Sunday, November 1, 2015

More Than Alphabetical

Growing up in Oklahoma, it was never a question of whether I would become a fan of college football; instead, it was more a matter of for whom or to what degree.  I have followed the (largely) successful runs of the Sooners for more years than I care to count.  It was not until my daughters decided to attend the University of Florida that my allegiance shifted, if just a tad.  Their rivalries became mine; I shared their superstitions.  And, I have followed the roller-coaster wins and disappointments over the last decade, albeit not as rabidly as the two of them and their friends.

Now, as a resident of Georgia, I have been puzzled by the reference to this annual game played in Jacksonville in an order decidedly non-alphabetical in nature.  Even in my home hundreds of miles west, we knew it as Florida/Georgia weekend, but we still considered it something of a piker in the realm of state university rivalries.  I guess one would, with the Red River Shootout (no longer a PC term) as the gold standard of such games.

I have listened to the boastings of all those UGa fans throughout these many Augusts and early Septembers, only to hear the deafening silences that have ensued as their highly-regarded team has suffered several defeats, effectively relegating their postseason appearance to a few rungs below BCS-land.  Enough, I say.  Let us set the record straight on the correct order of this game played yesterday.  Yes, by calling it Florida/Georgia, it is proper for more than the logical alphabetical order. Heck, even the logo for the game gets it right:

The first and most obvious comparison: national football championships is led by Florida, 3 to 2.
National championships in team sports: Florida, 45 to 41.

You want non-sports comparisons?

Average SAT score of incoming freshmen: Florida 1918, Georgia 1800
US News & World Report ranking of top universities: Florida 43, Georgia 61.
Washington Monthly ranking of top universities (which sorts by contributions of its graduates to the quality of life): Florida 22, Georgia 52.  FYI: Georgia Tech ranks #9.
Research & Development ranking (amount of $$ spent for this purpose): Florida 12, Georgia 55.
Nobel Prizes awarded: Florida 3, Georgia 0.

I have neglected to mention the one category in which Georgia clearly leads Florida: number of universities that call themselves Bulldogs: 38; number calling themselves Gators: there's only one.

I rest my case.