3-18: talent vs. emotion

Michael Elkon and I have swapped a couple of e-mails about this Jeff Schultz post on Georgia’s recent history at the Cocktail Party.  While I think it’s foolish to deny the role that Georgia’s fragile mental state has played in the futility – as Schultz notes, nine ten interceptions in the last three games says something about that – I do wonder if he overstates his case a bit when he writes,“(w)hen one signature program loses 18 of 21 games to another, it’s not just about talent. At some point, it’s between the ears.”

The implication is that talent alone can’t explain 18 losses in 21 years.  But what I’m curious about in response to that is how many of those years would he say Georgia was the more talented team, Florida was the more talented team or the talent of the two was roughly equal.

Sad to say, searching in my head, I can only come up with three seasons when Georgia fielded the more talented bunch – 1992, 2003 and 2004.  By comparison, there are a lot more seasons when the Gators had the upper hand – from 1994 though 2001, 2006 and 2009.  The rest I’d call a draw (2005 would go onto the Dawgs’ side of the ledger had Shockley been available).

What do you guys think?  And how do you see the talent comparison this year shaping up based on what you’ve observed so far?

***********************************************************************************

UPDATE:  You’ll find Elkon’s take here.

… Since 1990, Florida has finished first in the SEC nine times.  They have won the East ten times, or slightly more than 50% of all available titles.  They have three national titles.  In the same time period, Georgia has won two SEC titles, three divisional titles, and no national titles.  Schultz’s mistake is starting from the premise that Florida and Georgia are both “signature programs,” implying some sort of equality.  Georgia has the potential to be equal to Florida, especially if Florida State and Miami pose credible recruiting threats to the Gators in-state, but that potential has not been realized over the past 21 years.  That, more than some imaginary mental block, is the reason why Georgia has struggled in Jacksonville.

The good news, then, is that Georgia is a better team than Florida in 2011 (Georgia is almost five points better in SRS and about 5.5 points better according to the Sagarin Predictor) and the margin isn’t close if Jeff Brantley is either out or limited.  If Georgia loses this year, then we will have to examine what’s going on upstairs with this team.

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95 Comments

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95 responses to “3-18: talent vs. emotion

  1. paul

    I believe 3-18 is almost entirely between the ears. During the Dooley years we simply believed we would beat the Gators. As students and fans, we didn’t even give it much thought until game week. And then, we were mostly trying to figure out how to get out of town early without getting in too much trouble with our professors. We often had inferior talent. Yet we won. The college game is very much about attitude, emotion and belief. That’s why it’s so much fun.

    • Russ

      Agree with Paul. We were in Florida’s head back in the day, and now they’re in ours. While I agree that Florida had more talent many of those times, I still think we had the talent to win many of those games.

    • I totally agree with Paul & Russ. It Is between the Ears. Just like when the Gators were ranked # 1 in the nation & we won (27 to 3 ?). It was mental with them then. It Is mental with us now.Time for a change. GATA.

  2. Hogbody Spradlin

    Based on recruiting, Florida is still more talented, but not by much. Based on how the recruits have panned out in college, it’s had to tell the difference between coaching and college level ability. I don’t think Schultz overstates the psyche effect, though.

  3. Brandon

    In the 1990’s we were never more talented with the exception of 1992, we were 19 point underdogs in 1997, so no one thought we were the more talented team going in, in retrospect after the season we probably were but we also got skunked 38-13 in Knoxville that year so call it a draw. We were more talented in 2002-2004, 2008 we had talent to match with them but they drilled us anyway.

  4. Anon

    Why can’t location be a cause of the problem between the ears?

    • BCDawg97

      Because Richt is roughly 34-8 in true road games.

      • Macallanlover

        And, because of equal ticket distribution, there is not the noise factor visiting teams face throughout the game at key times (also, not a hostile atmosphere for either team to play in.) The location argument is the weakest of them all relative to game results. Some may not like not having another home game in Athens for economic reasons, but Jacksonville as a location is perfectly fine for a neutral site if you want to play outdoors. Having the beach nearby adds to the coolness of this tradition. Either school would be foolish to give this great CFB tradition away. Texas has lost 8 of the last 10 games in the Red River Rivalry and you don’t hear a word about changing the venue, or whining that the fairgrounds is jinxed.

