The countdown is on for the annual Georgia-Florida football game in Jacksonville, Fla., on Oct. 28. Walton Gas customers can win an expense-paid weekend, including tickets to the game, by entering the Ultimate Fan Experience. Photo by Jennifer Sturdivant, 2022 Walton Gas Ultimate Fan Experience winner.
As the hot days of summer drag on, members of Bulldog Nation are already dreaming of new action between the hedges at Sanford Stadium. Die-hard Dawgs will have to wait until Sept. 2 to see collegiate football’s two-time defending national champions return to the gridiron. It will be longer still for THE most anticipated game of the year — the Georgia-Florida throwdown in Jacksonville, Fla., on Oct. 28.
Waiting for the rivalry and revelry of this annual tradition is tough, we get it. But gameday will be here before you know it. In the meantime, we’ve put together 10 fun facts about the rivalry. Share them with your Dawg faithful friends at the next tailgate party as you count down to the big showdown.
And don’t forget: If you’re looking for an expenses-paid trip to this year’s game, Walton Gas has that covered, too. Read on to learn how you can enter to win the 2023 edition of the Walton Gas Ultimate Fan Experience.
10 things every Bulldog fan should know about the Georgia-Florida football rivalry
- Old news. The annual gridiron clash is recognized as one of the most prominent rivalry games in all of college football. The game has been held in Jacksonville since 1933, with only two exceptions, making it one of the few remaining neutral-site rivalries in college football.
- Count clash. The two schools don’t see eye-to-eye on the win-loss record. Florida claims the first official football game between the two state universities occurred in 1915, making the 2022 game the 100th meeting. Georgia, however, counts a 1904 game as the first, so the 2023 faceoff is the 102nd in the series. Either way, this grudge match has been occurring for more than a century.
- Close call. With the 1904 score included, Georgia narrowly leads the series 55-44-2 to Florida’s 53-45-2 (which ignores the 1904 game). Georgia has bested in the last two clashes on the way to consecutive national championships.
- It’s official (unofficially). A sports writer dubbed the event “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” in the 1950s. The name stuck. When partying got out of hand in the 1980s, the two schools disavowed the name. Since 2006, the rivalry has lacked an official name, however there was an attempt to rebrand the event as the “River City Showdown,” referring to the city of Jacksonville’s nickname. Fans didn’t buy it, so the party rolls on — unofficially, of course.
- War for the Oar. In 2009, the student governments of the two universities announced the creation of the Okefenokee Oar as a trophy for the winning team. The 10-foot-long oar is carved from the remains of a 1,000-year-old cypress tree that once grew in the Okefenokee Swamp. Fittingly, the swamp, which straddles the Florida–Georgia border, was once the source of an interstate boundary dispute. The oar is presented to the winning university’s student body president. Currently, the oar is on display in UGA’s Tate Student Center.
- Money talks The current contract for the Jacksonville location is set to expire this year, but don’t look for any changes to occur. Both schools continue to renew contracts to play there because it’s a financial boon. Each makes more money playing at the neutral site every year than they would by hosting the game on alternate years.
- Look it up. The Georgia-Florida football game is so well known that it has its own Wikipedia page. See for yourself: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida–Georgia_football_rivalry
- Legen—wait for it—dary! There is a hall of fame dedicated solely to this unique rivalry. The Jacksonville Sports and Entertainment Office established it in 1995 “to acknowledge the many great records, performances, career highlights, and outstanding memories that have made the Georgia-Florida game one of college football’s best traditions.” Each year, two players from each team are inducted. Read about this year’s inductees.
- Prized tickets. Jacksonville’s TIAA Bank Field has 75,000 seats for the Georgia-Florida game, meaning roughly 37,000 fans for each team can score a ticket each year. Last year, Jennifer Sturdivant of Lawrenceville claimed two of the valuable tickets as the winner of the Walton Gas Ultimate Fan Experience. Read her story in this month’s Gasette.
- You could be the Ultimate Fan. Walton Gas is giving all of our customers a chance to enter to win tickets, airfare, accommodations and a $150 gift card for ground transportation to attend this year’s game on Oct. 28 in Jacksonville, Fla. Find contest details and an entry form here for your chance to win. Enter now until Sept. 29 at 11:59 p.m. Follow Walton Gas on Facebook for more contest details and announcements.