The vox populi of Bulldog Nation has been heard loud and clear here at Dawg Sports and the results were doggone decisive.
When asked where the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party should be played, 57 out of 100 voters agreed with me that the game should be played in Jacksonville every year.
So it isn't just me.
A distant second place was claimed by the 14 respondents who believed Georgia and Florida should play one another home and home, albeit with occasional trips to the St. John's River. 11 ballots were cast by those who supported a true home and home series alternating between Athens and Gainesville, like any other annual rivalry on the Bulldogs' schedule.
10 voters opted for another neutral site, many of whom (like Doug Gillett) doubtless favored rotating neutral site games, with the Gators hosting in Alltel Stadium one year and the Red and Black hosting in the Georgia Dome the next. This notion would preserve the neutral site tradition and the 50-50 split among spectators while moving the game around a bit.
The defending Big East champion West Virginia Mountaineers, shown here bemoaning the fact that the Bulldogs have home field advantage in the Georgia Dome.
Personally, I have never bought the argument that Florida has home field advantage in Jacksonville. When I look at the final scores from the 1994, 1995, and 1996 Cocktail Parties (which were played in Gainesville, Athens, and Jacksonville, respectively), I have a tough time seeing how the location of those games had any effect at all.
A quick glance at the Bulldogs' won-lost record in the Gator Bowl before and after 1990 suggests that, in the Gateway City, home field advantage matters much less than head coach advantage . . . the Ron Zook years notwithstanding.
Nevertheless, Doug's suggestion that the game be alternated between Atlanta and Jacksonville is an interesting one and I am grateful to him for suggesting it.
But wouldn't that make it the World's Largest Indoor Cocktail Party?
Four voters thought that no college football game should be called "the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party." I want to thank Il Duce for dropping by and voting four times.
Finally, the option of playing the game in Athens one year and in Jacksonville the next finished in a two-way tie for last place, with four votes. Oddly enough, this probably is the most likely long-term option, since Georgia faces increasing pressure to move the game to a home and home series and Florida has given hints that, if this happens, the Gators will choose to host their "home" game in the contest's historic location.
In the meantime, the new Dawg Sports poll question is up and running. The question now before the house is this: "Which football team is Georgia's biggest rival?"
Let me know what you think and have a safe and happy holiday weekend.