I am sure the debate of rivalries will continue for some time. It's what we college football fans will do until the season starts. The four months between spring Ggames and the start of fall practice are probably the worst period in a college football fans' life. At least those of us who can't wait to see out guys back on the gridiron.
But because we don't have much to entertain us in this respect. We turn to the analysis of our chances for the following year and making profound statements on what our rivals are looking like and can they beat us in the upcoming year.
Well, those of us who know the intensity of Florida/Florida State know we normally circle this early or as soon as we get the schedule.
As long as I can remember going to Gator games there have been three things that happened on Thanksgiving weekend. Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, shopping on black Friday, and Florida versus Florida State on Saturday, primetime, carried by some network, and billed as the game to watch.
This game has been tagged as "the Governors Cup" or even "the Sunshine Showdown." And, there have been fights on the field before the game and fights on the field after the game. One fight ensued because it was thought Florida Gator quarterback Doug Johnson threw at Bobby Bowden during warmups. Johnson later apologized.
There is what has been tagged "The Choak at DoaK" where a Steve Spurrier lead team went into the fourth quarter leading 31-3. Florida State came back and tied that game and that's how it ended 31-31, hence the name.
From 1990-2000 Steve Spurrier lead the Gators up against Bobby Bowden twelves times. Two of those were Sugar Bowls appearances, one a National Championship game. All twelves times both teams were ranked in the top ten. And, every time Spurrier went to Tallahassee he never came away with a win.
The Seminoles have beaten the Gators ranked No. 1 and the Gators have beaten the Semnoles ranked No. 1.
Then there is the dedication of Bobby Bowden Field in 2004. Ron Zook already has his walking papers at the head coach Florida. And, the Gators come away with a win. Something Spurrier never did.
In Gator Nation we affectionately refer to the field as "Ron Zook Field"
I think by now you get how heated this rivalry has been.
But, in comes Urban Meyer. He has not lost to Bobby Bowden. In 2005 at Florida it 35-7, 2006 at Tallahassee it's 21-14, 2007 in "the Swamp," it's 45-12, and last year on Bobby Bowden Field again it's 45-15. Now I could have left out the specific scores but it still feels good to gloat.
My point being that those scores are indicative of the disparity in the programs. The programs have and still is some ways headed in opposite directions. Bowden has experience more losses, low recruiting years, and more off the field issues than anytime in his program history.
And, of course I am going to quote, "it's not a rivalry if only one team is winning."
Now, the Gators expect to win. And, with walk on water Tim Tebow. the Seminoles expect the Gators to win again this year.
In 2008 on the way to a National Championship, in the pouring rain Tebow executed like it was a sunny day. The receivers caught like it was a sunny day. And, the Gators scored three more touchdowns after Percy Harvin was injured. Bowden said, before the game that, "he hoped the rain would slow him down."
Well it didn't and this game is becoming boring to those in Gator Nation. Please give us some real competition.
I for one want the Seminole to get back to national prominence or at least some relevancy in their own conference. Please make this a game.
But, for the time being the Gator sown the Seminoles. And, it is no longer a rivalry. We go into the season preparing for showdowns with Georgia, Tennessee, and LSU.
Florida State has become Senior Day Game at home and a gimme last regular season game on their field.
To quote a Florida State message board writer..... "the economy is down and the Gators are up, if this isn't hell then I don't know what is."