Revving up River City rivalry

Laura Rutledge, Tim Tebow and Louis Murphy, all UF products, laugh earlier this season during the SEC Nation broadcast at the Plaza of the Americas. [Lauren Bacho/Staff photographer]

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ESPN announced on Saturday that its College GameDay show will emanate from Jacksonville next weekend, the site of the Florida-Georgia game at TIAA Bank Stadium. The No. 11 Gators (6-1/4-1 SEC) and the No. 8-ranked Bulldogs (6-1/4-1 SEC) will meet in a key Southeastern Conference matchup.

The SEC Network also announced that its traveling pregame show, SEC Nation, is headed to Jacksonville, Fla. for the rivalry game.  This is the first time that the two shows have ever chosen to broadcast from the same game. 

 The series between Florida and Georgia dates back to 1915 and the Bulldogs hold a 50-43-2 all-time advantage. In Jacksonville, UGA holds a slight 44-40-1 lead in the series over the Gators. Since 1990, Florida is 21-7 against UGA and UF has won three of the past four meetings.

 Saturday’s matchup marks the first time since 2012 that Florida (currently No. 11) and Georgia (currently No. 8) will meet when they are both ranked inside the top 12.

The show will air from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on ESPN. Fans are encouraged to tailgate alongside the show.

More logistics for the show will be announced later this week.

Florida will be making its 38th appearance on GameDay and will be coming to Jacksonville for the Florida-Georgia game for the first time since Oct. 29, 2005 when the No. 16 Gators defeated the No. 4 Bulldogs, 14-10. Overall, this will be the show’s fourth appearance in Jacksonville for this annual matchup.

 Those 38 appearances on the sport’s marquee show is third highest total in the country, trailing only Ohio State and Alabama with 42 appearances each, respectively.  

 The Gators are 24-13 (.649) when being featured on the GameDay and UF was last on the program on Sept. 24, 2016 in Knoxville. UF’s 64.9% win percentage ranks fourth among schools that have been featured on the show at least 10 times.

Since 1993, College GameDay has been television’s definitive and comprehensive college football studio show and has traveled most weeks on college Saturdays to the day’s big game and has been met by large and enthusiastic crowds. Hosted by Rece Davis, GameDay features Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard, David Pollack and Maria Taylor during the 9 a.m. – noon hours on ESPN.

In addition, Tom Rinaldi and Gene Wojakowski report and produce features for the College GameDay.

Host and UF Alum Laura Rutledge is joined at the SEC Nation desk by Jacksonville native, Heisman Award winner and Gator Great Tim Tebow, along with former LSU defensive lineman Marcus Spears and ESPN radio’s Paul Finebaum. This marks Tebow, Spears and Finebaum’s fifth season with the show, and their third-consecutive SEC Network trip to the Florida-Georgia football game.

SEC Nation reporter Lauren Sisler will also travel with the show and report from a variety of game day festivities throughout.

The two-hour show begins at 10 a.m. ET outside of TIAA Bank Stadium from the beautiful St. Johns River in Met Park 2 (across Gator Bowl Blvd. from Lot J). Fans are encouraged to tailgate alongside the show. In addition to SEC Nation on Saturday, the Met Park 2 set will play host to The Paul Finebaum Show from 3-7 p.m. on Friday afternoon.

Saturday’s game marks Florida’s 14th appearance on the SEC Nation.

Kickoff against Georgia is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on CBS.


  1. This one is up to the Florida defense and I hope Grantham disguises his coverages to fool Fromm and the Georgia coaching staff. Grantham has done an A+ job this year in disguising what he wants from the D. Turnovers should be the key to winning. The team that gets a defensive score or a turnover near the other team’s end zone should be standing at the end. Whatever happens, I think this has been a super year for Florida after the disasters of Muschump and MacAlwhine. Still have South CArolina and Mizzou, but those are at home. And, Florida is BETTER than FSU this year, even at Tallahassee.

  2. All-time records iften deceuve. Georgia football had a big head start of the University of Florida, the Bulldogs being well established before we even fielded a team. But since my birth in October 1950 the record is Florida 38 wins, Georgia 29 and one tie, 13-13, in 1969. Except for Vince Dooley’s 14-16 years of dominance, Florida’s mostly owned the Bullpuppies since 1952 when those Gators became the first from UF to go bowling. Every Florida head coach except Doug Dickey, Charlie Pell and Galen Hall has a winning record over UGA starting with Bob Woodruff.
    We’ve been better than Georgia over my lifetime, far better since 1990 when Steve Spurrier came home, and we’ll entirely overtake perianally underachieving Georgia in a matter of 8-12 years if not sooner.

  3. It’s about time we got this back to top game of the weekend for the rest of the sports world. For this Gator, this is the most important game of the season – every season.

    They’ve only won one out of the last four games. If our defense can make the adjustment to limit Fromm as a passer, it will be four out of five for the Gators. I predict many screens and plays designed to make the Florida defense pay for risky and predictable blitzing.

    I’m not that worried about Franks or the offense. They have steadily improved and can win this game if they keep playing within themselves. Grind on the ground and hit a couple on the edges and over the top when they load the box.

    Time to pull a few more teeth out of that Bulldog’s mouth and send ’em whimpering under the porch.

  4. Well we all know who Desmond will be picking or should I say who he’s NOT picking. Noted Gator Hater of ALL things Gator, he will most definitely do his best to dog, poor mouth, and poo poo everything about the program, Dan Mullens’ progressive work with the team, and even Tim Tebow while he does his broadcast. Even when UF was rolling back in the day he would find ways to always pick against them. Maybe he was spurned a scholly or something but his hatred for the Gators will be on full display Saturday morning. I would suggest not even watching their show and just go over to the SEC network. All analysts will be picking Georgia and at least Gator fans will have one ally in Tebow (we hope). GEAUXXX GATORS!!

  5. LSU showed us how to beat Ga. Stuff the box and contain the run. Make Fromm throw into the teeth of our
    pass rush and into DBU. Result: Sacks, INT’s and turnovers.
    On O, Franks will manage the game. The scheme: change it up a bit- Pass on some running downs and run on some passing downs. Use trickeration plays to change momentum. Special teams will maintain their ” A” game and flip the field, kick field goals and, for good measure, block a punt. Gators 24-21 in a relentless effort slobberknocker.

  6. As for the name. The SEC and Florida were trying to get away from the cocktail party name. I have been going to this for many years. The early years I was younger and it was at times pure debauchery with both sides remaining fairly civil. The mountains of trash and then some where everywhere. While some where over the top it was all in fun but a bit much if someone was bringing younger kids. It has matured over the last few years though and is a bit tame. It is what it is a chance for bragging right of two teams that have been going at it over a hundred years. If everyone remembers that we are not there to hurt each other and have a good time all will enjoy it except maybe the loser of the game and since they will wear Red and Black we really don’t mind if they don’t enjoy it all that much. Go Gators.