For those of you that had an unranked Georgia team taking on unranked Florida team 10 weeks into the college football season, go ahead and raise your hand.
And by that I mean, no one raise your hand. Because there is no way anyone could have predicted what a disaster each of these team’s seasons would be.
In the preseason Associated Press Top 25, Georgia was No. 5, and Florida was No. 10. The Bulldogs were fresh off a victory against Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl while the Gators were coming off an appearance in the Sugar Bowl after an 11-1 regular season.
Hopes were high for 2013. Then, the two teams started playing football.
Georgia lost by three points on the season’s opening night to No. 8 Clemson, not a season-killing defeat by any means. They quickly bounced back against No. 6 South Carolina the next week, the start of a four-game winning streak that included a home win against No. 6 LSU.
But come October, everything began to crumble. They survived in overtime against Tennessee. They were pounded by No. 25 Missouri and upset by unranked Vanderbilt. Key players began to fall left and right with injuries, including star running back Todd Gurley and wide receiver Michael Bennett.
For the Gators, things were easy enough against Toledo to start the year, but in just the second week, they lost to Miami. Then, they ran off a three-game winning streak, taking down Tennessee, Kentucky and Arkansas but losing starting quarterback Jeff Driskel and several other key players in the process.
Starting Oct. 12, the Gators came crashing back down to Earth. No. 10 LSU dominated them in Death Valley, and No. 14 Missouri destroyed them in Columbia.
And now, here we are, two beaten and battered 4-3 teams (with identical conference records of 3-2), fittingly meeting in the football wasteland that is Jacksonville to try to salvage some satisfaction from an injury-riddled, frustrating season.
The losing coach may be on the hot seat (although neither deserves to be) depending how things play out , and the losing fan base will be very unhappy and possibly apathetic the rest of the way.
Oh, by the way, Todd Gurley is coming back for the Bulldogs. Gulp.
The Bulldogs are three-point favorites in this one. With the return of Todd Gurley, who ran for 118 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries in the Gators sole loss of 2012, Georgia should win easily.
The lack of an offensive playmaker will continue to impede the Gators. Unless…Kelvin Taylor, perhaps?
Georgia 31 Florida 17
What does everybody else think?