In college football, with all the passion and high stakes involved, it’s easy to develop rivalries. Look at my Georgia Bulldogs, for example. We’ve got HUGE rivals in South Carolina (accelerated since they got Spurrier), Tennessee (we all hate Fat Phil), Florida (for obvious reasons), and Georgia Tech (again, for obvious reasons). However, the biggest rival of all is Auburn.
It’s funny: people in the national media (and even some of the less-informed local media) seem to think/opine that Florida is our biggest rival; that UGA is so preoccupied with beating Florida that nothing else matters. I’ll write again as I wrote last week in this same space that we own Florida in the all-time series. Sure, they owned us the last 15 years; but I grew up on very few things being an absolute certainty, and beating Florida was one of them. My parents went to Jacksonville each year for the Cocktail Party, and their main concerns were getting a good room at the King & Prince and hitting all the parties…the actual game was not that high on the list of priorities.
Auburn is another matter. Perhaps the uninformed don’t see Auburn-Georgia as much of a rivalry because we’re somewhat civil with each other (the famous picture of UGA lunging at Robert Baker notwithstanding). Both schools are steeped in tradition and have carried on this game in the Deep South for 115 years. From that long and storied rivalry comes a degree of respect (of course, I will always remember a large number of insanely rude Auburn fans outside the stadium before the game in 2002, and then those same Auburn fans running to their cars after a Dawg victory, but there’s always a few bad eggs in every crowd).
The all-time won-loss record finds Auburn ahead 53-49-8. Georgia leads in the total points race 1685-1665. It doesn’t get much closer than that. So what needs to happen for Georgia to close that all-time series lead to 3 games?
I don’t know (you thought you were going to get a breakdown here, didn’t you?). I do know that this is the biggest game of the year for the Dawgs. If they win, they’ll be playing in the Dome (Tennessee will lose another game, don’t worry). I also know that Auburn is an excellent team that also has their sights set on a berth in the Dome (although their road is a little tougher–they need to beat Alabama, and they need LSU to lose to Ole Miss or Arkansas…okay, so maybe Auburn doesn’t really have a chance of playing in the Dome, but still…).
Either way, it should be a great game. I’ve got my ticket and my fifth of Jack. All I need is a Dawg victory.