Rivalries don’t come any better than Georgia-Auburn

The iconic shot of Uga V and Robert Baker is another reason why the Georgia-Auburn rivalry is great. (Associated Press)

The iconic shot of Uga V and Robert Baker is another reason why the Georgia-Auburn rivalry is great. (Associated Press)

I’ve heard it said that Georgia has more big “rivalry” games every year than just about any college program around.

There’s Georgia Tech, naturally. And Florida, with the annual neutral site meeting in Jacksonville.  Plus, of course, Auburn in the Deep South’s oldest football rivalry. And, to a slightly lesser extent, Tennessee also is a rivalry game.

Which one you consider the biggest depends on where you live, what sort of season the Dogs are having and how the rivalry games have gone in recent years.

Some fans think Florida’s recent domination of that series has diminished the series as a rivalry; others think it’s the most important game of the season.

During most of the Richt era when Georgia was in the thick of the SEC race and Tech wasn’t very good, that rivalry was viewed by some UGA fans as not as big as the SEC rivalries. For others, Tech is always the biggest game, no matter what. This year, with the SEC East already locked up and Tech fans having had a year to brag about last year’s 3-point “blowout,” that game is probably the one most UGA fans would swap a body part to get.

As Georgia’s Clint Boling told the Macon Telegraph, “Each UGA fan probably has their own different biggest rival, whether it be Florida, Tech, Tennessee, Auburn,” but for the players, “all the rivalry games are important, and that’s the way we look at all of them.”

To me the best of Georgia’s rivalries, or perhaps I should say my favorite, is the one with Auburn. There’s the fact that the two schools have had a lot of ties over the years, with the Vince Dooley/Pat Dye thing being the most obvious. It’s a competitive rivalry, with Auburn leading the series 53-51-8 while Georgia has outscored the Tigers over the decades, 1,747 points to Auburn’s 1,698. (It’s the only rivalry I can think of where anyone bothers to look at the cumulative score.) And in recent decades the visiting team often has the upper hand.

The rivalry also produced one of the great college football photos — the 1996 shot of mascot Uga V going after Auburn receiver Robert Baker in one of the greatest games in series history, an overtime win for Georgia.

But as David Ching of the Athens Banner-Herald notes, the rivarly has seen better times, with neither team in the running for more than a midlevel non-BCS bowl this year. Neither team is ranked in AP Top 25 (the first time that has happened since 1991 and only the second time since 1977), though the Tigers are ranked in the coaches’ poll.

What’s there to get excited about?

Well, for one thing Georgia already has lost this season to Tennessee and Florida and likely will be a heavy underdog to the Top 10 Jackets, so Auburn may be Mark Richt’s best chance of winning a rivalry game this year.

And as the Telegraph pointed out, losses to Auburn and Tech would make this the first season since 1999 that all four rivals beat the Dogs — a mark that was widely considered the beginning of the end for Jim Donnan. Richt is not in as precarious a position as Donnan was because he’s already banked two SEC championships and a passle of 10-win seasons. But going 0-for-rivalries this year defnitely would be a blow to the program’s prestige.

What makes this year’s Georgia-Auburn game even more interesting is that the Dogs have the chance to win four straight over the Tigers for the first time since the 1940s. Meanwhile, Auburn’s seniors have never beaten the Dogs and still smart from the Blackout/Soulja Boy experience the last time they visited Athens.

“Last year, there wasn’t as much emphasis” on the rivalry with Auburn, tight end Aron White told the Telegraph. “This year, I feel like people are going to get up for it a little more. It’s a night game, and we are trying to redeem ourselves this season and get bowl eligible. I think the rivalry is going to be a little bigger this year than it was last year.”

Add it all up and you’ve got the makings of a great game, even if it doesn’t involve great teams. Georgia-Auburn is college football at its finest. If you can’t get fired up about this one, whether you’re a player or a fan, you don’t have any business wearing red and black.

161 comments Add your comment

BAMA STAN

November 11th, 2009
12:05 pm

12 NATIONAL TITLES – 21 SEC TITLES!!!

I have always appreciated the fact that UGA has 3 historic rivals: AUBURN, FLORIDA, and GT – and now a 4th due to the SEC split – adding TENNESSEE.