      • And also because playing in Jacksonville wasn`t a big deal when the Dawgs were the ones going home the winners almost every year. Location isn`t a factor in my opinon, it`s that besides a few when UF was simply the better team as posted above, and maybe 1-2 crappy calls more often than not, it has been Georgia who has gotten in the way of Georgia winning from what I`ve seen.

    • paul

      We used to routinely beat Florida in Jacksonville. One of the worst beat downs Florida ever gave us was in Sanford stadium. It ain’t location.

    • Noonan

      The game was played in Jacksonville from 1970-1989. We won 15 out of 20.

  5. Red Blackman

    Georgia currently has 35 players on NFL rosters.

    Florida currently has 32 players on NFL rosters.

    There is no discepancy in talent. There has been a noticeable difference in game day preparation and scheduling between the two schools. The two biggest factors, IMO.

    I believe Georgia is 3-3 against Florida when having a bye before the game.

    Scheduling has definitely benefitted Georgia this year.

    • Great point. That bye week is huge!

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        I agree that the bye week is huge and we need to be sure that UGA always has a bye week before playing Florida even if the Gators do not have one. That said, those who ignore the venue of the game are ignoring reality because they have an agenda which has absolutely nothing to do with the Dawgs winning in Jacksonville. When Pat Dye became the HC at Auburn the first thing he did was to stop playing Bama in Birmingham every year. Auburn then went on to flip its series with Bama and is now winning most of the time against the Tide including a stretch of winning 6 in a row. How could things be more neutral than the 2 major programs in Alabama playing in the largest city in the state? But there were too many bad memories there for Auburn and Dye correctly realized that changing where the game was being played would provide a new beginning for Auburn. Neutral field or not, the venue is part of the problem with UGA and the WLOCP. To those who say “its mental” I say, OK lets change something to get back the mental edge. That something that needs changing is where the game is being played.

    • W Cobb Dawg

      You nailed it Red. The discrepancy in talent is a myth.

  6. Though the Gators did have more talent in most of those years, there should be an “upset” against them occasionally. But there’s not. The only upsets were when they beat the rare, favored, UGA team…And the beatdowns…Spurrier gave us a few of those..So there’s something going on here…call it “snakebit”, “bad mojo”, “team psych”, “bad luck”, “carma”, pick your nomer…but it’s been there for sure. But if anyone can break the spell, I believe it will be Muschamp. Being a former Dawg, who took a high profile job at a top program, only to find the cupboard low and leaking has caused his neck veins to triple in bulginess..If Murry is cool (and I believe he probably will be) and the refs don’t shackle the defense with needless penalties (I can see it already, the refs have been briefed that Brantley has a tender ankle and Georgia’s going to come after him, so throw yellow everytime he’s touched….those mean dawgies. Brantly should recieve no special consideration, but he probably will…if he plays). If he’s still hurt, look for him to be used as a decoy for trick plays.
    Sorry for the ramble. I’m old.

  7. obnoxousdawg

    We were the more talented team in 2002. I am surprised you disagree.

    The talent difference explains those years such as 2009 or 1996. It does not explain why all those years of roughly even talent all went UF’s way.

  8. gastr1

    Good grief, thanks for that, Senator. Completely, totally agree. The bottom line is that football is a game with so many moving parts and so many different players who would have to “choke” that there is just no way it could happen over and over again for so long. Come on, in the middle of his route Orson Charles was worried about playing the Gators, and that’s why he didn’t execute it the way he should have, allowing that LB in a position where he could force Murray to lead AJ too far on the pass? He was distracted by the whole GATORS mystique???

    Way, way too much credit.

    We have been inferior on the field simply because 15 or 16 of those years we had the lesser team.

    • No One Knows You're a Dawg

      For all but the Zook years, and perhaps this year, we’ve had the lesser coaching staff and that is the reason we have fared so poorly.

      • gastr1

        Excellent point. That’s a matter of talent too, actually.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          If the UGA coaching staff under Richt is so lousy how come UGA beats all these other SEC teams at a rate equal to, or in some cases in excess of, the rate Florida beats them? These are common opponents over an extended period of time. The UGA record over the other SEC schools during Richt’s tenure compared to the Florida record against those same teams over the same timeframe clearly demonstrates that UGA is fielding teams that are at least equal to the Florida teams in every way except head to head competition.

