As the gap between Georgia and Florida Football has grown, the game still matters

As the Florida Gators prepare for the 2024 season, their November 2nd clash with the Georgia Bulldogs is highly important.
James Gilbert/GettyImages

One date that sticks out on the calendar for the Florida Gators this upcoming 2024 season is November 2nd. That's when the Gators will face their arch-rivals, the Georgia Bulldogs, in what promises to be another intense chapter in one of college football's most storied rivalries.

The annual Florida-Georgia game, widely known as the "World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party," is more than just a football game. It's a cultural event that transcends the sport, drawing national attention and dividing the Southeast into orange and blue versus red and black. CBS Sports recently ranked this rivalry as the fourth-best in the entire SEC, behind only the Iron Bowl, Egg Bowl, and Red River Rivalry. This recognition is a testament to the game's significance, not just to the Gators and Bulldogs, but to college football as a whole.

For Florida, this year's matchup presents both a challenge and an opportunity. The Gators have struggled against Georgia in recent years, with the Bulldogs holding a 6-2 advantage during the Kirby Smart era. However, in college football, past performance don't always dictate future results. The Gators will be looking to turn the tide and reassert themselves in this rivalry.

And the reality for Billy Napier is that no matter how good Georgia is, he has to find a way to beat Georgia with some level of consistency if he intends to stay as coach of the Gators. That's just how rivalries work. Dan Mullen was 1-3 against Georgia. Jim McElwain's swan song was getting beat 42-7 by the Bulldogs. Napier is currently 0-2, with both defeats coming by more than 20 points.

As we approach the 2024 season, one key question will dictate Napier's fate: Can Florida narrow the gap that has grown between these programs in recent years?

The game is scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff on ABC.