The last time the Florida Gators and the Georgia Bulldogs were in a situation like this, you had to go back to 1989.
The Gary Darnell led Gators and the Ray Goff led Bulldogs came to Jacksonville when both teams were unranked and had seen better days.
A few years have passed since that era (I was a senior in college), Steve Spurrier helped build the Gators program, Urban Meyer refined it and Mark Richt may be the best coach in Georgia history this side of some guy named Dooley.
This is certainly a border war that for the most part delivers year after year.
Now, Richt and his Bulldogs try to get back to the social graces of the SEC and the bowl invitation committees to prove his defense is young and his team has been ravaged by injuries.
Will Muschamp on the other side, has the same dilemma with an offense that has gone nowhere and a defense that has held up despite injuries.
Don’t let the Missouri game fool you, the Gators' defense still remains one of the best in college football.
This game this year doesn’t have the same machismo-like matchup of years gone by. No Herschel Walker moments. No Tim Tebow domination. No “Run, Lindsay, Run.” The only drama that should be created is to see which team could be coming back to Jacksonville on January 1 to play in the Gator Bowl.
Here are three things you need to know about this pivotal game.
Todd Gurley should play
Which is big news for Georgia. Gurley is the best back in the country when he is healthy. Gurley runs through defenses like butter - very smooth. He can also catch the ball out of the backfield, which helps the passing game. Aaron Murray will be the first to tell you how happy he is that Gurley may see the field in Florida.
This could be Purifoy’s game
He does everything well, but Louchiez Purifoy is a man amongst boys at time. He could be as dominant in the return game as he is in the secondary.
One of Georgia’s major weaknesses is the special teams play. Look for the Gators defensive back to exploit that a little bit more and make huge plays on fourth down or on kickoffs.
A team has to lose this game
Which means they will be dropped into the second or third tier of bowl games. And to think these two teams were ranked in the top 12 to begin the season. Goes to prove that preseason rankings mean nothing. Both have been manhandled by Missouri this season. The winner goes to the Gator Bowl to possibly play Nebraska. The loser may be playing right after Christmas.