Is History on Georgia’s Side Against Florida?


If you look at the last ten years of Georgia/Florida matchups you’re likely to become sick if you’re a Dawg fan. Since 2002 the Bulldogs are 3-7 over that time frame, and have been upset numerous times. But maybe, those upsets hold some optimism for the Dawgs. Consider this: over the last 10 years the game has seen three game in which a ranked team has defeated an unranked team, one game in which an unranked team has defeated another unranked team, five games in which a lower ranked team has upset a higher ranked team and only two games in which the higher ranked team beat a team that was ranked lower.

Florida Legend Tim Tebow Gets Some Sugar!

See below:

2011: #22 Georgia beats Unranked Florida

2010: Unranked Florida beats Unranked Georgia

2009: #1 Florida beats Unranked Georgia

2008: #10 Florida beats #7 Georgia

2007: #18 Georgia beats #11 Florida

2006: #8 Florida beats #25 Georgia (Coaches Poll)

2005: #18 Florida beats #4 Georgia (Coaches Poll)

2004: #6 Georgia beats unranked Florida (Coaches Poll)

2003: #25 Florida beats #5 Georgia (Coaches Poll)

2002 #23 Florida beats #5 Georgia (Coaches Poll)

Both teams are ranked, so we can eliminate the possibilities involving one or more unranked teams. That leaves six outcomes to study: 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008. In five of those six years the lower ranked team has won. So, 83% of the time, it works every time. I hope this weekend is 83% of the time.

Full Disclosure:

I used ESPN.com’s Ranking Database (found here), and cross-referenced the schedules to find the appropriate week’s rankings to use. For some reason the BCS Poll is not listed on those pages in 2002-2006. So, I realize I’m using different data sets. I did this out of convenience as I have a lot more current data to pursue this week. This may distort the numbers, or it may not, but I just wanted to get this up to make a point.

Florida Legend Tim Tebow Gives Some Sugar

The Point

And that point is as follows. It’s easy to say that Florida has dominate the series over my lifetime (25 years). But, the last 10 years is a 7/3 split. There are only two possible combinations of wins in 10 matchups that would be more even than that.

Furthermore, despite what I initially would have thought there have been upsets in this series – and a lot of them. The Polling System used may have an impact on these figures, but the fact that 40% of the last 10 matchups have been upsets is telling of the competitive nature of this rivalry. Yes, Florida has been the team doing most of the upsetting, but nonetheless it is happening.

I feel (and I know a lot of Florida fans who feel) that Georgia and Florida are surprisingly even teams. I think South Carolina had a freak game in which they pounced on an underprepared Georgia team and won. I think Florida pounced on a depleted South Carolina team in the same manner. I don’t think the margin of Georgia’s loss to South Carolina or the margin of Florida’s win over South Carolina are truly indicative of the two teams. And, I’m not trying to take anything away from Carolina or Florida or to give too much credit to Georgia.

I think the game will be close, and I’m hoping for an upset.

*UPDATE*

At the urging of a frequent reader I also examined the last 10 years relative to final rankings.  Here is what I found:

2011: #16 Georgia beats unranked Florida

2010: Unranked Florida beats Unranked Georgia

2009: #5 Florida beats Unranked Georgia

2008: #2 Florida beats #15 Georgia

2007: #5 Georgia beats #12 Florida

2006: #2 Florida beats Unranked Georgia

2005: #17 Florida beats # 7 Georgia

2004: #7 Georgia beats #23 Florida

2003: #15 Florida beats #12 Georgia

2002: Unranked Florida (BCS only showed top-15) beats #3 Georgia

So five of the matchups featured unranked teams, which I don’t think we will ultimately have this year when the final BCS Poll is released.   Three of those matchups featured a ranked team against an unranked foe and in one such game the unranked team upset the ranked team (2002).  The other five games showed two upsets relative to the final ranking.

Perhaps the most noticeable trend here is that  in six of the nine seasons that saw Georgia or Florida in the final top-25 poll, the winner of the game finished ranked higher.

That’s all I got/

Andrew

About dudeyoucrazy

College Football Writer

Posted on October 23, 2012, in Blog, Georgia Bulldogs, SEC and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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