      • Cojones

        Dislike agreeing with anything anti-staff, but in this case you have a good point. The results speak tons toward that point. That applies only to this rivalry.

      • MinnesotaDawg

        That would be my point. On the whole, the “talent” that Georgia and Florida recruits is not so distinguishable as to explain the 3-18. Of course, what each coaching staff does with that talent provides a better explanation. This includes game preparation and in-game adjustments, as well as grooming a more disciplined and mentally strong unit. Yes, I’d agree that Georgia’s failure to believe it will win seems to play some role in the outcome–the close, late-game losses as in 1992, 1993, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2010 are testament to our failure in close games to turn even 4th quarter momentum into wins.

        On the other hand, these late-game lapses certainly aren’t limited to Jacksonville. Sure, we’ve had a handful of heroic wins over the last couple decades–that we celebrate religiously like Auburn in ’96 and ’02 or UT in ’01 (set up by a huge UGA lapse on defense in the last minute)–but those wins are vastly outnumbered by many more end-of-game heartbreakers during that same time period. Until Georgia develops a smart, disciplined, mentally strong team and plays and coaches each game to win and instead of “not to lose” (forgive the cliche), I don’t expect the two-decade trend in close games and in Jacksonville to change much–although each year I sure as hell pray that it will.

  9. charlottedawg

    I don’t usually agree with schultz but he’s right 3-18 is a mental problem. yes most years the gators have been the more talented team but it doesn’t explain how we’re always on the receiving end of blowouts and upsets. the biggest stat/indicator to me and the key to the game is turnovers: over the past 3 years uga’s turned it over 12 times to uf’s 1. I’ll say it again: take care of the football and we win the game. it’s that simple.

  10. BCDawg97

    This article looks at the “choke” (sorry it is insider content): http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/story?id=7131183&_slug_=for-teams-red-sox-choking-curse-keeps-taking-espn-magazine&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fmlb%2fstory%3fid%3d7131183%26_slug_%3dfor-teams-red-sox-choking-curse-keeps-taking-espn-magazine

    But the jist is that psychologically speaking, you start to over think rather than letting muscle memory take over. Then you start to tinker a bit with what is normally routine mechanics. Think Murray being a bit overhyped last season. Or maybe a FG kicker overcorrecting for previous misses.

    I’m not saying this is the definitive answer to our issues in Jax, but it definitely plays a role.

    WHen the Dawgs win one, they’ll start to play a little looser the next year. Hopefully, despite the loss last year, they feel a little looser this year.

    • No One Knows You're a Dawg

      I lived in Denver in the early and mid 90s when Colorado couldn’t beat Nebraska to save their lives. Colorado had top ranked teams full of California players, but they stumbled against Nebraska every year. They’d lose when they were favored, they’d lose when they were underdogs, they’d lose when the teams were evenly matched. It didn’t matter; Nebraska owned them.

      Colorado tried several approaches to turn things around. One year they tried treating the Nebraska game as the entire focus of their season. They installed a countdown clock in their weight room and had “Beat Nebraska” signs up all over the place. They still lost. Another year Colorado tried treating the game as no big deal and downplayed it as much as possible. They still lost. Other years they tried treating it as an important game but not the whole season. Again they lost.

      Nothing Colorado did ever worked. Eventually the whole effort became moot as both programs sunk into mediocrity (from which Colorado has yet to emerge).

      • JaxDawg

        Gee, that’s inspirational.

        • Dog in Fla

          + or – 1

        • No One Knows You're a Dawg

          Ha, I think my point is that Georgia needs to focus on just playing the game and not try to over-hype it or under-hype it or anything else, because all that extra angst ends up not making a difference. To Richt and McGarrity’s credit, I think that’s what they’re trying to do.

  11. Go Dawgs!

    In 2000, Florida had the better quarterback and possibly a better receving corps. But when I look at that 2000 Georgia defense, damn near every starter ended up on an NFL roster. It was unreal that Donnan couldn’t guide that team to the Georgia Dome… it was inexcusable that they lost to a mediocre Gamecock team. (“Quincy Carter threw the game” responses go… here.)

    • Normaltown Mike

      Quincy was injured in 2K (remember Cory started the prior week in Kentucky and set a passing record).