I imagine that SOUTH CAROLINA considers GEORGIA as one of it’s rivals – along with CLEMSON.

And speaking of CLEMSON – man oh man – the GEORGIA CLEMSON rivalry was great when both teams were excellent in the 80’s. This game became a casualty of the SEC split.

ALABAMA has two historic rivals – AUBURN and TENNESSEE.
Now we can add LSU to that list. Never consider Ole Miss or MISS STATE much of a rivalry.

Regardless of win/loss record – playing a hated foe get’s you going.

I wish UGA success against AUBURN Satruday – but feel this game will go Auburns way – as so far this season – this is one of the worst UGA teams that I have seen in a long time (penalties, turn over margin, skill position -except for Green)

ROLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL TIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Paul's Johnson

November 11th, 2009
12:08 pm

Atlanta Gator:

“To the idiot that said Auburn fans were the most obnoxious around…take a look in the mirror”

Most obnoxious fans are definately GAYtor fans.

DBalcer

November 11th, 2009
12:08 pm

I can’t wait. I am sure it will be an exciting game. Go DAWGS. I will be there Saturday.

obscure reference

November 11th, 2009
12:14 pm

Having grown up in Athens, but going to school in Auburn this weekend is bitter sweet. Each school has a lot of other rivalries, but nothing compares to this one. The AU/UA and UGA/UF games are pure hatred. During those games, the fans on both sides are plain nasty and mean. The AU/UGA game is more like a sibling rivalry. Two brothers battling it out and fighting tooth and nail until the bitter end, but with a mutual respect for each other at the end of the day.

ARdawg

November 11th, 2009
12:15 pm

I can say this with the utmost honesty, Auburn fans are the classiest of any team we play. I have on numerous occasions attended Auburn games in tow with a friend AU fan of mine. While I refuse to step foot in Jordan-Hare without my UGA regalia on no matter who AU is playing, UGA or someone else 99 of 100 AU fans are very accepting and polite. Good peeps them AU fans

Dawgs73

November 11th, 2009
12:16 pm

THWGT – Dude, I suppose you are L-Dawg in disguise (must be the CAPS LOCK that gave you away). You said it, not me…BLIND HOMER…I even put it in ALL CAPS, JUST FOR YOU!

You have no idea of my passion for the Dawgs, my level of contribution to the athletic department, nor for the veracity for which I cheer (my beloved Dawgs). I love UGA and all the “traditions” that accompanies Saturday gameday. I have been a life-long Bulldog fan, but unlike you, I choose to cheer and still be objective. You sit behind your CAP LOCK disguise, critize those who don’t (use CAP LOCK), and consider yourself the THE BEST BLIND HOMER OUT THERE! Why don’t you give all Bulldog fans opinions consideration and stop bashing those who choose to use their mind, monetary donations, and intelligence to progressively ask/demand for change(while still being a great fan).

Otto

November 11th, 2009
12:17 pm

L-Dawg, When was the last time UGA won 4 in a row over Auburn?

Bama Stan, Thanks and this is the worst team since Goff was the coach.

I’m still looking forward to seeing the game in person this weekend.

VolsRule

November 11th, 2009
12:17 pm

UGA is a secondary rival for UT – like what S. Carolina is to UGA. UT and UGA were never permanent opponents in the “old’ SEC. Since divisional play – TN/UGA is closer to being a rival – but our rivals are Bama and Vandy….. and now FLORIDA!!!!

UGA sucked in the 90’s and were pretty much irrelevent. Richt was good earlier this decade – but UGA is back to where they were in the 90’s and will probably be 3rd/4th SEC East for a few years to come.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s easy to get up for UGA -but our feeling is this a a game you should circle win every year – the program is greater in UGA’s eyes than the what the all other SEC teams sees them as. Kind of like Auburn – secondary level SEC program – that a couple of years in each decade or two – actually make noise – but never a consistent elite sec team.

GO VOLS!!!

GO VOLS!

Mark Richt

November 11th, 2009
12:20 pm

Yeah, since Florida is no longer a rivalry game Auburn is our biggest rival.

THWGT

November 11th, 2009
12:22 pm

DAWGS73….

