Since Steve Spurrier became Florida's coach in 1990, the Gators have pretty much owned Georgia. The Gators have won thirteen of those fifteen games with Georgia's only wins 37-17 in 1997 and 31-24 in 2004. It has been a wonderfully dominating series favoring the Gators who have won most of those 13 games by wide margins. The Georgia players say they have heard enough of it.
"We've been trying to beat Florida every year and this was the year we finally did it," Anderson excitedly said Thursday at SEC Media Days. "It was definitely a relief. People were always worried about when it was going happen. So, it was a lot of pressure off us knowing that we can beat them and we did do it. Now, people don't have to talk about it all of the time. When are you going to beat Florida? When is it going to happen? You don't have to worry about that anymore.We went ahead and did it. Now there's just more to come."
More to come? Georgia lost All-American defensive end David Pollack, quarterback David Greene, safety Thomas Davis, wide receivers Reggie Brown and Fred Gibson, and linebacker Odell Thurman. The Bulldogs also lost defensive coordinator Brain Van Gorder to the NFL. You simply don't replace the number of quality players who no longer list an Athens address and maintain continuity.
Only one major college pre-season publication picked Georgia to finish higher than Florida in the rankings. Six others didn't go along with that line of reasoning and selected the Bulldogs to finish third behind Tennessee and Florida. I know, I know, what do sportswriters know?
Nobody is saying that Georgia will be a bad team. We're just saying that The Vols and Gators will be better. Furthermore, the Bulldogs lost several signees who failed to qualify. The numbers just don't add up.
"Those teams (Tennessee and Florida) are great teams," Anderson said. "They've had great success in the past. I would not take nothing away from them, they are good teams. But, I think we match-up just as good or better than they are. We go out and pair against them and know what's at stake, and stay with our scheme and study our opponent, then we should have no problem beating them. It's motivating for us to be ranked behind those two teams, but it's also great because, they are good teams. If there were some other teams in the country that weren't as good as those and we were ranked behind them that would be an insult. But, I'm not taking it as an insult. I'm taking it as a motivating factor to go out and we've got to know how hard we've got to work."
Besides throngs of sportswriters, there are rosters full of football players in Knoxville and Gainesville who take issue with Anderson's
match-up thoughts. Every dog has his day, and Georgia, you had yours.