year stretch was from 1980-1983, when the Bulldogs went 43-4-1, captured the 1980 national championship and won three straight SEC titles from ‘80-’82.
What Smart’s teams have done, with those three straight major bowl berths and three successive trips to the SEC Championship Game is extremely impressive. Though there will be no berth in Atlanta this year, Georgia has the chance to have a special season, especially with all the challenges of 2020.
And this will be a huge challenge, and not just for the uncertainty that every team has dealt with. These Tigers are playing some of the best football in the SEC.
Since an 0-2 start, the Tigers have won five of their six games, losing only at Florida during this stretch, under the watch of first year head coach Eli Drinkwitz. Missouri’s offense has been clicking. Last week, the Tigers pulled out one of the games of the year in the league, edging Arkansas 50-48.
Georgia leads the all-time series with the Tigers 8-1, 7-1 since Missouri joined the SEC, along with Texas A&M, 2012. The 4-0 record in Columbia for Georgia includes a thrilling 28-27 victory in 2016, Smart’s first win over an SEC foe as Georgia’s head coach.
These two have played some tight and tense games through the years, but not in the kind of cold likely to be felt Saturday afternoon, err morning, in CoMo.