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Georgia, Florida and the Off Week

FLGA-2009Georgia and Florida will continue their annual border war on Halloween, October 31, 2009. This year, the Bulldogs get the coveted off week prior to the big game in Jacksonville.

While the Dawgs are resting, Florida will travel to Starkville to face the Mississippi State Bulldogs and new head coach Dan Mullen (former Florida Offensive Coordinator/QB’s Coach).

The “off week” or “open date” prior to the Georgia-Florida game has historically belonged to the Gators. Call it good scheduling or just dumb luck, Florida has enjoyed the week off before the Georgia game 16 times in the series (1904-present). By contrast, the Dawgs have had the week off only 5 times.

The Gators are 14-4 against the Bulldogs when they have the off week. Georgia has a record of 3-2 against the Gators after the open date.

Interestingly, Georgia had the off week prior to the game in 2007. It was the Dawgs’ first off week before Florida since 1991 (15 games). I guess the extra week gave Mark Richt enough time to concoct the infamous “Celebration” and the Dawgs went on to defeat the Gators 42-30.

So what does the off week mean in the grand scheme of this game? For the Gators, it means a lot looking at their record only. They’ve won 13 of 16.

In 12 seasons under Steve Spurrier, Florida enjoyed the off week nine times. Nine times! In those nine ball games, Florida went 8-1 with the sole loss to Jim Donnan’s team in 1997. Although this was a strategic scheduling move by Florida and the Ol’ Ball Coach, the Bulldogs weren’t exactly a competent team during that stretch.

But Georgia is the team that should benefit more from the off week, in my opinion, due to their travel to Jacksonville. The logistics for each team aren’t the same, therefore it’s almost an away game for Georgia even though the site is neutral. Yet the Bulldogs have had the off week only five times.

For such a big rivalry, the off week before this game should alternate between teams as much as possible. For the next couple of years, that seems to be the case. Georgia is off in 2009, Florida is off in 2010 and Georgia could be off in 2011.

What are your thoughts on the Georgia-Florida off week? Take a look at the numbers below, and then sound off in the comments.

Georgia’s Record vs. Florida after UGA Off Week (3-2):

  • 1938 – Won 19-6
  • 1987 – Won 23-10
  • 1990 – Lost 38-7
  • 1991 – Lost 45-13
  • 2007 – Won 42-30

Florida’s Record vs. Georgia after UF Off Week (14-4):

  • 1940 – Won 18-13
  • 1941 – Lost 19-3
  • 1946 – Lost 33-14
  • 1951 – Lost 7-6
  • 1955 – Won 19-13
  • 1993 – Won 33-26
  • 1994 - Won 52-14 (at Gainesville, FL)
  • 1995 – Won 52-17 (at Athens, GA)
  • 1996 – Won 47-7
  • 1997 – Lost 37-17
  • 1998 – Won 38-7
  • 1999 – Won 30-14
  • 2000 – Won 34-23
  • 2001 – Won 24-10
  • 2002 – Won 20-13
  • 2003 – Won 16-13
  • 2005 – Won 14-10
  • 2006 – Won 21-14


  1. Why can’t this happen more than it does? I would think you could make this a desired priority and go from there. Maybe not every year,but more than now.

  2. Jini Robbins says:

    Who cares!!!! A game is a game. No excuses. Your either ready or your not.

    • You obviously have never coached a game in your life. For one: injuries get and extra week to heal. Two: more preperation. Three rest: Bodies are physically beat up sore and tired.

      If you don’t think it matters you are clue less to the physical nature of the game and the toll it takes on the players!

  3. The off date before the UF game means a lot. Maybe if you look at the 3-2 record you might not think so but for one, we play Florida in the middle of the schedule, whick is idealy when you want your break. Again, maybe the 3-2 record doesn’t reflect this but having the week off helps us plan to beat Florida (or it should) In recent years beating Florida gets us to the SECCG, that’s the goal right? So, yes we need this week off this year, 2010, 2011, etc.
    You can’t argue with having an extra week of preparation. If we can start beating Florida it opens the recruiting doors and the main door to a Championship.

  4. Looking at the numbers I posted, I also see this:

    Mark Richt vs. Florida:

    - After UF off week : 0-5
    - After UGA off week: 1-0
    - No off week, both teams: 1-1

  5. Your right!!! Just frustrated at the season. However, really a 3-2 record is not something to point out. Before we can get to any championship game or win in recruiting you have to consistly beat Florida and Tennessee in the same year. Which is not happening. Don’t get me wrong I love my DAWGS!!!! I am just sick of Florida and Tennessee.

  6. An extra week to rest, practice, and study plays is a huge advantage. Just hope the Dawgs don’t have officials like they had in the LSU game.

  7. The officials are at it again with the gator bs doe dropped the ball before he scored and everyone knows it. Looks like we better be prepared to face the gators and the cheating refs. What the heck is UF paying off the refs???