The football rivalry between the Florida Gators and the Georgia Bulldogs almost never takes a day off. Proof of that came again this week, in the middle of May, when coaches from both sides addressed the game formerly known as the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.
Early in the week, Florida head coach Will Muschamp, while speaking to a booster club in Jacksonville, addressed Georgia’s current two-game winning streak over the Gators. He said:
“It’s not going to be a long winning streak, I can assure you. We were very disappointed for our football team and the Gator Nation that we didn’t get the job done (last year). Looking forward to the game this year.”
Later in the week, Georgia had a chance to respond when defensive coordinator Todd Grantham spoke at a UGA Days event in Atlanta.
“The fact is, the last two years, we’ve won in Florida and we’ve won the SEC East. From that standpoint, that (trash talk) has no effect on me.”
Muschamp cited a poor performance on offense by his team in last season’s loss to Georgia. “Obviously, when you turn the ball over six times, you’re not going to win many games,” he said. “We fought through a lot of adversity that we created in that game.”
Of course, the Georgia side of the rivalry saw that different. Especially Grantham, who coached the defense that held Florida in single digits in a 17-9 UGA win.
“We actually created six turnovers,” Grantham said. “In this league, when you turn the ball over, you’re going to have a hard time winning.”
The two rivals square off this season on November 2 in Jacksonville in a game that will have SEC East implications, and it could also have an impact on the BCS depending on where the two teams are at this point. The game will feature a pair of the conference’s best coaches in Muschamp and Georgia’s Mark Richt, as well as two quarterbacks who will be under scrutiny, Georgia’s Aaron Murray and the Gators’ Jeff Driskel.
The fact that both of these programs are back in the Top 10 nationally is good for college football. And the fact that they can’t see eye-to-eye on much of anything is great for one of college football’s best rivalries.