Georgia Bulldogs: Ghosts Of Cocktail Parties Past Haunt Dawg Nation

ATHENS, GA - OCTOBER 14: Riley Ridley
ATHENS, GA - OCTOBER 14: Riley Ridley /

The undefeated Georgia Bulldogs (7-0) are due for battle against the hated rival Florida Gators this Saturday in Jacksonville. You’d never know Georgia is favored big in this game.

The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. There it is. It is written. Did that hurt? Of course, not. What does hurt, though, for Dawg Nation, is the recent memory of this game. The Georgia Bulldogs head into Jacksonville undefeated and ranked 3rd nationally. You’d never know it talking with UGA fans this week.

Part of the reason the Georgia Football program is generally seen as underachievers is this very game. Reality is that Georgia dominated this series going back to 1904, with an all-time series lead of (50-43-2). But then a man named Spurrier took over at Florida, and the whole thing was turned upside down.

It’s like that scene in the movie Tombstone when Wyatt Earp tells Ike Clanton, “Alright, Ike, you called down the thunder, now you got it….you tell’em I’m comin’ and hell’s coming with me!” Since 1990, Georgia has only won this thing six times. Spurrier showed up and he brought hell with him. The word “domination” conjures completely different emotions depending on which school you love. But, domination it has been.

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And that isn’t to say that Florida has always had the better team. In 2002, UGA came into this annual throw-down ranked 4th in the nation. That loss cost them a chance to play for a national championship. It was the only time they lost all year.

Hence, the quiet confidence that pervades and congeals Dawg Nation these days. Soft murmurs and knowing glances are passed when things like, ” You see that opening line?” and “I think Kirby will have them ready.” are uttered. No trash talk coming from Athens and Georgia Fans much (unless you know my cousin Robert. That dude says UGA rolls fiercely and he’s loud about it).

And that is just the thing. This WLOCP is truly the test for Georgia fans as to whether they completely buy in to what it looks like Kirby Smart and his Dawgs are selling. Winning at Notre Dame was heartening. The show against Mississippi State was impressive. The beat-down put on Tennessee was cathartic. But if Georgia goes into The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party and walks the dawg on Florida, you’ll start hearing Georgia fans bark a little.

This game Saturday in Jacksonville is the great reveal for UGA. Can they banish the ghosts of Cocktail parties past and start a new era?

Next: Georgia Bulldogs: Recent Local Commitments Point To Something Big

In a series where the best team doesn’t always win, you have to wonder. Then, again, Florida just really isn’t all that good, it appears.