But the Southern Jaguars did just that.
What, then, is the best way to forget about a heartbreaking loss to a bitter rival?
Well, how about another game against another bitter rival?
Coming right up.
This week, the Jaguars head to Atlanta, where they’ll square off against Florida A&M at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in the Georgia Dome.
Don’t be mistaken: This thing is big.
Need proof? Approach a group of SU fans and merely mention the Rattlers. To them, FAMU is, in every sense, a four-letter word.
Those gruesome green-and-orange uniforms. That goofy snake mascot. Tallahassee. The whole Florida A&M thing goes over about as well as a day’s worth of dental surgery.
These two sides have a history, you know. A deep history.
Earlier this week, Rattlers coach Joe Taylor gave proper credit to two legends, FAMU’s Jake Gaither and Southern’s A.W. Mumford, for cranking up the rivalry. They squared off 16 times from 1946-61 — and while Mumford had an 8-7-1 edge, Southern and FAMU both became brand names in black college football.
They played each year until 2001, and they also split two games in ’07 and ’08.
“They were real competitive programs,” Taylor said. “To get it re-ignited and started again, it’s exciting.”
Yes, there’s been a lull in the series. But evidently, the younger crowd is well-educated on what this game means to both schools.
Go to Facebook and search for a page called “FAMU x Southern Trash Talking.” At last count, the group had 1,949 members, and the verbal shots are flying.
Most of the barbs are funny and good-natured, but if you cruise the page, beware: Some of the language is rated “M” for mature.
Southern and FAMU have much more in common than they’d care to admit, though.
Both are located in capital cities. Both share their cities with larger universities (Florida State in Tallahassee, LSU in Baton Rouge).
And both marching bands are absolutely legendary.
As for this year’s game, spokeswoman Cama Poffenberger said organizers expect a crowd of about 60,000.
In 1995, at the height of their rivalry, SU and FAMU squared off in the same building. Twice.
Southern won twice, clinching a black college national championship with a 30-25 win in the Heritage Bowl.
Four years later, the Rattlers blasted Southern, 65-18 — and then-coach Billy Joe, with a huge lead, wanted to score more.
That’s how it went. The teams didn’t just want to win. They wanted to embarrass each other.
Nothing like a good old rivalry game.