Georgia Game Is One Of Gators’ Biggest Games Ever

And then, at last, we come to Georgia.




The team I hate the most is our next opponent.

And it could very well be the Gators’ biggest game of all time.

Maybe not as much as the three national championship games Florida played in, but that’s about all this game takes a backseat to in importance.

This game isn’t just important for where the Gators finish this season. It’s not just important for what bowl Florida winds up in. It’s not just important to maintain the complete and utter dominance Florida has had over UGA since 1990 in this extremely bitter rivalry. It’s not just important for recruiting.

It’s important because a loss will knock the Gators out of the SEC Championship Game, kill their chances of going to a decent bowl game, even out if not begin a 180 flip in the rivalry, will possibly lead to decommittments or dropping Florida off the list for recruits…

And overall, officially end the Gators’ golden age.

A loss here means that the 2011 season was a complete failure, which would make it two seasons in a row. That’s not what recruits want to see. They want to see great strides by the new coaching staff. Sure, it’s normal for coaches to struggle in their first season as a coach, but Florida isn’t normal.

The Gators are the most prestigious program over the last 15 years, and part of what made that happen is a set of ridiculous expectations that both Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer helped create by winning so much. Recruits want to play for the best team they can, and four straight losses… well, you get it.

A loss to Georgia could really ressurect the Bulldog program, not just this year, but for the future. The two teams have exchanged turns walloping each other with two decade long regularity, and, well, it’s been 21 years since Georgia really controlled this series. History suggests that a defeat here will start a nice, long, run the other way. That is simply unacceptable. A Gator victory, however, would keep the current run of 18 out of the last 21 going.

This game has an eerily similar feel to the 2007 game- a sophomore QB for Georgia who beat himself up all summer long after a heartbreaking defeat the year before to Florida, plus a freshman running back with a legend that grows by the week. Oh and the Gators are also coming off losses to Auburn and LSU (similar to 2007, when they lost to both Tigers (but not as badly) except they beat Kentucky in between).

I won’t even focus on the East race, because again, the booby prize there is just another mauling by Alabama or LSU. Let Georgia get bodyslammed once so they can see how it feels.

But the overall effect of losing to Georgia is sickening. A win is the most beautiful thing in the world, and on the flip side, a loss is the worst. It’s more than the above reasons. Yes, it hurts in recruiting, the SEC East, in the message rooms, etc. but there’s just something else that cannot be put into words that makes a loss here intolerable. And that feeling is magnified this year, since the Gators need this win, really, really badly.

Now, let’s focus on what a win would do.

This is a golden opportunity for Muschamp’s first signature win at Florida. Not just because he was Georgia’s captain in 1994, but more because it gives him a chance for his fans to see that he was really serious about overcoming adversity.

Three straight losses, including two clobberings, and a bye week to rest up and heal and bounce back. There isn’t really a better opportunity for him to overcome adversity this year than with a win over UGA. Nor is there a better time to at least salvage something from the wreckage that is the 2011 season. The building is in flames, and will go down soon, but it hasn’t yet, so there is enough time to run back, and grab some valuables left behind.

The ability to bounce back from defeat is one of the most important traits a team can possibly have. Become demoralized, and one loss becomes two, two becomes three, and pretty soon, three becomes seven or eight. The Georgia game is a very winnable game, but Florida has excelled at beating themselves this season, and they need to play better as a team no matter who takes the snaps (update: John Brantley is listed as questionable for a Monday return to practice).

It would also serve as a huge boost for recruiting. Muschamp has already set up his tent in Atlanta, snagging four highly coveted recruits from that area this year.

Finally, a win here would save Gator fans from a year of abuse. I define a rivalry game as a loss that would hurt more in the message boards (on the internet) than in the standings. As much as this would hurt Florida in the East (actually, it would be the killshot), it would hurt more everywhere else.

To sum it all up: a win over Georgia could boost the Gators for years to come.

2 thoughts on “Georgia Game Is One Of Gators’ Biggest Games Ever

  1. Well I agree with every single point, a loss here is horrible for us, and I may have to hide from the message boards if we lose.

  2. Neil I used to say we can lose every game but UGA and I would be happy. This year I feel that again

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