An unpredictable rivalry


If you’re a gambler, here’s some advice: stay away from betting the Florida-Georgia game. This rivalry is the opposite of a sure thing — a game that has been almost impossible to correctly predict down through the years.

And, really, we don’t have to go back that far to see the trend. Did anyone think the Gators would win last year’s game, by rushing for more than 400 yards and winning by 18 points? Of course not. Did anyone pick Georgia to win the 2012 game, when the Gators were undefeated and No. 3 in the nation? Well, maybe some, but certainly not many.

Which brings us to Saturday’s game. This one looks almost too close to call, and when you have that situation in this rivalry, good luck trying to make a pick you feel comfortable with.

Georgia is without Nick Chubb. Florida is without Will Grier. The Bulldogs have lost two of their last three SEC games and didn’t score a touchdown against Missouri two weeks ago. The Gators are coming off a 35-28 loss at LSU. But both teams find themselves in the same comfortable position that if they win this game, they’re likely headed to Atlanta and the SEC Championship Game.

I have a feeling about Georgia. But I also have one about Florida. Being torn between the two, I’ve decided to conjure up my inner Steve Spurrier on this one:

The Gators take a bus to the game; the Bulldogs get on a plane. The game is in the state of Florida and played at a stadium that used to be the Gator Bowl (not the Bulldog Bowl). So, what the heck, I’m giving a shaky nod to Florida. (But the defense better show up to play, which it didn’t do in the first half at LSU).

Prediction: Florida 24, Georgia 22.