For UGA fans, it’s sweet to have the Gators fretting about Jacksonville and the Florida coach being the one answering questions about the other team’s winning streak.
Asked by reporters this week about Georgia’s two consecutive wins in the series before a Gator Club appearance in Jacksonville, Will Muschamp puffed up his chest and boomed, “Well, it’s not going to be a long winning streak, I can assure you. We feel very comfortable.”
Maybe so. But despite the lazier media types still falling back on the old trope about Florida “owning” the series against Georgia, the days when Steve Spurrier’s version of the Gators did indeed routinely dominate the Bulldogs are increasingly lost in the mists of time. Over the past six games, the Georgia-Florida series is tied 3-3. And, of course, the Dogs have won the past two. That makes Mark Richt 4-8 overall against Florida.
The current even nature of the series with the Gators puts that rivalry on the road to getting more in line with the way things have run in the Richt era against Georgia’s other traditional rivals.
While his critics continue to carp about the troubles his teams have had against Top 10 opponents, there’s no denying that when it comes to Georgia’s main rivals, Richt has things nicely in hand.
Richt has an impressive 11-1 record against in-state rival Georgia Tech (the most one-sided 12-game stretch in the series’ history). The Bulldogs have won five of their past six meetings in the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry and overall Richt is 8-4 against Auburn. And he also owns an 8-4 record in the series with Tennessee, which only really turned into a rivalry after the two schools started playing every year.
The only series where Georgia needs to do some work is against South Carolina, which has only really started flirting with rival status in the eyes of Georgia fans since Spurrier landed in Columbia. Richt is 7-5 overall against the other USC, but the Gamecocks have won the past three and have joined the Dogs and Gators in the triumvirate atop the SEC East, supplanting the Vols. That hasn’t stopped Georgia from winning the East the past two years, however.
As for the series in Jacksonville, the “jinx” talk has been successfully put to rest. Unless, that is, you’re talking about Muschamp, who as a former Georgia player and now Florida coach is winless in six outings in that city.
Comfortable? Yeah, right.
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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg