What will become of Georgia and Florida’s annual autumnal clash? Self-preservation dictates that Georgia must decline extending their contract with Jacksonville as host of the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.” (See Tim Tucker's excellent piece on this in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution).
The decision will more than likely be received as an admission of defeat given UGA’s record of 3-16 in Jacksonville since 1990. But with jobs, conference titles, and national titles at stake, Georgia can’t afford to willingly place themselves in a disadvantaged situation any longer.
But what of the site’s neutrality you ask? Right. Jacksonville is about as neutral as James Carville on speed at an Ann Coulter Roast. The Gators are tough enough on their own. Why participate in the charade that Jacksonville, as a venue, gives each school complete competitive equality?
As the race for conference superiority gets more heated and expensive, programs have to mull over every aspect of their football operations in an effort to give themselves the biggest boost.
While it would be admirable and noble for Georgia to extend their contract with Florida in Jacksonville, logic would suggest that they will opt for a more equitable commitment.
What if the site rotated between the “neutral” venues of the Georgia Dome in Atlanta and Jacksonville? This way both programs could share in the wink wink, nudge nudge concept of neutrality every other year.
Will the derisive jeering from Florida fans at Georgia’s withdrawal from Jacksonville sting a little? Sure. But better to take it now then after yet another late season drubbing at the hands of Urban Meyer’s “visiting” squad. The stakes are simply too high.