[Note: This is Part 2 of the Florida Gators football preview for 2014, Click Here For Part 1]
“I said, Georgia, oh Georgia, no peace I find, just an old sweet song, keeps Georgia on my mind…” (Ray Charles)
Ever since a guy name Steve Spurrier arrived in Gainesville like a knight in (blue and orange) shining armor, continuing through the much maligned tenure of Ron Zook, and concluding in the halcyon years of Urban Meyer, the Florida Gators were on the right side of the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” (turn down for what). Florida won 18 of the 21 meetings during that timeframe, and nearly extinguished rivalry talk for a whole generation of Gator fans.
Unfortunately, that momentum has since come to a screeching halt. The last three games, helmed by current Florida head coach (and former UGA team captain) Will Muschamp, have ended with “Glory, glory to old Georgia” (click here to induce nausea) blaring to the delight of the red and black clad fans at EverBank Field.
I lived in Jacksonville for ten years and have been present at three Florida losses there. Let me assure you, dear reader, it’s a damned ugly and downright awful thing walking out of that stadium a loser. Just imagine hearing that “Dawwwwwwg” snarl, incessant woofing, and the “I said it’s great to BEAT a Florida Gator” chant on repeat while sorrowfully exiting towards your car.
Consider this: Muschamp is now 0-7 in this rivalry – as both a player and coach combined. A loss this year would be Georgia’s first four-game sweep over Florida since a six-game run between 1978-83. Throw in the fact that this border war is one of college football’s fiercest rivalries, and it almost seems as if the entire season revolves around this game.
Though the last three contests have been decided by a total of only 15 points, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. And after last season, Muschamp may not be able to explain his way out of many more losses – especially with a 2-6 combined rivalry record versus UGA, LSU, and FSU. Needless to say, (beating) Georgia better be on Will Muschamp’s mind if he intends to roam the sidelines at Everbank in 2015. Outside of improving the offense, winning this game should be the team’s top priority. No Florida class should ever graduate without a Georgia victory under its belt.