      This was the game where (allegedly) an assistant coach pleaded with Donnan to pull QC and he said something to the effect of “it’s my damn team I’ll play it how I want…”.

      At the time I was told some Senior players wanted to go to Dooley or Adams and say that JD had lost the team. Don’t know if that happened or not but JD didn’t last too much longer.

      • Go Dawgs!

        I remember that UK game that Cory Phillips had, and I remember Quincy jumping around like a clown pointing at his sweatpants to clown Hal Mumme who said all week that he knew QC was going to play. I also remember Quinthy’s play in the Cocktail Party that year. Cory would have been the better option, no doubt about it. We ended up sitting behind Cory at the 2008 UGA-Auburn game in the upper deck at Jordan-Hare. We asked him about Quincy. He just smiled and didn’t say anything.

        I’ll never forget that game that Cory had at Jordan-Hare, almost got the win. Damned Rudy Johnson.

    • James Stephenson

      He didn’t throw the game per se, he just did a little too much coke before the game.

  12. HahiraDawg

    It’s Talent.

  13. HahiraDawg

    No, their in our heads, we are just as talented, let me show you NFL numbers, recruite star numbers, etc.

    • HahiraDawg

      ……………………….if we are having this discussion, they’re in our heads.

      (typing fast, looks like my third grader typed that last post)

      • Red Blackman

        Maybe they’re in our heads. Maybe they’re not. I do not believe this current group of leghumpers gives two facks about any Florida dominance. We shall see soon enough.

        The NFL is the supreme judge of talent. Georgia having more active NFL players tends to suggest that talent is not an issue.

        Greg McGarity understands the issues we have had had in this series as well as anyone. He was on the winning side for much of the Florida dominance. I think he eliminates any and all non game play related advantages FU has had during that stretch.

        Fack Florida…..that includes you too, Mike.

        • Cojones

          Feel I must explain that “Fack” is combative judo perfected by the Fing Chinese. An ancient proverb was: “The fucking Fing will fack you brainless”. That was true until a rival Dynasty just to the north came up with a battle slogan, “Fuck the facking Fing”. Alas, they were only successful a few times until a new Fing Army commander, Fu, in trying to impress his Fing troops, began to tell young children that the Fing Chinese would win no matter the talent level of the Fings. The rival Dynasty plastered banners throughout that read: “FUCK FU”. And they did, defeating leagues of the Fu’s facking Fings. They became known as the League Humpers.

          So it is today, we celebrate the beginning of that ancient battle with an ancient League Humpers banner reading: “FACK FU!”.

  14. Normaltown Mike

    This also doesn’t account for coaches. We had the worst coach in the SEC from 1990-1995 and lost every game to UF. Most pretty convincingly (92 being the lone exception). Next we had a great tactician with poor interpersonal skills (and possibly criminal investment advice). Had we stuck w/ JD, I think we might have fared better against UF over this past decade. Next we got CMR who IMHO coaches obviously tight in Jax. This was his MO in year one when we twice had the ball in the redzone and went for a 1st down instead of kicking a FG and failed both times. This proved foolish as the D held UF to a very low score (24 I think). It was only worse in 2002 when we played scared and wet the bed against a talented but fundamentally flawed (Zook) team.

    Since 1990 UF has been coached by 2 of the most successful coaches in SEC history. Sure, they had a dud, but they canned him midway through his 3rd season (did he even coach against us in 2004?). The jury is still out on Boom MFer, but if he stinks you can bet Foley will axe him quick.

    • Buddy-ro

      Wait…he went for the first down in the red zone twice in 2001 instead of kicking the field goal…and that’s evidence of being too tight?

      I think you need to refine your narrative.

  15. Bobby Peru

    We usually play not to lose…gotta play to win.

    • paul

      I think that this has been our primary problem over the past two or three seasons. Not just with Florida, it’s how we play all year. It sucks and the results speak for themselves.

