Take one look at the Florida-Georgia Rivalry Series and you’ll see differing figures. One side believes one way, the other side believes another. To understand why this difference occurs, you must understand the rivalry itself.
And that includes going back in time over 110 years ago.
Why Do Florida, Georgia Disagree On Florida-Georgia Rivalry Beginning?
The Florida-Georgia Rivalry dates back to the early stages of the 1900s. However, depending on which side of the rivalry you are on, the specific date in which the rivalry started dictates more than just how you feel about these two storied programs.
It actually dictates the total number of games played and total wins for one side.
The University of Georgia stands true to its claim that the rivalry began when these two teams first met on October 15, 1904. Then, the University of Georgia football team defeated a team representing the University of Florida in Macon, GA, by a score of 52-0.
However, the University of Florida holds true to their claim that the team that played on that date in 1904 did not represent the modern-day UF. Instead, Florida claims that the University of Florida was established a year later in Gainesville by Florida legislature, otherwise known as the Buckman Act.
The 1904 meeting would have been played by a school previously known as the Florida Agricultural College and had a location in Lake City, per Florida’s claim.
One of college football’s greatest rivalries is only made better by this heated dispute, especially when UGA sports historian Dan Magill added fuel to the fire.
“That’s where Florida was back then,” Magill is famously quoted as having said. “We can’t help it if they got run out of Lake City.”
Why Is the Florida-Georgia Dispute Significant?
Well, depending on which side of this rivalry you are on, it dictates multiple facets. For starters, if you are with Georgia, then the Bulldogs own a distinct one-game advantage on the rivalry.
If you are team Gator, then you have one loss less on your overall record.
As of October 22, 2023, the teams have met 101 times or 100 times, again depending on which side of the line you fall.
Per Georgia, the Bulldogs lead the series 55-44-2. And the largest margin of victory would be 52-0 during that 1904 meeting.
Per Florida, the Bulldogs lead the series 54-44-2. But the largest margin of victory in the series would only be 37-0 (1915)