As we have been going through this 2015 season preview at Dawg Sports, we've studied our first eight opponents, some of whom will be substantial, and some of whom... well, have a substantial band. (Also, we've looked at Vanderbilt.)
Now, we come to the 2015 edition of HATE WEEK. In case you haven't become aware of this fact over the past 6 years that I've been contributing to this site, I hate Florida. I hate Florida with the fire of a thousand suns being fueled by the fire of an additional thousand suns. If my choices were to cheer for Florida to win a game or go blind, I'd start learning Braille. If Florida were playing the University of ISIS, (RESPONSE REDACTED BY THE NSA). I. Hate. Florida.
And this year's Cocktail Party will be made even more special by the fact that it will be the first game that Georgia has played in Jacksonville since TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl on January 1, 2014. (I mean, I don't recall the Georgia Bulldogs showing up at Everbank Field anytime later that year... do you?)
Fans of the Sunshine State Saurians are still basking in the afterglow that comes with firing one bad coach and hiring another. (Coach, that is. Not necessarily "bad" coach. But let's all wait and hope.) Does that warm, happy feeling they share, normally only associated in the state of Florida with taking your mom's Oxys and chasing them with that beachside hooch that you got from your cousin Bubber, have any basis in fact? Well, let's just see about that.
SBNation's football-guru-that-has-forgotten-more-math-than-I'll-ever-know Bill Connelly believes that Florida is bound for, essentially, more of the same of what they've gotten over the last 2 years. Which is to say, exceptional defense, an offense that looks like it was scraped off the floor of the diviest dive bar in Alachua County, and an 8-win ledger that, in retrospect, makes you think, "Wait, that crappy team actually won 8 games?" I mean, just look at this quote:
The most proven offensive lineman was starting for Fordham last year.
Yep, that's right... Florida's offensive line has the absolute best talent that the Patriot League can put on the field. (Or, well, the best talent that chose to transfer out of the league, anyway.)
Bill is exceptional with words and maths and all that stuff, but the bottom line is that the Saurians will probably be fine on defense (at least, this year). Their offensive coordinator will have to figure out how to make chicken salad out of chicken ****, which is the trick for them. And here's the thing... when I look at Doug Nussmeier, what I see is a proto-Bobo. (Try saying that five times fast.) And while we in the Dawg Nation might giggle at such a sentiment, the truth is that Bobo's pro-style offenses were damned dangerous when driven by a good quarterback, and when they were paired with great defenses, memorable things could happen. We saw the best results from that combination in the 2007 and 2012 seasons. (Bobo was not the OC during Georgia's 2002 or 2005 SEC championship seasons.)
Of course, that "good quarterback" thing is somewhat of an issue for the Gainesvillians. Also, we know it takes time for a new coach and coordinator staff to implement their systems, so it could probably fairly be said that the best time to catch Florida this year will be early in the season, when they're still learning the ropes and adjusting to their new timings and schemes. As usual, however, we get the Gators right after a bye week late in the season, when they've had time to lick their wounds, correct their mistakes, and switch to "what works right now." So... yeah.
The best thing I can say about our chances when we take the field by the banks of the St. John's River is that our offensive strengths play to the only discernible weaknesses on their defense (if they can be said to have any at all). Their secondary is possibly the best in the nation, but their linebackers and DL will be a little light on experienced playmakers. They'll still be talented, of course, but you might be able to run the ball on 'em. And, as you might have heard, we have one or two guys that have a bit of talent in toting the rock.
There has been no year in modern times in which we were more capable of replicating the score from the 1942 edition of the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party (UGA, 75-0) than last year. But we not only failed to do that, we (3,000 PAGES OF EXPLETIVES DELETED). This year, the Gators will have more hope, more motivation, and a head coach that actually gives a damn about more than just the defensive side of the ball.
And you know what? That'll just make it even sweeter when we do it this year.
My prediction: Georgia 75, Florida 0
(I hate Florida.)