If you move it, they will win.

More talk on the possibility of moving the Georgia-Florida game from Jacksonville in this AJ-C interview with Damon Evans.  Evans, as he should be right now, is holding his cards close to his vest.  This is the interesting passage:

… He notes Georgia won in Jacksonville in 2007 and suggests that if the Bulldogs also had won in 2008, the site would not be stirring such debate today. Alas, Florida won 49-10.

“Some people may say Florida is beating us because we’re in Jacksonville,” Evans said. “I’m not an excuse guy.”

You sure don’t see the word “alas” in many AJ-C pieces.  But you might see it a few more times if the game is moved and things don’t improve for the Dawgs in the won-loss column.  What would we blame it on then?

Of course, we’d be able to take solace in the fact that we’d have spent less money in Florida.  Yeah, that would show ’em!

Face it – if the game is in fact moved, the pressure to win on Mark Richt’s shoulders grows enormously.  Everybody had better hope that he and the team are up to it.

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UPDATE: Doc Saturday has some outsider-looking-in thoughts for us here.  And take a look at that game results graphic.  So, what happened exactly in 1990?  Global warming break out?  New interstate highway running from Gainesville to Jacksonville?  Construction at the Jacksonville airport that tied up plane traffic for hours?

We know it can’t be something as mundane as a coaching change, right?

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UPDATE #2: Orson’s got as good a reason as any.

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45 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

45 responses to “If you move it, they will win.

  1. sh

    I told you guys that Damon doesn’t want the game moved and will not let it happen.

    He understands that it’s a pitiful excuse that should be capitulated.

    Thank goodness our AD has a pair and isn’t afraid to show it.

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  2. JasonC

    The way I see it… Do we think it is going to be easier to win in Gainesville than Jacksonville, where it really is advantage-Gators? I went to the @$$-whoopin’ they doled out in the Swamp and it wasn’t fun. It was also the most hostile place I have ever seen a game and I have been to all the SEC sites except LSU.
    Second, the Gators aren’t going to magically start to suck since we play games in Athens or ATL. Yes, we might have an advantage, but if we don’t take care of business in Athens, then not only do we look bad away, but at home also.

    Winning is the only way to cure the problem, whether its in JAX, ATL, Athens or Jortsville.

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    • The year we played them in Jax, we won 5 games. That’s right, 5. UF won the SEC. I think we can stop using that 2 year sample in which UGA won 11 games and UF won two SEC titles, had an undefeated regular season, and played for a national title as a reason to not go home and home. The programs just were not comparable at that time.

      I’ve never been to a game in Gainesville, but I’ll put LSU up against any road atmosphere we’ll ever play in. I was there in 98 at night when we won and in 03 when we lost and I can honestly say I was scared to leave my seat both times. No where on earth could possibly be louder and more hostile during a game than Baton Rouge.

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      • The programs just were not comparable at that time.

        What does it say that last year’s loss was the second worst of the series for Georgia?

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        • kckd

          What does it say that the worst loss we’ve had at the hands of UT under Richt was in a year we finished no. 2?

          That would be the same answer to your question. Not a whole hell of a lot.

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        • It says the game got away from them and Urban poured it on. Are you really arguing that one 49-10 defeat is evidence that the programs are at comparable levels as when Spurrier was beating us 52-14, 52-17, and 47-7 in consecutive years?

          I look at this from a wide angle lenses. If we go home and home and lose the first one, then it’s just one game. If we go home and home and 19 years later we’re sporting a 3-16 record, then you’ll have me.

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          • Nope.

            But that’s the most lopsided loss of Richt’s head coaching career. Are you really arguing that you can chalk the whole debacle up to playing in Jax?

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            • Of course not, and I never had. But if the series had been home and home the last 19 years, would we still be 3-16. That’s really the crux of the argument to me.

              If you think we’d have won more than 3 games during that span, and I do, then you have to conclude that going home and home is better for the program than the game in Jax.

              I want what’s in the best interest of the program and what will help UGA win a national title. If that means not having a fall vacation and getting drunk every year in Jax and the surrounding area, then so be it. I’ll trade a national championship game in NOLA or Pasadena for Jax anyway.

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              • If you think we’d have won more than 3 games during that span, and I do…

                Based on what?

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                • There is no possible amount of evidence I could provide(and plenty exists) to change anyone’s mind. We just disagree, no biggie. Just one question: would you be willing to see the game leave Jax if it meant UGA played for a national title in the next 5 years?

