Georgia 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