  16. It is simply a mental issue. They need to come down to Jacksonville a different route than they have used in the past and hopefully miss the mind sweep zone. Mark did something right in 07 and should continue that chain of thought. Football is a street fight and you do not bring in emotions to the game. There should only be one emotion I am better, Stronger, and I am going to smack you in the mouth. That was the mind set and the major difference between Dooley’s DAWGS and our team today. Russell was infamous for taking lesser talent and making them into some bad asses! Anyone who played our DAWGS back in the day knew they were in for a 60 minute war! They never gave up, and fought to the bitter end. We are all reminded of that fight over and over about the play “Lindsey Scott” a team that never gave up. Our teams today are all about the talent and not the team. You must have talent but you also must have a team and that is something that I beginning to see with this team. They need to come into Saturday with a chip on their shoulder, not worry about the zebras and their ability to throw laundry, and come out and beat the living crap out of these GATURDS. I am tired of being a Bulldog fan in hiding down here in Jacksonville. I am by God be ready for this game, I sure hope our team will be as well! GO DAWGS!

  17. Otto

    It isn’t just talent,

    Looking at the schedule when Dooley was rolling UGA had a bye week, a team from the state of Virginia or Houston to prep for UF.

    Spurrier often had a bye week before UGA. Urban had a bye or Kentucky.

    The schedules are at http://www.cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/div_ia/sec/georgia/yearly_results.php?year=1975

    • Darrron Rovelll

      Not sure that I agree with you that Dooley’s schedule prior to the game had much to do with his dominance. His record prior to the Florida game as 19-4-1 with only 1 bye week prior to the UF game. Late in his career the week prior to UF was Homecoming week so there games against Richmond, William & Mary, & VMI. Also, before you put down Houston – they had a pretty innovative & competitive program back in the 60’s & 70’s. Dooley was 0-2-1 against them prior to the UF game.

      Contrast his record with Richt, Donnan & Goff in the week prior to the UF game. UGA has a 17-1 record with 4 byes prior to meeting UF. Most of the time we have played Kentucky (11-1) but we beat LSU, Miss St., Ark (twice), UAB & Temple. Our record has actually improved on Dooley’s and against mostly SEC competition.

      I think Spurrier & Meyer had the biggest influence on the series change, but if you want to point to schedule factor look at these:

      1. Removing Auburn from the schedule the week immediately before facing UGA. UF played Auburn 35 of 37 years the game before playing in Jacksonville up to the start of divisional play in 1992.

      2. Not only did UF get Auburn off the schedule, they created a bye for themselves. Since 1992, they have had a bye 14 times. When they have not had bye they have played Louisville, and both Miss St. & Ky twice. I think this is really important when you look at UF’s record when they have had to play a game the week before UGA. They are 33-40-1 in that game before GA.

      3. Cannot figure out why this is (other than the switch to div. play which coincided with UF’s rise) but our record in the Cocktail party is 7-14 when the game is played in October. Most of the games since 1992 have been the last weekend of October.

      4. We dominate the series when the game is played in November (39-26-2). The game has only been played 5 times in November since 1992. UF has won all but one.

      My only guess on the last two is that the game used to be played the 2nd weekend in November so it really has been moved up two weeks. I bet if you look at the schedules

  18. kckd

    One more thought, that 2003 team that you argue was less talented was the only team that beat Saban’s national champs.

    • Otto

      2003 UGA lost to LSU twice.

      I do not think UGA was less talented, the game was actually very even. I do seem to remember some dropped passes which has plagued UGA since Goff especially in Jax.

      Green had an uncharacteristic INT in that game and Browning went out with a knee.

    • ’07 LSU lost to Kentucky and Arkansas. Anyone believe that either of those teams were overall (admittedly the Darren McFadden/Felix Jones/Peyton Hillis backfield currently looks like a monster) more talented than LSU that year?

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        LSU also lost to Kentucky that year so, yes, Kentucky was more talented than LSU in 2007.

        • Cojones

          And how did they lose? last second Hail Mary batted down and forward into an unsuspecting LSU player’s hands who ran it into the end zone. Their horseshoe hasn’t been extracted to this day.

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            Er…senor, I think you got your years and also the outcomes mixed up.

            • Cojones

              Thanks, Mayor. It comes and it goes. What game was it when the players had already dumped the coolaid on the coach and they were running onto the field when that occurred? Could have sworn it was LSU and Kentucky.

              I apologize ahead of time when the memory doesn’t upchuck just right. My apology is for not copying and filing for instant access to all this history. Prefer to keep exercising the memory as long as possible. I appreciate everyone’s patience with an old fart having fun, especially the Senator and those who consistently post. I don’t use Spellcheck either since that forces me to use the dictionary when something doesn’t look correct. Most of youall are too nice toward some of my antics, but I prefer to be corrected when incorrect. I’m never too old to learn. Mostly, I post and laugh my ass off at the keen humor most of you have.

