Although I made this point in a recent comment, it bears repeating and emphasizing at a moment at which Bulldog Nation is down following yet another Steve Spurrier-style loss to Florida.
That point is this:
If you don’t believe me, you probably didn’t believe me when I told you in January 2007 that Georgia would beat Florida the following fall. How’d that doubt work out for you?
Although the Georgia-Florida series dates back to 1904, the modern rivalry as we know it today began in the early 1930s, when the Southeastern Conference was formed and the game permanently moved to Jacksonville.
Since that time, the two teams have traded equal periods of dominance with a degree of regularity that is almost eerie.
Between 1931 and 1951, Georgia and Florida met 20 times. (The series was interrupted for one year during World War II.) During that period, the Bulldogs won 17 of 20 series showdowns while the Gators won three.
Between 1952 and 1970, Georgia and Florida met 19 times. During that period, the Gators won 13 of 19 series showdowns while the Bulldogs won five. (There was one tie in that span.)
Between 1971 and 1989, Georgia and Florida met 19 times. During that period, the Bulldogs won 15 of 19 series showdowns while the Gators won four.
Between 1990 and 2008, Georgia and Florida met 19 times. During that period, the Gators won 16 of 19 series showdowns while the Bulldogs won three.
Georgia owned the series for 20 straight clashes at a time when a brief interruption of the rivalry extended the natural cycle slightly. After that, Florida owned the series for exactly 19 seasons, then Georgia owned the series for exactly 19 seasons, then Florida owned the series for exactly 19 seasons.
The Gators’ latest precisely-allotted 19-year cycle of dominance began in 1990, which means it ended in 2008.
If you’re a 21-year-old Georgia fan, take heart. Between now and the time you turn 40, you’re going to have a lot to celebrate at the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.
If you’re a Georgia fan who used to worry about the Gators, quit worrying. Worry about who will replace Phillip Fulmer at Tennessee now that he is gone. Worry about who will replace Tommy Tuberville at Auburn if this turns out to be his last season on the Plains. Heck, even worry about what Paul Johnson is accomplishing at Georgia Tech if you must.
Just don’t worry about the Gators. The pendulum in this series swings with the regularity of a metronome and the momentum begins going back the Bulldogs’ way in 2009.
Worry about the Gators starting in 2028. Between now and then, they’re ours.
Georgia will win at least 14 of the next 19 series meetings with Florida and Urban Meyer will finish his career in Gainesville with an overall losing record against the Bulldogs, provided Mark Richt doesn’t get him fired first.
Count on it.