“Something is just off about the Florida program right now.”

David Wunderlich has written a classic “Florida now is like Georgia used to be” piece.

During that long stretch of Gator dominance and even for a while after, the Florida-Georgia game wasn’t always about that day’s particular Florida-Georgia game for the partisans in red and black. They had to worry about if it was time to fire Ray Goff. Or Jim Donnan. Or Mark Richt, or at least one of his coordinators like Willie Martinez (yes) or Mike Bobo (no).

The tables turned after Meyer left Gainesville. Starting in 2011, Florida fans now wondered if it was time to fire Will Muschamp or at least one of his three offensive coordinators. Or Jim McElwain. UGA fans didn’t have completely smooth sailing once they started beating UF again, as they had more questions about whether it was time to fire Bobo (still no), Todd Grantham (after four years, yes), or Richt (eventually, yes). All that noise quieted down pretty quickly in the second half of the decade.

Last year’s Florida win was supposed to quiet things down in Gainesville. Everyone set it up during the offseason to be the Most Important Game in the Mullen Era, and the Gators passed the test with flying colors. Unfortunately, the quiet barely lasted more than a month.

Since that big win in Jacksonville, Florida has lost twice to severely shorthanded LSU teams, practically no-showed a bowl, and resolutely and determinedly stomped on a couple dozen rakes in a needless loss to Kentucky.

So where does that leave Gator fans tomorrow?  Well, put it this way:  as a Georgia fan, this sure sounds familiar.

All of that means that this year’s Cocktail Party can just be about the game itself. It’s about beating a hated rival and nothing more. That’s supposed to be enough for college football teams in such games, and it is for myriad programs that don’t ever have realistic shots at conference or national titles. We hate those guys over there, and so we’re going to try extra hard to beat them.

It’s not about positioning in the standings or rankings. It’s about bragging rights and getting the 1980 jokes off of life support.

It’s about us versus them, on this field, on this day. If Florida can focus on just that and play their best game, they do have a shot to win. It’s not a great shot, but they could pull it off. If so many big swings can go against them in the last season-and-a-half, maybe a big swing could go in their favor for once.

Good luck with that.  On our end, that was good for about one upset a decade.

30 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football

30 responses to ““Something is just off about the Florida program right now.”

  1. r1valry

    spidermenpointingateachother.jpg

    Like

  2. Sorry, but I don’t think Florida just has to “play their best game” in order to win tomorrow. They’re gonna need a lot of help from Lady Luck…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I know its a little point in the big picture, but why do people keep insisting Grantham was fired from Georgia?

    He left on his own before Richt could do it.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2021)

    Hahahahahahahaha!!!

    Fuck those motherfuckers!!!

    Liked by 4 people

  5. ugafidelis

    I’m cautiously optimistic, but I’m not saying anything about this game until it’s well in hand in our favor. Y’all can. I ain’t.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. siskey

    I am the absolute right generation to have suffered the most uncompetitive stretch against Florida in the series history but Dodd articles aside, the majority of the times we lost to Florida it was because they were the better team. There are obvious examples of when this was not the case but from 1990 to 2010 we had the better team and lost at most 3-4 times. We are the better team now and my Florida pessimism aside I think we whip their ass tomorrow. Go Dawgs! and FTMF!!

    Liked by 6 people

    • iusedtopostasmikecooley

      I’ve been saying this for two weeks. I was in the fourth grade when Goff became coach. So I’ve spent a lot of my life seeing Florida beat Georgia. But they were usually better. This notion that the two teams were fairly evenly matched most of the time or Georgia was often better and still lost just isn’t accurate. And God bless Mark Richt but think about some of the teams he took to Jacksonville and ask yourself how many of those guys wouldn’t start on this team and how many wouldn’t make the two deep. It might be an eye opener when you look at it that way. Stop being scared of Florida. Kirby isn’t. The players aren’t. Steve Spurrier ain’t on that sideline. Neither is Corch. Ask yourself how many of their current players would have started on those Florida teams.

      Liked by 7 people

      • siskey

        I agree. I think that the 92 team was maybe better and then the 02-03 and maybe 20 teams are the only ones where Georgia lost as “maybe” the better team. Other wise they were better or if not (2014) we had glaring issues that popped up more than once that year that they exploited. We have better players and have played a tougher schedule. Go Dawgs!

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  7. W Cobb Dawg

    We just want to crush their faces with a hobnail boot. I don’t think that makes us bad people.

    Liked by 7 people

  8. ericstrattonrushchairmandamngladtomeetyou

    In hindsight it is pretty obvious. During that stretch when FU was winning the WLOCP regularly the Turds had an advantage: They had a bye week to get ready for the game and Georgia did not. Spurrier did that as soon as he became FU HC. He even said exactly why he was doing it at the time. It took our idiot administrators at B-M 25 years to react and change Georgia’s schedule to do the same. If you go back and look, if Georgia has beaten FU all those times instead of losing, the Dawgs would have accomplished what FU accomplished during that time. It wasn’t because Goff or Donnan or Richt were incompetent. It was because our AD (Vince) and our President (for most of the time Mike Adams) dropped the ball. Blame the right guys.

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  9. mg4life0331

    I maybe in the minority here, but I hope we beat them so bad Mullen gets fired.

    Monday morning is ok, but the Lane Kiffen find your own flight home would be better.

    #FTMF

    Liked by 8 people

    • Dawglicious

      I’m with you, MG! I hope we hang three-quarters of a hundred on them. A repeat of 1942 oughta do it!

      Liked by 3 people

    • I want us to send Dopey/Goofy under the stadium to eat cold pizza.

      I’m ok if the Hogtown Handbags keep him (and Towel Boy) for as long as possible. I’m also ok if we put such a big beatdown on them that the bus heads back to Florida’s armpit without him on it.

      Liked by 4 people

      • mg4life0331

        I’m ok if they keep him. But the ass whooping needs to be historic levels.

        Liked by 4 people

        • RangerRuss

          I like the way y’all think.
          Florida sucks.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Down Island Way

            When I attended Florida…Welllll mr wundergaytur boy, you didn’t say you gradgiated only that you attended, disqualifies any and all of the, if this happens or if that happens conversation and oh, by the way when all you have got is living in the past, you just better head for cover, cause you know when UGA football hangs 52 on the scoreboard (that’s for the old ball sack) then UGA football kicks a late 4th quarter FG to make the final 55 to whatever makes that record from last years WLOCP to the present final all that much darker for your costumed, moral victory hc, FU hc doesn’t have what it takes to go to the big top…#FTMF

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        • akascuba

          Largest margin in the series so bad Grantham resigns yeah I could live with that.

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  10. A Ban

    I’m truly glad Florida has at least a chance of winning this one. You want the rivalry to be healthy enough to respect the rival, which helps ensure your team is focused. UGA got boatraced in Muschamp’s final season, putting in a defensive performance in that game that was similar to Florida’s vs. LSU 2 weeks ago seemingly because the team was not up for the game.

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  11. whb209

    Nobody from UF ever talks about Coach Dooley being 17-7-1 in 25 years
    against them. They only started playing football in 1990. I assume they were just practicing before that date and Coach Dooley’s record just does not count.
    To HELL with Florida

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Darin Cochran

    I read what Smart said about the players not being emotional,but focused. Uh…ok, whatever you say coach. But make no mistake; This game has been circled on the calendar and etched in the minds of these players for 365 days. Our D front seven hasn’t had to play a real 4 quarter war since the Clemson game, Since then, they’ve coasted with our superior athletes and industrial strength depth. I think the front seven goes to war for the first time in this one for a 60 minute bloodbath….UGA – 45 Gaytors – 13

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