  19. Turd Ferguson

    To say that “3-18″ is entirely between the ears, or anything like that, is just way too easy. As others have noted, some of those “18” were years in which Georgia’s state of mind likely wouldn’t have mattered much — Florida would have just pounded an inferior Georgia team either way. So I really think a serious discussion of this topic should probably take things year-by-year.

    Having said that, I do think Florida is currently “in our head,” as it were. I fully expect Murray to be way too jacked up, and to go into the half with a sub-50% completion percentage. And I expect a few guys on defense to go all “Hitman Jakar” on Florida, and rack up a number of personal fouls. Our sloppiness will give Florida an easy first half, and consequently, they’ll go into the half with a double-digit lead. We’ll make some adjustments, narrow the gap in the second half, and it’ll be a close finish, one way or the other.

    Of course, I have no idea how Saturday’s going to look … but the above scenario wouldn’t surprise me in the least bit. I thought we were the better team last year, and I think we’re the better team this year. But I think that means very little at this point. I do like that there are apparently more and more players who are either unfamiliar, or otherwise unmoved, by the rivalry, its history, etc. The more our guys see this as just another conference game — albeit it tougher, and slightly more meaningful — the better.

  20. JimDawginTexas

    It was 10 interceptions
    2010
    Georgia Passing C/ATT YDS AVG TD INT
    A. Murray 18/37 313 8.5 3 3
    2009
    Georgia Passing C/ATT YDS AVG TD INT
    J.Cox 11/20 165 8.3 2 3
    L. Gray 0/3 0 0 0 1

    2008
    Georgia Passing C/ATT YDS AVG TD INT
    M Stafford 18/33 265 8.0 0 3
    J. Cox 2/4 27 6.8 1 0

  21. kckd

    Here’s the deal, take away most of the Spurrier years and the 2009 and 2006 Meyer years, and what’s the record? IMO, those years we were about even or UGA had the ad going into the game. And of course we still have a losing record.

    It probably looks something like this: 1992, 2002-2005, 2007-2008, 2010

    We’re 2-5 in those seven years. So we definitely have a problem here, even when we’re not a decided underdog.

  22. Brian

    UGA had way more talent than UF in both 2000 and 2001. Way more.

    I agree that UF has had more talent, on average, than UGA. But that does not explain 3-18. 7-14 is the worst case scenario I can imagine if the game were decided upon talent alone and I think it’s more like 8-13 or 9-12.

    • ugalaw06

      While 2000 might be debatable, we weren’t close to the Gators in 2001. That’s the most dominant SEC team I’ve ever seen that didn’t win an SEC title.

    • RobA

      UF was a much better football team that UGA in 2001. Its not even close. UF rolled everyone they played outside of three games – two losses by a field goal or less with their starting running back out, and the win against UGA, which wasn’t nearly as close as UGA fans remember it. UF had nearly 600 yards of offense and nearly as many missed opportunities as UGA, especially when you consider the disparity in penalty yards.

  23. ugalaw06

    In my opinion, it became mental in 2002. During the Gators’ run of 11 out of 12 leading up to that game, there was really only one game when we went down there with the better team and lost — 1992. We were grossly overmatched every other year except for 1997 (and that year we probaby still weren’t as talented as the Gators overall), and to a certain extent, 2000.

    2002 was different. Florida was reeling in their first year under Ron Zook, and we went down there with our best team since the early ’80s and still lost. That’s the point where they really got in our heads. From 2002-2005, we went down there with legitimate hopes of making it to the national championship three times, only to fall to somewhat pedestrian Florida teams. Our offense averaged 12 points per game in those losses. Even in 2004, we had to cling on for dear life as the worst Florida team in a decade and a half came roaring back.

    You certainly can’t attribute 3-18 to the mental side. But I do think that if you look at how “good” the teams were, it should be more like 7-14 or 8-13, but those three or four wins are arguably ones that could have taken our program to a different level.

  24. wnc dawg

    Historically, I’d agree with you for the most part on the talent (I think the ’05 game was tilted to Fl w/ the Shockley injury, etc). I find it hard to underestimate a lot of the mental stuff though. There was/is usually a play that just seems to suck the life out of the Red side of the stadium that kicks into the “here we go again” syndrome. I really liked what McGarity had to say about it (last year?). Too much emphasis=not playing your best.

