When it comes to SEC, Dawgs are your rival’s rivals

The Jacksonville game remains a great rivalry despite the lopsided results of recent years.

The Jacksonville game remains a great rivalry despite the lopsided results of recent years.

I’ve said it before here that Georgia seems to have more big “rivalry” games every year than just about any other college program around. And by rivalry, I mean those games that take place every year and get the fan bases on both sides revved up to the point that even the players approach it as more than just another game.

Besides our in-state rival, Georgia Tech, the Dogs have conference rivalries that go a long way toward determining the champ each year: The neutral-site meeting with the Gators in Jacksonville. The Deep South’s oldest football rivalry with Auburn. The longstanding border war with South Carolina that predates the Gamecocks being in the SEC and gives one or the other an early-season leg up in division battle. And then there’s the rivalry with Tennessee, which is of more recent vintage but has been red-hot over the past 20 years, especially since the conference split into divisions and both wound up in the East.

(We unfortunately lost still another big nonconference rivalry with Clemson when the SEC went to eight conference games, but if there was a way that one could be played every year, a full half of Georgia’s schedule would be rivalries!)

Recently, when the possibility of conference expansion was threatening some of those annual matchups, Chris Low of ESPN.com ranked what he saw as the SEC’s “untouchable rivalries.” While his list was topped by Alabama vs. Auburn, the most notable thing about it was that four of the top rivalries involved Georgia: the rivalry with Florida at No. 2, Georgia-Auburn at No. 6, Georgia-Tennessee at No. 7 and Georgia-South Carolina at No. 10.

Georgia’s four top SEC rivalries was more than any other school, with Alabama and Tennessee next with three each.

So what makes Georgia the rival’s rival in the SEC? A couple of reasons come to mind.

First, the Dogs are usually among the more competitive teams in the conference, and in order for a rivalry to thrive you need it to be close. (Florida’s domination in recent years in Jacksonville is one reason some folks think that rivalry has waned a bit, but the color and spectacle of the Cocktail Party has managed to keep it thriving.)

Also important is location, location, location. Georgia is centrally situated in the conference and shares a border with all its big rivals. That boosts the rivalries because the fans live in close proximity to each other (and can trash talk all year). Perhaps more importantly these days, it means the rivals go after many of the same high school prospects, so a win provides a possible recruiting edge.

I’m on record as believing that the Georgia-Auburn rivalry is our greatest, but you can make a case for any of them depending on how the respective programs are doing.

As the Dogs’ Clint Boling said last year, “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.”

Which rivalry matters most to you?

138 comments Add your comment

How2fish

June 15th, 2010
11:43 am

Tech nothing better than smashing Bugs

Not Saint Simons

June 15th, 2010
11:44 am

30-24 hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Turkey Burger

June 15th, 2010
11:47 am

Always nice to poop on Auburn.

How2fish

June 15th, 2010
11:48 am

But..as far as SEC rivals UF is a slight fave..UT and UA are too close together to call IMHO.

Barry Morton

June 15th, 2010
11:48 am

Drop teams like Louisiana-Lafayette and Idaho State, making room for Clemson and Georgia Southern, giving me full value for my season ticket.

guy

June 15th, 2010
11:50 am

dont forget the blossoming rivalries with vandy and kentucky.

Florida Dawg

June 15th, 2010
11:53 am

It’s difficult to image that Chris Lowe would think Ala vs Auburn is more of an untouchable rivalry than Ga vs Fl.
I know that Florida has won for more often in the past 20 years (we do still own the series wins) but the Ga Fl game is far more than a game…it’s an almost full week of an event held at a venue that few if any games can boast…certainly not a venue in Alabama.

guy

June 15th, 2010
11:53 am

the longstanding rivalry with the athens-clarke county police department, though the one sidedness of that one has also taken some of the luster.

UGAgirlFAN

June 15th, 2010
11:59 am

The UGA vs UF, Because I am Georgia born, lived there for 20 + years and bleed RED and BLACK! PLUS, I am living this God forsaken state of Florida (long story) for at least the next 7 years with all these obnoxious Gator Fans! UGH! OR should I say UGA?????!!!!!!!!!!! GOOOOO DAWGS !!!!

SSIgator

June 15th, 2010
12:00 pm

3-17 is a rivalry?

SSIgator

June 15th, 2010
12:02 pm

Enter your comments here

guy

June 15th, 2010
12:03 pm

try to keep up SSlgator, 1-9 is total domination of one school over an obviously inferior one, but 3-17 (with the last two losses by a total of over 60 points) is the greatest rivalry in the history of football. next year is totally the year.

dawgydawg47

June 15th, 2010
12:10 pm

Definitely Florida. Their fans are a mix between Joe Dirt and Jersey Shore.

