Marc Daniels Friday Notebook: Gators-Dawgs, Knights, 'Canes And Candy?

Georgia v Florida

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Saturday marks the 100th game between Florida-Georgia or is the 101st meeting between the two? It's hard to get Gator and Bulldog fans to agree on anything other than chanting SEC after bowl wins by conference members. But ask historians of both programs how many times they have met and you will get different answers. But how is that possible? Can't one just count the number of times the teams have played and agree? Not that simple.

In 1904, Georgia sent their football team Macon to play Florida. Georgia easily won the game 52-0. But Florida history books tell another story. The early history of the University had four different campuses, including one in Lake City called Florida Agricultural College. That school fielded a football team that did lose to Georgia 52-0 on October 15, 1904. But the Florida Athletic Association says the university known today as the University of Florida did not come into existence until 1905 in Gainesville and didn't field its first official football team until 1906. Florida and Georgia didn't play again until 1915 and the Bulldogs won 37-0 in Jacksonville. Florida counts that as the first official game in the series while Georgia recognizes it as the second game in the series, hence the disagreement over how many times the matchup has been played.

Florida didn't score in the first five games played and their first win came in the eighth matchup between the two. Macon, Athens, Savannah, Tampa and Gainesville have hosted the game aside from Jacksonville. 

It appears the tradition of playing this rivalry in Jacksonville may be coming to an end after Georgia coach Kirby Smart spoke about wanting the game to become a home-and-home matchup so recruits can come to campus. Since he won a national championship and has the Dawgs among the nation's best, Kirby will get what he wants. My guess is the game may move into a rotation format with games on campus and then matchups in Jacksonville and possibly Atlanta. Why? Because everything historical in college football has to be destroyed(my heavy sarcasm here). Georgia leads the series 54-44-2 or 53-44-2....depending who you ask...

October 7, 2017 UCF played at Cincinnati. It was Luke Fickell's first season at the school. The Bearcats came in 1-3 while UCF was ranked 25th and 3-0. Scott Frost had his offense rolling and the Knights scored on eight straight possessions and led 51-23 with :04 left in the third quarter. A heavy rain storm delayed the game and officials from both schools decided to call the game without playing the fourth quarter. It's possible Cincinnati could have mounted a comeback but considering UCF scored every possession it was also possible they could have put up 70. 

Luke Fickell still remembers that night and said earlier this week, he is reminded of that game every time he sees UCF on the schedule. Since that rainy night in 2017, Fickell has gone 50-12 and tied UCF's record of 19 consecutive wins in the AAC. While UCF dominated the league and going undefeated in 2017 and 2018 and winning 25 straight games overall, Cincinnati has become the top dog in the conference. Fickell's team broke the playoff wall down last season and they sit 6-1 and ranked 20th headed into the showdown with the Knights. 

Despite last week's loss at ECU, UCF still controls its destiny and if they win out(a tough task) and then win a conference title, the Knights would likely grab the New Year's Six slot and play in the Cotton Bowl. But a loss tomorrow and 5-5 is possible. The Knights go back on the road for two at Memphis and Tulane after tomorrow's game. It's a big one for quarterback John Rhys Plumlee who played lights out against SMU and Temple before struggling with four turnovers at East Carolina.

Expect all four quarters to be played tomorrow as the forecast calls for sunshine and temperatures in the low 80s and upper 70s...

Nuggets: All signs pointed towards highly recruited cornerback Cormani McClain committing to the Gators and adding to Billy Napier's 2023 class. Most recruiting experts had that in the Gator column before his announcement Thursday. Alabama and Miami were the other two under consideration but Florida was a heavy favorite. So, when McClain surprised many by picking Miami instead of Florida some wondered what happened. Many speculated Miami just offered more. Maybe they did, which they can. Maybe a 3-4 record and buzzards circling over the Canes' program made those in charge of securing what it takes to land top recruits step up, whatever it took. Maybe Florida thought they did what they needed to do and in the end, it was not enough. Welcome to recruiting in the pay-for-play world...Don't be surprised if Kentucky hangs with Tennessee tomorrow. The Wildcats' defense is good and they've seen a lot of film on what Tennessee does. I know the Vols had a game (Tenn-Martin) since the dramatic win against Alabama but Georgia looms next week and this is a potential letdown game...Illinois is a touchdown favorite at Nebraska...Pac 12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff recently said at the conference basketball media day that he thinks the league will eventually catch up to the Big Ten and SEC in revenue in the coming years. Unless he is adding the Golden State Warriors in basketball, the Dodgers in baseball and the Rams in football I am not sure that is possible...

Final note: Top 5 Halloween chocolates sold for 2022 1. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups 2. Kit Kat 3. Snickers 4. Hersehy's 5. M&Ms 

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