clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

13 for '13: Georgia vs. Florida, Nov. 2

Whenever you believe it started, the game that should still be known as the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party might be at a turning point

Sam Greenwood

A look at the baker's dozen of games that will shape the SEC in 2013

First game: 1915; played 90 times (This is a source of some dispute)

The series: Believe it or not, Georgia leads the series 48-40-2. Or 49-40-2, if you want to believe that beating a team that didn't exist at the time of the supposed game counts as a win in the series. In any case, for all the reports of Florida dominance over the last couple of decades, the fact remains that Georgia built up such a lead in the early years that the lead was able to sustain what was an impressive 21-year run by the Gators. Whether or not that run is now over depends on what happens over the next few seasons.

In recent years: As we've noted, from 1990 to 2010 was a period in the World Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party perhaps unique among nationally-recognized and nationally-relevant rivalries. Georgia won just three games in 21 years, and got defeated by more than one touchdown 11 times. But the last two years, the series has swung in Georgia's direction. The Dawgs won by a 24-20 score in 2011 and then beat Florida in an ugly, 17-9 game in 2012 that kept their national championship hopes alive. This could just be a momentary blip in the radar or a permanent change in the rivalry, but it's worth pointing out that Georgia has not won two in a row against Florida since 1988-89.

Last year's game: Well, it was not a thing of beauty. The teams combined for 539 yards. Aaron Murray completed exactly half his passes, and Jeff Driskel didn't do much better. The teams combined for nine turnovers in the game, leading to the almost weekly reminder from some quarters that Georgia won the game "with the help of six Florida turnovers." Florida had three drives of more than 50 yards, two of which did indeed end in turnovers. But the Gators also failed to make it into the end zone on any of their other drives, so it's not like this was a competent offense that just had a few hiccups.

This year: Both teams get a bye ahead of this year's game, something that's stirred up a bit of discussion in the past. This is perhaps the last truly difficult game on Georgia's schedule in 2013, unless Auburn or Georgia Tech end up being far better than expected. For Florida, it is the first of a three-game stretch that will also include facing Vanderbilt at home and going to Columbia to play South Carolina. If Georgia has beaten South Carolina and avoided losing a game somewhere else, this will essentially be the division championship game. If Georgia loses to South Carolina in September, how the game fits into the race for the SEC East becomes a little more complicated. Regardless of the division consequences, the World's Largest Cocktail Party is never meaningless.