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Georgia-Florida Rivalry Biggest For Both Schools

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The Georgia-Florida game slowly has become hateful. It's bigger than each team's in-state rivalry. Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images.
The Georgia-Florida game slowly has become hateful. It's bigger than each team's in-state rivalry. Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images.

College football is a sport where rivalries reign supreme.

Army-Navy, Michigan-Ohio State, Texas-Oklahoma and Auburn-Alabama are some of the biggest rivalries in the sport. Then there are the in-state rivalries that get a lot of attention as well, like USC-UCLA, Oregon-Oregon State, Florida-Florida State and Georgia-Georgia Tech.

However, after Saturday's game between the Gators and the Bulldogs, the World's Largest Cocktail Party now trumps that of each school's in-state rival.

While there is still hatred among Florida and Florida State fans, and Georgia and Georgia Tech fans, rarely does it spill onto the field between the players once the game starts. All the trash talking happens before the game, but when that first whistle blows, those four teams generally play clean.

The same can't be said for Florida and Georgia. During the last 10 years, the teams have split the series 5-5, with Georgia winning the last three. But the rivalry took a nasty turn as the Bulldogs started making the games interesting after Steve Spurrier left Florida.

The rivalry took a turn after the infamous "Gator Stomp" in 2007, a first-quarter mass celebration after the Bulldogs scored their first touchdown. Since then, there's been bad blood between the two teams. The following year, with Florida up big, then-head coach Urban Meyer called two timeouts to allow Gators' fans to celebrate a little longer, saying the incident the previous year was motivation for the players.

Saturday's game showed bad blood remains between the teams, which committed multiple personal-foul penalties. Many times the unsportsmanlike-conduct penalties offset when there were scuffles on the field.

Georgia-Florida is set up for bad blood year-in and year-out. Coaches may not want that to happen, but there's history. Outside of this year, both teams are generally competing for an SEC East title, so the game has big implications.

Don't be surprised to see the same kind of scuffles in next year's contest.