Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Florida – Owning Georgia Since 1936

Georgia fans love to spout off about the “overall record” of the Florida-Georgia series. In a way, it is hard to blame them, seeing as they are 2-15 against Florida since 1990.

It is true the overall record is in Georgia’s favor. As every downtrodden Dawg fan exiting the latest loss at Jacksonville is apt to mutter, “Hey Gators, the overall record is 45-37-2”. Most Bulldog fans know the record so precisely that it must be taught in Athens.

But let us examine exactly how the record was built. In doing so, some surprising information emerges.

Let us take Florida’s position that the first real game between the schools was played in 1915. (UGA claims a game in 1904, but UF was not located in Gainesville until 1906. They played a club team of the Florida Agriculture College). From 1915 to 1929 there were a total of 8 games, with Georgia going 6-2.

So, Georgia’s record prior to the 1930’s: 6-2 (75%)

Then, for the decade of the 1930’s, UGA went 8-1-1.

Georgia’s overall record by 1939: 14-3-1 (77%)

Due to World War II, UF did not field a team in 1943. So for the 1940’s, the record was 7-2 in Georgia’s favor.

Georgia’s overall record by 1949: 21-5-1 (77%).

So, during the leather football helmet era, Georgia had a commanding lead.

In the 1950’s, football became serious in Florida. For the decade, Georgia went 4-6 against UF.

Georgia’s overall record by 1959: 25-11-1 (68%)

In the 1960’s, Florida again had the edge, with UGA going 3-6-1.

Georgia’s overall record by 1969: 28-17-2 (60%)

In the 1970’s, Georgia got back on track. UGA’s record 7-3

Georgia’s overall record by 1979: 35-20-2 (61%)

Georgia again dominated in the 80’s, with an overall record of 8-2.

Georgia’s overall record by 1989: 43-22-2 (64%).

1989 was UGA’s high water mark for the series, with a 21 game lead to show for it.

We all know what happened in the 90’s – Spurrier happened. UGA’s record for the decade verses UF was 1-9.

Georgia’s overall record by 1999: 44-31-2 (57%)

The new century has not brought UGA much relief against UF, and as of this point the Dawgs are 1-6 (with 2 losses to Zook)

Georgia’s overall record by 2007: 45-37-2 (53.6%)

So, to recap, Georgia’s overall winning percentages at the beginning of each decade were

1930 75%
1940 77%
1950 77%
1960 68%
1970 60%
1980 61%
1990 64%
2000 57%
2006 53.6%

Mathematically, starting with UGA’s high point in 1940 (77%) to the current figure, UGA loses 2.87% per decade. Thus, we can show that the series should be even by 2020 (perhaps sooner if recent trends continue).

Looking at this another way, let’s remove the wins of the ancient eras, the years when Florida played 7 game seasons against teams like Vedado Tennis Club of Cuba (it actually happened in 1912 in the Bacardi Bowl, with UF winning 28-0).

If we take away games prior to 1930, UGA’s overall record becomes 39-35-2 (51%).

Take away the 1930’s games, and we get 31-34-1 (47%).

That’s right kiddies – Florida has a winning record against Georgia since 1936. If you are less than 71 years old, in your lifetime Florida is the winning program. This is displayed graphically here –

You weren't alive then, were ya?
Think about that – since 1936, 3 years before Hitler rolled his tanks into Poland, Florida is the winning team. Since the Hoover Dam was completed (March 1936), it is Florida over Georgia.

Since the time Vince Dooley was 4 years old (born 9/4/32), Florida has won more games than Georgia. In the era of the forward pass, in the era of non-leather helmets, Florida has the edge of Georgia.

In the modern, and even not so modern, era Florida owns Georgia. We own you, we own your kids, and we own your parents. Soon we will own your grandparents too.

So, next time some UGA punk sputters about the “overall record”, give them a look over. If they are less than 71 years old, just say – “Not in your lifetime loser”.


Tommy said...

I appreciate the effort that goes into these statistical acrobatics every year on Gator blogs and message boards. Frankly, as a Georgia fan, I'm flattered that some Gators still feel the need to do so.