    As for this year, I have read very little thus far about how Fl will be the healthiest they’ve been since the UT game. I think having Demps and Rainey (and most likely Brantley) on the field at the same time is a big deal. Not insurmountable by any means, but Fl has exponentially more big play potential this week than they did against AU. Don’t get me wrong, I think Fl would still have been crushed by Bama and LSU, but come Saturday, we are not gonna be looking at the offense that went to the Plains.

  25. kckd

    Check it, I counted wrong. We’re 2-6 against UF in years where it’s practically even or we have the advantage.

    We’re 1-12 when UF has a significant ad.

  26. Derek

    If you are counting 1990 (we were 4-7 they won the sec but for probation), 91 (we went to Shreveport they went to new Orleans) and 1993 (no bowl for us, they either won or played for the sec title) then you are starting off with bad math here. While I agree that we were only “better” in the years the senator cited (we went 1-2 in those) there were not as many “even” games as suggested.

    Still talent does not explain the results entirely. We have a losing record when we were better, when we were worse obviously and when the game was even. Had this series not been impacted by paralysing brain farts it would probably still be 7-14. So talent is the bigger factor but not the only factor.

  27. Bright Idea

    The open dates were a huge advantage BECAUSE Florida usually had the superior coaching staff. A mediocre staff unable to capitalize on the open date renders the bye a moot point. Zook wasn’t a terrible coach, he just had to follow Spurrier.

  28. db

    Schultz has a point. The two years UGA won SEC under Richt they lost to UF both those years.

  29. My ADD has kept me from reading every word of every response so far (so I apologize if I repeat what someone else has said), but it is more than either mental or a talent disadvantage. What about coaching? Spurrier out-coached the entire SEC for the 90’s, and UGA threw out Goff and Donnan. So only going 1-10 from 1990 to 2000 under those two coaches isn’t too shocking, despite a stockpile of NFL talent on Donnan’s teams in the late 90’s. The average margin of defeat in those ten losses was 24(!) points.

    Contrast that with the 2000’s. There were three double-digit losses, and they are to three of the best Florida teams to ever take the field. The 2001 team was a hurricane game away from being a national title team. The 2008 team won the title going away, and the 2009 team was the second best team in the country… second only to the eventual national champion Tide. The rest of the games have a combined margin of defeat of 4.8 points. Tereshinski started two of the losses.

    It’s not the location, it’s not the talent, it’s not the coaches (anymore), it’s not some mental block that strikes on I-95 at the state line. It’s bad luck. It’s making the wrong mistake at the wrong time. It’s bad QB play. It’s dropped passes. It’s missed field goals. It’s humping penalties. It’s playing against one of the greatest college football players ever. It’s cyclical. It will revert back to the median eventually. It might start this year.

    • Cojones

      You have all the reasons that, collectively, can rationalize the record. Let’s return to the years I was at UGA when one year, a good D tackle dumped FU’s Heisman-winning QB three times, won the game and the Outland Trophy. FU was akin to nowaday’s Ken and we thought it wasa no big deal to whip their butts with good ole smashmouth football. Of course it didn’t hurt to have the interception record holder for the SEC on the same team.

      My point? We have personnel with the same talents on D who can take this game as a personal challenge to take their game to that 60s level and proceed from there.

  30. MadHatter

    Sorry Senator, you’re just wrong here. Check your facts, Richt has been top 5 in recruiting for a decade, he’s had more talent than Florida, and only won 2 games out of 10.

  31. AusDawg85

    If you make it this far in reading the posts above, then you now have the answer to the question. So much yapping, theories, conflict, angst, etc. If any of this sort of mentality gets into the B-M complex during Hate Week, it’s no wonder we’re on the wrong side of the trend. You don’t see threads like this for GT, USCe, UT, AU, etc. There is nothing special about the gators. What’s special is the weekend. Our fan base has let this get out of hand. Get rational, get mad….and get even.

  32. W Cobb Dawg

    It’s the coaching.

  33. Darron Rovelll ‘s comment was very insightful, gave me a new perspective and the bye week info has got me feeling much better about tthis weekend and my yearly bout with alcohlism. GO Dawgs

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