JUST DOESNT MAKE SENSE TO ME HOW YOU GO AFTER FANS FOR CONTINUING TO GIVE SUPPORT. WE KNOW AS WELL AS YOU THINGS NEED CHANGING. BUT DAM DUDE, RELAX, AND GIVE THE PLAYERS THE SUPPORT THE NEED RIGHT NOW AND WE’LL ADDRESS THE RESZT OF THESE ISSUES DURING THE OFFSEASON.

DONT EVER TELL SOMEBODY YOU THEY CANNOT CHEER FOR THEIR TEAM WHEN THINGS ARENT PERFECT. THATS BEING A HORRIBLE ADDITION TO THE PROGRAM. AUBURN COULD USE A GOOD MAN LIKE YOU.

Auburn Pride

November 11th, 2009
12:25 pm

Probably my favorite game on the schedule.

Agree with the above post – AU/UA is all about hate – like UF/UGA.

I do miss our rivalry with FLORIDA – but still paled in comparison to AUBURN/UGA.

This is a game where I just can’t stand UGA and their fans on gameday. Other than that – respect the school, students, fans and the rest of the year.

Been to so many great games between these schools – and after a bitter loss – or a surprising win – usally have UGA fans tell us great game – let’s tee it up again soon! Gotta love it!

WDE!!!!

L-Dawg

November 11th, 2009
12:26 pm

Otto…..

BACK IN THE 40′S SIR. AGAIN IN THE 2000’s AFTER SATURDAY.

UGA- 24
AUBURN-14

PDawg

November 11th, 2009
12:28 pm

I have a bad feeling about the Auburn game this weekend. I just don’t think we will be able to stop em.

timthebrave

November 11th, 2009
12:28 pm

Ga vs Auburn is usually a great game. I have been to several that were joyous last second wins or agonizing last second defeats. My favorites are the Green to Johnson on 4th down, the blackout game, AJ’s td last year in Auburn, the 4 overtime game, UGA V going after the Auburn player, my first one a 23-23 tie. I’m not going to talk about the agonizing losses(too painful) Go Dawgs!

Columbus Tiger - WAR EAGLE!!!

November 11th, 2009
12:30 pm

Great rivalry – Auburn will smoke georgia this year. This is a horrible georgia team that has not had it’s act together for two years – and this year is a culimination of what’s wrong at georgia.

While both schools have defenses that are suspect – Auburn has a real offense – and georgia will help defeat themselves with turnovers and penalties. turnovers and penalties are in georgia’s dna – it will only change in the off season under new direction – which Richt has to provide with staff changes.

Auburn 31 – uga 16

WDE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Larry

November 11th, 2009
12:30 pm

All I care about for the rest of the year is beating those over rated bugs. Auburn and Kentucky are solid SEC quality teams and UGA is having a down year. Any loss is painful but to lose to a quality football team is at least understandable. A loss to the bugs simply cannot happen.

Our walk-on should beat them easily.

toga

November 11th, 2009
12:33 pm

I look for Auburn to be running downhill all game. Georgia will not have an answer. Bank on it!

Auburn 45
Ga. 17

VolsRule???

November 11th, 2009
12:33 pm

Remind us the last year that Tennessee was relevant.

MattDawg

November 11th, 2009
12:36 pm

I would say that 90% of all fan bases never went to the schools they cheer for. I would ask how you pick a professional team you pull for? You certainly can’t go to their school!!

Larry

November 11th, 2009
12:39 pm

Bobo, Richt and willie walk into a bar and see Lane and Layla Kiffin having a drink. Willie whistles and says… Man look at that.. Now that is one hot cookie…..

So Bobo says… Yeah, Lane looks good with his new haircut… as Mark Richt says.. Cookies ? I’ll have a chocolate chip please…

Cuz

November 11th, 2009
12:42 pm

I had more respect for Auburn before they dumped Tubbs.

Loveliest Village

November 11th, 2009
12:43 pm

Agree – this is my favorate game as well. A very intense – hard hitting game – but like fighting your brother.

Both teams have had their heartbreaks in this one – most years – just a very competitive high spirited game by two proud programs not giving an inch to each other.

For this year’s game – got to go with AUBURN by a fairly wide margin.

