Georgia-Florida is a Big Game - And That's a Good Thing

October 25, 2018

ATHENS - Kirby Smart’s Georgia program has won 17 of its previous 22 games by two touchdowns or more. 

That’s probably why everyone is figuring out which bridge to jump off after this two-week hiatus of the season. 

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After clocking pretty much everyone this season, and then getting the same treatment form LSU in return, it is natural to question many things - perhaps everything. That’s the setting entering Jacksonville, a place where Georgia has lost by double digits (14 times) more than anywhere else since 1990. 

So, naturally, angst is in the air. This is what folks do - panic. Panic, frankly, for no reason. The 1990s have about as much to do with this game as I do with landing on the Moon. 

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Any rivalry game is going to get the juices flowing more than usual (and for the record - get back with me the next time someone calls South Carolina a “rivalry” game… you don’t get this sort of feeling the week of the game with the Chickens). But what’s going on in addition to the rivalry is the incorrect worry that Georgia will lose everything its has built over the last year to the team it hates the most.

As Kirby said after the loss to Alabama in 2017: “We are not going anywhere.”

The Dawgs aren’t. This program is on too solid a footing to think that one game or even one season is going to knock it off its trajectory. What folks are probably discounting is the Royal Rumble that is playing in the SEC - particularly on the road. 

By the way, all of this conveniently ignores the fact Georgia isn’t just favored in the game, but favored by a significant number (either 6.5 or 7 points). Despite the teenage angst coming into this game, Georgia should win this game, and most games UGA should have won these past two years it has. You would rather be where the Dawgs are than the Gators despite all of the foolishness coming from former Gator QBs saying otherwise. 

Yes, the Dawgs have something to prove, and they are more than capable of proving it. 

More broadly, Georgia’s program hasn’t been in better shape since probably when Herschel Walker was on campus. Honestly, and I am sure people will freak out with this statement, it might be in better shape. Herschel was the superstar of that team… who is the superstar of this team/program? 

I can’t name one, either. 

Are the Gators really in position to win the SEC and beyond? I don’t mean that in a way making fun - I’m asking the question. The Gators haven’t won the league in ten seasons is this really the year that’s going to happen? Similarly: The Dawgs haven’t won the league since last year - is this really the year that’s going to happen?

That Florida, a team that should be very, very good, is ranked in the top ten is going to happen more often in the future than it is not. Georgia is going to have to go through the Gators. That’s what this is, and that’s a good thing. This is the new normal - Georgia and the Gators are probably both going to be pretty good at the same time from here on out… get used to it.

Still, Dan Mullen hasn’t been recruiting like Kirby Smart. If the last decade has taught us anything it is that recruiting, way more often than not, means more than anything in this sport (if it didn’t why do programs put so much emphasis on it?). We are only at the start of Kirby’s mad dash through the recruiting world, and I’m not sure anyone is better at that critical aspect of this sport than him (yeah, even better than Lord Saban and Urb). 

So, yes, Florida could beat Georgia on Saturday. But that’s less likely than the Dawgs winning. Yes, Florida could and should be good from here on out, but Georgia has already proven that it is good right now.

This is a big game, and there’s nothing to have angst about. This is a good thing. 

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