Tebow wants to see repeat

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Quarterback Tim Tebow grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., and went to the Florida-Georgia game just about every year. Although he knows plenty about the storied rivalry, his memories are pretty much one-sided - much like the series has become.

Tebow's earliest recollections begin around 1990, the same time Steve Spurrier arrived in Gainesville, Fla., and turned the "World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party" into his own little shindig.

The Gators have celebrated nearly every one since.

They have won eight of nine and 15 of the past 17 in the series, giving Tebow plenty of fond memories heading into his first Florida-Georgia game as a starter.

"Any time Florida won was a good one," Tebow said.

The ninth-ranked Gators (5-2, 3-2 Southeastern Conference) will try to extend their dominance today when they face the 20th-ranked Bulldogs (5-2, 3-2) for the 63rd consecutive year.

This one, like many others, has implications.

Florida controls its path in the conference race. The Gators beat Kentucky 45-37 last week and got losses from South Carolina and Tennessee to move back in the driver's seat.

But the next three games - against Georgia, Vanderbilt and South Carolina - will determine whether the Gators head to Atlanta for a shot at the league title and a Bowl Championship Series berth or slide into a second-tier bowl.

Georgia, meanwhile, has a much tougher road.

The Bulldogs need a rare victory against the Gators, then would have to beat Auburn and Kentucky in November and hope the Volunteers and Gamecocks falter down the stretch.

Nonetheless, those losses by Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee last weekend put Georgia in a much better position than it was a few weeks ago.

"It's a wild year, isn't it?" Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "I'm just taking this baby one at a time. I quit worrying about the other stuff. I'm worrying about who we have this time around. I'm done looking too far ahead into the future, at least this year."

No one really knows what will happen to the series in the future.

The current contract expires after the 2010 game, and Georgia officials haven't committed to keeping it in Jacksonville.

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