Kudos to the Gators for the current 15-2 streak. Odds are you'll be adding to it on Saturday. But it'll never blot out the 12-3 run I was alive to personally witness before Georgia and Florida's football fortunes took wildly divergent paths in 1990. In spite of these being the absolute golden years of Gator football, in which Florida has played freakishly above its historical norm, I'm 14-18 overall against the Gators, which ain't bad. Given the demonstrably streaky nature of the series, I'm pretty sure I'll be alive to see the worm turn again.

Mergz said...

"Statistical acrobatics" is my (blog) life's work, sir.

And as you allude, we Gators yet consider Georgia a credible opponent, despite the near term record. We win the next 20, and it wouldn't get a bit old.

Of course since a 20 game win streak is highly unlikely, we have to enjoy the moment, until that "worm turns again", be it this Saturday or the near future.

Thanks for your comments, and cheers to another WLOCP. No matter who has the upper hand, the annual bash in Jacksonville is an unique event shared by Dawg and Gator alike that puts to shame anything else the "other" schools have to offer.

Henry Louis Gomez said...

I would add that in addition to simple streakiness that there is an deeper underlying trend that perhaps gets lost. And that's the incredible population growth that the state of Florida has experienced in the last quarter century and how that has affected the quality of high school football in our state. Where Texas, California were once the meccas today Florida joins their ranks with probably more per capita talent than either of those two big states.

Anyway glad we could amuse you. But as Mergz points out unless you are an octogenarian Florida is winning the series in your lifetime.

Tommy said...

Yes, the past 17 years have really changed the complexion of this series. I think that's been beyond dispute for some time. It's a chafe to us as Georgia fans, but it's also just one testimonial to the incredible renaissance Florida athletics have enjoyed under Jeremy Foley. You guys are blessed to have him.

While state population growth has undoubtedly helped UF football, there are a couple of mitigating factors to consider, particularly as it relates to the Cocktail Party.

For one, I suspect a lot of that growth is coming in the form of people who haven't played football in decades, i.e., retirees. And, as anyone in Atlanta metro will wearily confirm, Georgia hasn't exactly been shrinking in recent years, nor is it projected to do so. A quick perusal of NFL rosters confirms that there's plenty of high school talent coming out of Georgia.

Let's just say, for some reason, all of these people moving to Florida turn out to be 5-star football players. Unlike in the days before scholarship limits, you can't sign 'em all. UF will still have to fight with a lot more in-state rivals than Georgia has. Plus, I would expect that rise to benefit schools like USF and UCF, particularly with partial qualifiers.

Lastly, there's nothing stopping out of state schools from recruiting Florida. Both UF and UGA have recruited well in each other's back yards for years, so I wouldn't expect a talent bumper crop in Florida necessarily to hurt the Bulldogs, although we've got plenty to keep us fat and happy at home.

Anyway, cheers to you both and to your fine work here. I read this blog regularly and link to it on mine. Since moving to Texas and attending a few Red River Shootouts, I'm even prouder of the unique setting and tradition our schools share at the Cocktail Party.

Henry Louis Gomez said...

Without delving too deeply into the census data (which I am tempted to do) I can tell you that the broad generalization of everyone moving to Florida being retirees is false.

And I think the rise of programs like USF and UCF not to mention the prominence of the big 3 schools in Florida is in large part due to how much of a hot bed for High School football Florida has become. Of course other schools come into the state and try to recruit. Rutgers is one that has some success doing it. Even with all of that we can see the state has enough talen to support all of that. It truly is remarkable.

Anonymous said...

More than population growth, what's helped UF more than anything recently is FSU and Miami going in the toilet.

It remains to be seen if that will change with the coaching turnover at both of Florida's rivals. I also wonder if Butch Davis will be able to snarf a few kids out of South Florida on a regular basis. Time will tell.

Hunker Down said...

My son is 4 years old. He is now 2-2. I guess you don't own him right now. LOL. I was born in March 1966. I just checked the numbers and in my lifetime, the record is 20-21-1. Not exactly "owned" but you do have a razor thin margin... for now.

Go Dawgs!