                  I’m not saying that’s going to happen or anything like that, I just want to gauge the level of passion the pro-Jacksonville crowd has and trying to figure out what’s most important to them.

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              • I’ve got to agree with the good Senator here. There just isn’t any evidence to suggest a change of location is going to solve anything. We don’t lose these games because there’s some hex on us in Jacksonville. The hex is that everytime our players see script orange helmets on the other side of the sideline that say “Gators”, they pee their pants. If we were playing Tennessee or Ga Tech or Auburn in Jacksonville every year I don’t believe the series would be nearly as lopsided in the last 20 years. I believe if you lined up the same Florida players but put them in a Tennessee or Auburn uniform the series is a lot closer to .500 over the last two decades. It frankly doesn’t matter where this game is played because right now Florida is in our program’s heads and until we address that white elephant in the room the next 20 years are going to be just as bad as the last 20.

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  3. kckd

    Something tells me if the game is moved, some of you will be laughing if it continues to go the way of the Gator. And that in itself is the problem. The game and team comes second to the party and some will be more than happy to say “I told you so” but at the same time say they are numero uno dawg fan.

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    • JasonC

      Not trying to get into it, but as I stated above winning is the only cure. Winning the game is my main concern. I could care less about the party.

      I know the situation isn’t quite comparable, but since my family is mostly made up of Bama fans, but moving the Iron Bowl from B’ham didn’t work out that well for Bama… at least for 6 years or so. However, maybe (to Kyle’s dismay) we are Auburn in this analogy, not Bama.

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    • My friend, I think you’ve got it bass ackwards. Nobody’s going to be laughing if the game moves and the Dawgs don’t improve the win total. Quite the opposite – moving the game and continuing to lose at the same rate will just make people more upset.

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      • Dog in Fla

        When Mark took the job, his predecessors had already compiled a tailor-made list of excuses for Georgia not beating Florida, which of course was part of the reason they were fired at Georgia.

        Mark has continued that fine tradition by adding to it. Who can’t admire the hotter for us one most of all. Mark knows it’s best for his job security and that of his assistant coaches for the game to remain in Jacksonville. Home and home or Dome, the excuse list dwindles. Why ruin a good thing.

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  4. Ben

    Just win the damn football game. Who cares where it’s played?

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  5. Left to Right

    Shouldn’t there be enormous pressure on Richt to beat Florida? Such enormous pressure might get him to change his way of thinking of assistant coaching spots as tenured positions.

    I am not in favor of moving the game in any manner to Atlanta. But it’s all academic anyway because there is no way UF would agree to playing the game in Atlanta without a payout that is substantially higher than what Jacksonville or a home-and-home would pay. It is very likely such a payout would be too high to make the game viable for the Atlanta Sports Council. I would only want it changed if we went to a home-and-home because it would allow us more flexibility in scheduling.

    This has become an evergreen topic for the Atlanta sports media whenever things are slow sports-wise. It replaces the old evergreen topic-Georgia won’t travel to play anybody out of conference-which has been rendered inoperable in recent years.

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  6. Dog in Fla

    Yes.

    No one with any authority is going to provide any pressure whatsoever; however. At least until some additional losses each year to Tech and others are combined with the annual Florida loss. Donnan tried changing assistants but couldn’t find the right defensive one.

    On the bright side, our 3-15 against Florida is better than Navy’s 1-17 against Notre Dame.

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  7. digidy dawg

    As far as I know the field in Jax. is 100 yards long with not one, but two end zones (although in ’08 I believe they remove ours for most of the game). It’s all mental for the players & staff. We’ve won there for many years before Ray “Goof”, & Donnan. It’s all mental. Maybe the best answer is Hypnosis before the game. I used to believe that one day this program would get tired of getting thier ass beat every year & bounce back, instead its become the norm. There needs to be a change in attitude, not lattitude. Kinda corney I know, but true. The bottom line is that we’ve got the talant, but not the swagger. All top teams take the field knowing they are going to win instead of playing not to lose. In ’07 Richt played the team agressively against UF & thats the way you have to play them. I just don’t believe the venue is going to change the win/loss column. I could be wrong.

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    • Dog in Fla

      Ding ding ding — we have a winner —

      Georgia v. Florida slogan has been updated from it’s hotter for us than it is for them to:

      “Change Attitude Not Latitude”

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    • Robert

      That reminds me of a great Jimmy Buffett song…

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  8. Atlanta > Jacksonville.