DCJohn

June 15th, 2010
12:22 pm

Auburn is our biggest rival. I am from Savannah and grew up hating the Gators more than anyone else, but Auburn is by far the bigger rival. Everyone that goes to Auburn from the state of Georgia ends up hating Georgia because they cannot get in. Auburn has nothing to hang their hat on, but they think they are far and away superior.

Our deep tradition is what gives us so many rivalries. This super conference talk would make all tradition something for the history books.

Nice article Bill.

Jimmy

June 15th, 2010
12:26 pm

UGA fans biggest rival lately is that facist Dr. Adams, and the way he is ruining the sports experience for us fans.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by . said: [...]

RMP

June 15th, 2010
12:26 pm

FLORIDA GEORGIA “RIVALRY”???? GEORGIA COULD BE FLORIDA’S HOMECOMING GAME.
3-17. SOME “RIVALRY”

Dawg 39

June 15th, 2010
12:27 pm

I am a life long gator hater but Tenn. comes in at a close second. I remember when the discussion was GT.,Auburn, or UF. Now Spurrier & USCe are discussed.. That comes to 5 major rivalry games every year. No other team comes close to having that many.

'94 UGA Grad

June 15th, 2010
12:35 pm

Hey SSIgator and guy,

You seem to have selective memory and have forgotten about UGA’s total dominance through the ’70’s and 80’s not to mention having the edge in the overall series record. That’s why it’s a rivalry morons. And another thing….things always happen in cycles and I have a feeling the tide is turning in the Dawgs favor in this series. I’m not dumb enough to guarantee that we will beat UF this year but I promise you we will be more competitive and have a legitimate chance at winning.

Joey

June 15th, 2010
12:36 pm

You have so many rivals because you are such classless horrible fans. Everybody loves to beat you. Ask anybody who the worst fans are and no doubt they will say UGA.

WonderDawg

June 15th, 2010
12:36 pm

Yeah right. Good thing we weren’t your “homecoming game” in ‘07!!

WonderDawg

June 15th, 2010
12:37 pm

Bet Joey is a nerd . . .

gerald

June 15th, 2010
12:38 pm

ok so floridas owned uga for a while only matter of time it shifts back

Joey

June 15th, 2010
12:39 pm

You really told me you keyboard cowboy.

gerald

June 15th, 2010
12:40 pm

remember florida wasn’t anything before 1990,s

Daniels Dawgs

June 15th, 2010
12:40 pm

SI Gator it must be nice to just make up random stats. I rivalry is a series of all games and Georgia leads 47 to 39 with 2 ties.

guy

June 15th, 2010
12:41 pm

94 grad: it would be hard to be less competitive than you’ve been for the past 2 years. i dont remember the dominance of the 70s because i wasnt alive. i do remember the last 20 years and you guys havent done much, which is fine. its just funny how uga fans crap on tech all the time for not being competitive,when the same argument can be applied to uga in the uf series, if not moreso since i bet the total point differential is way higher in the uga/uf series than the tech/uga series (even with that 51-7 year in there. oops).

Kent

June 15th, 2010
12:43 pm

The Jacksonville game remains a great rivalry despite the lopsided results of recent years.
Funny….the same statement could be said for the 20 years prior to it as well…when UGA owned the Gators

Right On Time

June 15th, 2010
12:45 pm

Rivalry Order:
1.yech
2.auburn
3.tenn
4.fla (they still love to win this game like no other even with 20 years of domination…just ask SOS)
5.uscee only because it is the first of the season.

Order of Hate:
1.yech
2.fla
3. anyone else wearing orange

guy had some funny comments. However, the comment on fla fans
as a cross between Joe Dirt and Jersey Shore was the best in days.

bigstack19

June 15th, 2010
12:49 pm

I agree with Auburn being our biggest rival, but the most competitive one is South Carolina. They always play hard fought games every year. The Tennessee one is personal to me because I live in East Tennessee and have to listen to those orange clad hillbillies go on and on about how great their team is.

Kent

June 15th, 2010
12:50 pm

ssGator….stupid question…..look at the series dumb bo…as much success as you have had in that 3-17 run, we still OWN the series by double digits……soooooogatorboy…..whom owns whom in the big picture….

PhilDawg

June 15th, 2010
12:51 pm

In order for me.

UGA vs Auburn
UGA vs UF
UGA vs UT
UGA vs Clemson
UGA vs GT

1eyedJack

June 15th, 2010
12:53 pm

I think you should judge a rivalry by who you would most like to beat. For me that is a dead heat between the Gnats and the Gaytors.