Uga is just not a good team this year – and we are playing in Athens – a plus for AUBURN!!!

WAR EAGLE!

Dawgs73

November 11th, 2009
12:43 pm

THWGT – Dude, I couldn’t quite understand your entire post, but let me correct you. I didn’t write anything in regards to “DONT EVER TELL SOMEBODY YOU THEY CANNOT CHEER FOR THEIR TEAM WHEN THINGS ARENT PERFECT”. You obviously have trouble comprehending the paragraph written (WHEN IT’S NOT IN CAPS LOCK).

Please just continue with your CAPS LOCK brilliance and everything will work itself out.

MattDawg

November 11th, 2009
12:43 pm

UGA 45 Auburn 38 Write that down.

Ryan

November 11th, 2009
12:45 pm

Opelika are you serious? UGA has owned Auburn lately. How about that game a few years ago when a FRESHMAN QB and UGA came to Auburn and beat your #5 Tigers/Eagles/Kittens whatever??? What a redneck loser.

Steve McGarrett as Chin Ho's Leader

November 11th, 2009
12:47 pm

Is UGA going to come out in ALL-BLACK on Saturday? The dogs were not fired up to play the Gators so Richt dresses them up in black. Will Richt do another uniform change to fire them up? It doesn’t matter because the tigers will roll. Kam Fong better look at 3 L’s instead of 3 W’s. The Kentucky game will decide if Uga goes to a bowl game or stays @ home for the holidays. L-dawg is still LOSER-dawg.

Auburn Fan (this week)

November 11th, 2009
12:47 pm

MattDawg…it’s probably more like 20% unless you are UGA then 90% is probably about right. I pick pro teams because I live in the daggum city stupid.

Auburn 35, UGA 10

uuughh...

November 11th, 2009
12:50 pm

I always enjoy the UGA Auburn game. If we win I am glad and if we lose it is not so bad because their fans are good folks in my experience. Auburn fans are head and shoulders better than Florida Fans.

As far a our biggest rivals go…I think our program has fallen so far that out biggest rivals are Kentucky and South Carolina. Thanks in no small part to ineptitude across our entire coaching staff, we can not even play with Tennessee or Florida anymore. Tech’s 3 point victory last year was just the beginning. Their coach plays to win and our coaches play to not lose. We’ll get crushed this year by Tech.

Thanks Coach Richt…Now that The Florida game is staying in Jacksonville maybe coach can focus on moving UGA out of the SEC so we have a chance to win some games–that seems about as probable as him getting rid of the horrible coaches he has surrounded himself with.

Saint Simons

November 11th, 2009
12:53 pm

ACC = “All Cupcake Conference”

old gold

November 11th, 2009
12:53 pm

“L-Dawg”… chill out with the all caps. This is a definite sign of retardation.

Gator Dog

November 11th, 2009
12:54 pm

To the blogger who commented that many Dog fans didn’t go to UGA, yeah your right. There are people in the state of Georgia who have circumstances that are truly beyond their control that did not get to attend a traditional college. I got my education at the University of Combat, multiple foreign campuses. Yes, those of us who couldn’t afford college back in the ‘70 still like college football. I made my choice of teams (GO DAWGS) based on the pride I have in the state that I was raised in and the classy football program that existed at the time. Vince Dooley was and still is awesome. Tech started losing class points the minute that Bill Curry left (Bill Curry is the classiest football player from ANY team that ever played in GA).

I grew up in a family that was fixated on the good old Tech of the late ‘50 and early ‘60 and was an outcast in my own family because I attached myself to the Dogs. I still “watch at” Tech just to see what kind of team they have put together. The rivlary between UGA and Tech still exist and it is more positive than the others (read that as less negative than the hatred between the Gators and Dogs).

When I retired from the Army after some 25 years of service, I moved to Florida for employment. The great state of Florida saw fit to bestow a complete “full ride” scholarship to one of the smartest humans I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, my daughter. I had raised her in classic Bulldog fashion, saying the “G” on my ball cap stood for “Gator Hater” etc. Well, if you are a parent and you are worth anything at all, you are going to support your kids, so I started watching the Gators. What I’ve learned is that it isn’t too hard to pull for them too now that the “Evil One” (Spurrier) departed Gainesville. I also have to weigh in that the worst fans (at least for one week a year) are both the UGA and U of F fans. This game has gotten out of control. Just tee the dang ball up and play the game in a sportsman like manner. Disperse with the flames of hellfire and total hatred that the “Evil One” helped cultivate for years.