    Move the game.

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    • I know this is a small point in this whole discussion, but I must disagree.

      As someone who lives in Atlanta, and has a brother that have lived in Jacksonville, I can agree that Jacksonville is pretty much a crap-tastic city, while Atlanta holds a special place in my heart.

      However, the expanse of nothingness surrounding the Gator Bowl that allows the cocktail party to exist is far superior to any tailgating experience that can be had outside the Dome. CNN Center is fun, and the Dome is nice inside, fine. But if we start losing every year in Atlanta, we’ll be stuck with a shitty party as well as a depressing loss.

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  9. On an unrelated note, Tech has released a statement that the home-and-home series with UGA is an unsuitable arrangement, noting that both Sanford Stadium and Grant Field give an unfair advantage to the Dawgs. Having all their matchups in these two stadiums, says Tech, is likely the reason why the Jackets have a poor record against the Dawgs this decade. Tech is attempting to move at least one game every two years indoors to the engineering labs at Groseclose Hall, on the GT campus. However, if the NCAA rules that an actual game must be played, Tech will settle for moving the game to Monroe on an annual basis.

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  10. ceph

    All the history and tradition of the UGA-FLA game in JAX should not be destroyed by a head coach who nuts up the minute UM walks on the field. I don’t care where they play UM has Richt’s NUMBER!!!!!!! Plus who knows how long Richt will be at UGA anyway? At the rate he is going it may not be that long(hopefully) so, you shouldn’t let a coach change the whole dynamics of a traditional game when he may not even be there. A better scenario would be to have a coach who can beat them anywhere! The stats. for the SEC is they win 51% of the home games and 49% of the road games against each other. He loves for people to talk about his road record, so why does JAX scare him? It ain’t JAX it’s UM who has him by the throat!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  11. Dog in Fla

    Georgia goes 15-4 from 1971 through 1989 against Florida with them, not us, complaining about Jacksonville.

    Florida goes 16-3 from 1990 until now against Georgia with us, not them, complaining about Jacksonville.

    Since 1990, we fired two head coaches and our present coach has a 2-5 record against Florida. It’s not the location of the game or the players, who are for the most part equal, that make the difference, it’s the coaching. Look back at the Dooley era and the coaching at Florida then.

    When they were renovating the Gator Bowl and we did home and home, we still got beat. Why not win some consecutive Florida games and then demand a change of venue. Even Lane would agree that makes sense.

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    • Our present coach has a 2-6 record against Florida. Makes it sting a little more, eh?

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      • Dog in Fla

        Yes. It does.

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        • Dog in Fla

          Tied to the Whipping Post – Two Decades of Georgia v. Florida 1989-2008:

          1-6 Goff (the win was pre-Spurrier)

          1-4 Donnan

          2-6 Richt

          At least Mark won twice as many against Florida than either of the two before him, almost has a .500 record v. Zook and has really pissed off Meyer. Things look bright.

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  12. S.E. Dawg

    I personally envision the day when we play the Florida Gators in front of 92,700 fans and a sea of red (or black, which ever you prefer) on a Saturday night. Win or lose, the place would be electric.

    At the same time allow the other 52,700 fans that never get to see the game the chance to experience it. YES, and I know we have to return the favor in Gainesville. So be it. And yes we all know what SOS did in athens and believe me I know, I was there to witness it.

    Man I would love to be playing Tennessee in Athens this year. Just think of the atmosphere with the Kiffer there.

    Oh, If I remember correctly you can get just as drunk in Athens as you can in J-ville.

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  13. Bryan Carver Dawg97

    At this point, I’d bet that almost every Dawg fan in the world has at least one thing they’d be willing to trade or sacrifice in terms of the program (a losing season, sanctions, 7 losses to Tech, 3 straight to Kiffin) for a guaranteed shot at a MNC during that same period. I’d take a 9-4 2009 season if it meant one of the 9 was against UF.

    I do see the “advantages” to moving it away from Jax. But at the same time, if Spurrier can change the mindset of the series without moving the game (and with a weaker program at the time), there isn’t a reason that Richt (as the coach we all think he is) can’t do it either with the program he’s built.

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  14. JasonC

    Doc makes an interesting point: Is it JAX or is it that they moved the game up 2 weeks? Check out his chart and you could make an argument for either position.

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    • How does the graphic make an argument that Jacksonville’s a factor? All the games on both charts, except for the two in the mid-90’s, were played there.