UGAgirlFAN

June 15th, 2010
1:05 pm

TO ALL THE OTHER TEAMS WE PLAY – YOU CAN ALL “QUOTE ME ON THIS” – It is a rival for a reason and WE are the reason!!!!!!
to SSIgator- you are only counting the last 20 years? Are you that stupid? Prior to that we OWNED YOU and WE still OWN THE SERIES! Look it up! What the *ell are you doing on a Georgia newspaper?
I AM SICK AND TIRED OF DEFENDING our Coach and our Dogs Fans who are Wonderful and Great people! We are not rednecks! Coach Richt needs our support,UGA fans! Stand up and Fight!
GOOOO DAWGS!! WE will RETURN again! So watch out you Rivals!

Dan

June 15th, 2010
1:09 pm

Tech fan here – but it just seems like UGA hates anyone with orange as a color or Tech.

The point is that it’s fun for UGA fans to have so many rivals because it makes the games that much bigger.

Concerned

June 15th, 2010
1:09 pm

The poll should be the following…

Which team would you least like to lose to? Tech

Which team would you most like to beat? Florida

How2fish

June 15th, 2010
1:10 pm

Joey if you love to beat us so much…why don’t you do more more than once a decade..bug!

guy

June 15th, 2010
1:14 pm

let me show you how this works:

[how2fish] if you love to beat us so much… why dont you do more more(sic) than [3 times in two decades]…[dawg].

TDone

June 15th, 2010
1:18 pm

How2fish,

Your wish is our command.

Go Jackets!!!

kb

June 15th, 2010
1:38 pm

SSIgator Football was played before 1990, the ga -fla series historically has been cyclical. Give the Gators their due, it has be a dominating 20 years. The 20 years prior to that the record favored Georgia 15-5.

Dislike Auburn, Hate the NATS, but God I hate the Saurians

June 15th, 2010
1:46 pm

The Auburn game is old and always big… but I don’t completely despise them. The NATS game is just pure hate, but we usually beat them, so I don’t really just disgustingly hate them as much as I used to… and they aren’t SEC, soooo…

But the Sunshine State Saurians? Jeez… the pomp and arrogance surrounding those sums is just too much for me to handle… And beating them MAKES our season in the SEC East… and the fact that we can’t seem to get on top of them in the series just boils my Red’n'Black blood, man!… AHHHH!!! Man!, I wanna tackle someone in my office right now and jus flat out give’em the bizzness!!!!

Florida is the biggest rivalry… our way of life against theirs… plain and simple… We beat them, all else falls to the wayside…

GATA!!!!

Spike

June 15th, 2010
1:49 pm

The Gators. No doubt about it.

Richt Please Learn To Beat FL

June 15th, 2010
1:49 pm

FL
FL
FL
FL
Tech
Tennessee
SC
Auburn

In that order

Drop Tech

June 15th, 2010
1:52 pm

Think we should only play Tech every other year in Athens, then we could schedule a quality out of conference opponent every other year. Since 1960 tech has beaten UGA 15 times. If forced to any game played in Atlanta should be at the Ga. Dome.

How2fish

June 15th, 2010
1:55 pm

guy that would have a little more power if we didn’t own the overall record now wouldn’t it? joey sorry you’ll have to try again.Cause in the end we own the overall and decade record with the bugs.

DDPO

June 15th, 2010
1:56 pm

UGAgirlFAN -

Keep up the faith… With overcrowded jail conditons, you chances to be paroled are dramtically increased! But the good news is that UGA continues to lead the conference in SA’s arrests, you’ll continue to be able to congregate with your own kind.

How2fish

June 15th, 2010
2:00 pm

TDone to quote John Wayne “That’ll be the day”

DSGB

June 15th, 2010
2:03 pm

Personally, I think FL is our biggest rival. They are THE team to beat to get an SEC east title. Also, being from S. GA, I can easily go to that game every year.

GT kind of fell off of my radar after we continued to beat them year after year. However, after 2008’s loss to them, they came out of the woodworks, and I saw how annoying there fanbase really is, so they are definately my choice for #2.

Auburn, would be #3, but it’s kind of fallen off the radar as well with the 4 (or 5?) win streak.

Richt Please Learn To Beat FL

June 15th, 2010
2:05 pm

Richt read my blog name

Reality is what it is

June 15th, 2010
2:14 pm

I would like to go on record by saying I am glad Im not a Texas or Texas A&M fan.

Yesterday they showed the college football world again that not only can they not handle the SEC on the field but they poop in their drawers when they get invited to join the SEC.

What a joke A&M can’t stand up for itself to Texas, and Texas claims academics is why they don’t want to be in the SEC

Just admit you couldn’t go a season without 2 losses in this league

WIMPS