On to Auburn, they always play a good game, show great sportsmenship and usually the best team for the year walks off the field with the win and their integrity intact.

Long time Dog fans, remember that back in the day the late season game with Bama was a heated rivalry for years. Every game against the bear had a deep meaning.

Some of you will chop me up for my viewpoints, so be it. But yes, I live in Florida and watch the Gators but I read the AJC everyday to stay in touch with my Georgia roots.

Sic ‘em Dawgs! Go Gators!

sidewalk74

November 11th, 2009
12:56 pm

The AJC writes one blog a week about GT so we just like to come over to give you a hard time. You doggies are so sensitive. Not to mention that your fellow fans are always on Tech’s one blog each week.
THWG

Lou Vales

November 11th, 2009
12:56 pm

This game has all the national interest of Alcorn State-Grambling or New Mexico-New Mexico State.

dan

November 11th, 2009
12:56 pm

I think Tennessee and Florida are our most hated rivalries in the SEC and the Tech game is only a rivalry to UGA fans when we lose to Tech.

But the Auburn game in terms of an actual football game, is one of my favorite rivalries. You really can throw out the records when these teams play. The games are usually pretty hotly contested, and it always seems that one team seems to ruin the other teams season( and it’s usually the underdog). The both programs are very similar in history and tradition and they’re only a couple hours from each other. And most Auburn fans I know are a respectable bunch. I mean we’ll talk trash to each other, but I feel there is a genuine respect there whereas I don’t feel like that’s the case with Tech and Gator fans.

L-Dawg

November 11th, 2009
12:57 pm

THOSE WHO WRITE ABOUT ME ALSO ENVY ME!!!!!

GLORY GLORY TO OLE’ GEORGIA!!!!!!

misterwax

November 11th, 2009
12:58 pm

Auburn has a whole lot more to gain from this season this year and I think they will win it. Ricjt & Co. are just about ready to roll up the sidewalks and call it a season…a rebuilding year which did not go as well as planned….that’s the way it goes.

Auburn 38 UGA 17

BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

DawginLex

November 11th, 2009
1:01 pm

An obnoxious vol looking down on UGA just tickles me to death. What have you won lately? Nothing. You won this year. Big deal. richt is 5-4 vs UT and you consider it an automatic win?

What a joke coming from a program that has had 2 losing seasons in the past 4. Your coach’s day is coming. He is gonna get his just like ol’ Stevie boy is getting his for all those years he ran his mouth. Of course, Kiffin matches the class level of the toothless hillbilly fans like yourself.

RxDawg

November 11th, 2009
1:02 pm

It’s my favorite Rivalry of the year. Of course I live on the west central side of the state, so that’s usually how it goes. Having all my War Eagle buddies over to the house Saturday to cook up a Low Country Boil and watch a great old rivalry. Go Dawgs!

tom

November 11th, 2009
1:04 pm

I am a Penn State guy. However, Auburn will take this one. Georgia will replace their quarterback in the second half. Pity!Pity!

Columbus Tiger - WAR EAGLE!!!

November 11th, 2009
1:05 pm

CUZ – understand your feelings about Tubervillw – but compare to Donnan.

Tuberville – 10 seasons 85-40, .680 winning%, 5-3 in bowl games – 2 losing seasons.

Donnan – 4 seasons 40-19, .678 winning %, 4-0 in bowl games – 1 losing season.

A good arguement can be made that Donnan left the program is much much better shape that what he inherited from Ray Goff. Talent wise – Donnan stocked the shelves – and UGA was turning the corner. HOwever, something about Donnan that many fans did not like – maybe inconsistent play – looking great one game – getting beat by a bitter rival the next – and he did not get along with the President of the school. Donnan was a good coach that really did not have the opportunity to see if he could take a program he built to the next level.