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      • JasonC

        To clarify, I meant that if you look at the chart, the losing streak started right around the time they moved the game from the 2nd week of November to the Halloween weekend. Thus, you could make a stronger argument based on that instead of the location of the game.

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  15. kckd

    Folks the Senator has made up his mind on this one. It’s over and done with and you will not convince him otherwise. It’s pretty much just argument for argument’s sake. I’m moving on.

    I can’t guarantee UGA would’ve won any more games. That’s ridiculous to ask. That’d be like asking if Miami would’ve won their national titles they won in the Orange bowl. No way to answer that.

    What I can say is that it is giving a slight advantage to our biggest conference rival every year. It is giving a slight advantage to a team we most assuredly will have to beat to win the East for the forseeable future. It is giving a slight advantage to a team that has just as much field talent and coaching talent as we do.

    If all things are equal in terms of coaching and players, then it just goes to reason the slight advantage could and probably will play a factor.

    That’s all folks.

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    • Can you point me to a single loss in the 3-16 stretch where you can say “if that game had been played in Athens, Georgia would have won”? And if you believe so, tell me why.

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      • kckd

        You’re asking a question that is completely unprovable with an answer and you know it. I can’t say the Braves would’ve won the 1991 World Series had they had the home field advantage, despite the fact that the home team never lost a game.

        It’s a ludicris question.

        It is absolutely ridiculous to expect UGA to come out of this series at this point with anything better than a .500 record.

        Should we win more than we are? Sure.

        Is playing in Jax the primary reason we’re doing so purely? I doubt it.

        Should we expect to do any better than .500 though considering the talent, coaching and playing in Jax every year? Absolutely not.

        If it’s worth it for you to party, cool.

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        • It’s not a ludicrous question; it’s a rhetorical question. Just like tri’s question about swapping five years of Jax for a guaranteed title game appearance. I got his point immediately. You, on the other hand, sound like you don’t even want to try to understand the other side.

          But I’m game to give it one more shot, so think about this. If the stars were to align this year, and Georgia were to win in Jax, that would even the series over the last six years at 3-3. How much better would Georgia’s record be in that time if the series had been home and home, or if some of the games had been played in the Dome? (And be honest in your assessment – two of those losses came against teams that won the MNC and Shock missed the third with an injury.)

          Bonus question: if you are skeptical about my premise that Georgia wins this year, is that because of where the game is to be played, or because of how the two teams look on paper right now?

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          • kckd

            You’re missing the point here completely. I’m not arguing about what games it would’ve changed in the past, we don’t know. We’ll never know. I’m saying look at what it is. And it’s a slight advantage, maybe as slight as it can get. But it’s still one we give up every year.

            We could play them in Gainesville every year and still not know what games would’ve been different after the fact had we played in Jax, Athens or wherever.

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            • I understand the point just fine, thanks.

              Never mind the historical record, never mind the chance that Georgia could, after this season, be playing .500 ball in Jax over the past six seasons, and never mind that with a move, depending on the venue, less people could see the game (made up by more expensive tickets, no doubt) or the schools could make less money – there’s a little voice inside your head that says there’s a “slight advantage, maybe as slight as it can get” at stake here that trumps all and makes it worth tossing out a 75-year old tradition.

              And even though you can’t point to anything concrete to support your gut feeling, the rest of us are just a bunch of drunken fools to question you about it.

              I get it.

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              • kckd

                You say it’s rhetorical and continue to beg for something concrete.

                Again, if we played in Gainesville every year, I couldn’t give you anything concrete, but something tells me most of you would think that’s a bit much because it would be an advantage.

                I’m not looking at the past for a reason. I’m saying, take that away whether we’ve won or not. We’ve won despite the slight advantage. Now we’re not winning. Past is the past, what’s done is done. I’m taking it on a year by year basis from right now and the future. It’s an advantage we give them every year.

                If we go home and home, more fans get to see the game. Not every year, but every other year. What about those people. To hell with them!!!!!Let’s party!!!!!! Woohoo!!!!!!!!

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                • If we go home and home, more fans get to see the game. Not every year, but every other year. What about those people. To hell with them!!!!!Let’s party!!!!!! Woohoo!!!!!!!!

                  I must admit I find your newfound concern about the fans touching, I really do. I can only presume this means you now agree that if the series doesn’t go home-and-home, it needs to remain in Jax, since the Dome seats almost 6K people less than does JMS. 😉

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