Tubs – after 2004 – program started to slide – and we were never as dominant. Major coaching snafu with Tony Franklin – it really cost him. I personnally think he was very good coach – that was hitting a down cycle with the rise of Bama – Florida – and UGA for that matter.

Richt reminds me of Tubs – in that he raised the program – and it started to slide. Both coaches took CEO approaches after being very hands on and became successful. I guess all that hands on approach became beneath them…… well there is no rest in college football or in life. What you put into it – is what you get out of it.

GeoffDawg

November 11th, 2009
1:13 pm

Meh – I’d probably go Florida, Tennessee, Auburn, then Tech. Playing games that count towards title shot will always be more important than kicking sand in a nerd’s face.

David

November 11th, 2009
1:15 pm

Auburn will win if…

Chris Todd has an average day passing.
Kodi burns runs the Wild tiger decently.
Corner backs keep AJ under 100 yards receiving.

Auburn will lose if…

They don’t show up to the game.

War Eagle!

Win Dawgs Win

November 11th, 2009
1:18 pm

Dawg73….you can say what you want, BUT no one cares that you give your money to UGA. It doesn’t matter if it’s a dollar or a million. That doesn’t make you a better fan than anyone else. It doesn’t make your opinion better than anyone elses. Cheer the Dawgs each week (like you say you do), then if no changes are made, then scream all you want! Just quite “beating the same dead horse” in every blog!! I hate Tech worse than Auburn. But, Auburn is a much bigger game each season. Soooooo, this is ALWAYS a game we need to win!! Go Dawgs!!

Todd

November 11th, 2009
1:18 pm

might be the South’s oldest rivalry, but it’s down to 5-4 vs. 6-3, looser a lock for Shreveport.

does anyone really give a crap (I like Paul Johnson at Tech, he uses the word crap) Sat. other than it’s entertaining to watch, it’s still football season.

Mark Richt acts like it’s some big deal. What’s a big deal is that loud sound of the ship turning around facing Knuckersville, Tn and the Kitty up there landing Juan James.

Mark Richt, dude your time is up, you had your best chance back when Ron Zuke was at Florida, dude you old news, trust me, as a Ga grad, I hate to say it, Richt has a one yr. window, next yr. to get to Atlanta, After that it’s back to the 90’s, Ga a perm. 3 spot in the SEC East.

Win Dawgs Win

November 11th, 2009
1:18 pm

I guess that should be “quit”

Gatorzone

November 11th, 2009
1:19 pm

i always thought Donnan was pretty good too. It would have been interesting to see how good he could have done if he stayed 2 more years. I expect Tubbs to get another big time job this year.

Cuz

November 11th, 2009
1:23 pm

Columbus Tiger, I thought we did Donnan wrong by releasing him after an 8-3 season. Unfortunate for Coach D, the losses were to Florida, Auburn and Tech. But we did get CMR and I am glad to have him as Head Coach.

The Auburn game is one of my favorites due to the swapping of players to Coaches. Pat Dye is a distant cousin. The Auburn game has always been a down in the trenches slugfest. But after the game you shake the other sides hand and share a beer and a laugh or three.

Lou Vales

November 11th, 2009
1:24 pm

Did someone just TOUT Richt for going 5-4 against Tennessee? I really don’t understand. Florida has gone 14-6 against Tennessee and I consider that underachievement against a university that is actually PROUD of a School of Social Work. By the way, I believe Georgia has played uCheat 10 times under Richt.

VOLS RULE IS AN IDIOT

November 11th, 2009
1:25 pm

Vols Rule,

Auburn a secondary SEC school? Please what is UT? You need to remember that Auburn owns you. 5-0 in the last five. AU leads in the series, VOLS are a joke waiting to happen.

For this game, this rivalry is my favorite. As Lewis Grizzard wrote two cousins fighting to beat each other, then hanging out and enjoying the company.

Auburn’s defense is improving over the last three games. If the offense gets 30 points, Aubrn wins.

Delbert D.

November 11th, 2009
1:25 pm

Otto –
I don’t claim to speak for all Tech fans when I say it’s the #1 rival game for me. Not “hate” game…that would be UVA and UNC. Those types act like they are a superior species above all. The rest of us simply live on their plantations.

I agree that Tech dropping out of the SEC made the Tech-Georgia game less meaningful.