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

Reality is what it is

June 15th, 2010
2:15 pm

Bill King

Man up and call them what they are Wimps

Rename the Big 12 to the Big Joke Conference

guy

June 15th, 2010
2:28 pm

heres another:

[uga] kind of fell off of my radar after we continued to beat them year after year. However, after [2007’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.

how2fish: and britain had the largest empire in the world, if youre going to go with the historic record. that doesnt mean squat this year/season. i’ll keep it to recent history and games i was alive for. how many women’s gymnastics and equestrian national titles does it take to equal a football one? im rusty on the conversion.

Will

June 15th, 2010
2:30 pm

The game I circle on the calender each year is the border war with South Carolina. That game usually sets the precedent for the UGA season. I think it is an insult to start that game this year at noon the second week in September. I hope my dawgs are in shape cause it will be hot in the armpit of the south better known as Columbia, SC.

ca dawg

June 15th, 2010
2:30 pm

the tech rivalry has, in my view, waned a bit in importance, both because we tend to handle them most years and because i’m not from georgia and don’t have to deal with their fans. the trolls on this blog are really quite annoying, though.

the florida game is the biggest one for me, and i still think it’s a rivalry even though SSI GATOR has a point. they feel about us the way we feel about tech– we’re like an annoying little brother to them. the only way to change that is to start winning games.

HOWEVER, there is more to a rivalry than who is winning the games. consider, SSI GATOR, that the rivalry dynamics have changed a lot since the SEC was split into east and west. it changes the end game for every team. the importance of the georgia-auburn game has decreased, but it’s pretty clear that florida-georgia game is more important for both teams than it was before the split. i know you guys have owned us (and the east) since 1990, but these days control of the SEC east is virtually always at stake. that’s a big deal–and a big game–no matter how you slice it.

FromtheBARstool

June 15th, 2010
2:43 pm

It has nothing to do with the Bulldog teams, but rather the Total Hatred of the DAWG Fanbase. No fan of ANY team in the Southeastern states like DAWG fans. They are mostly A..holes to be at a game with. God forbid you have your kids with you or you have a cute daughter and have to sit near a drunk DAWG. “CAdawg” Columbia might be an armpit, but Athens is the SEPTIC TANK Runnith Over of the South.

RxDawg

June 15th, 2010
2:49 pm

If we can keep beating Auburn, this Dawg’s tail is wagging.

RxDawg

June 15th, 2010
2:56 pm

Dan brings up a pretty good point. If it’s orange or yellow, down with em.

Tampa Dawg

June 15th, 2010
2:59 pm

On a scale of 1 (who cares?) to 10 (heated rivalry) I rank UF as a 1,000. Eat Mor Gator!!!!

How2fish

June 15th, 2010
3:03 pm

guy so going into the 2008 season UF’s winning record didn’t mean anything as UGA won in 2007 ? Sorry guy that dawg won’t hunt I for one was alive in 08 and fully remember that the Gators DID mention a time or two recent history..we own the series record and I was alive for most of it. Sorry your still a little wet behind the ears but I assure you’ll get used to losing to UGA and I’m thinking in the near future but thanks for keeping the debate classy not a lot of name calling..and as a Gator fan with the recent string of success you have no need your record in the past few years speaks for itself.

bugsquacher

June 15th, 2010
3:04 pm

Nothing else needs saying……. mash the bugs….hear them crackle under your shoes…….

FromtheBARstool

June 15th, 2010
3:10 pm

What is more likely on those House Divided car tags with UGA being one side? I don’t see many non-UGA women marrying a UGA man if both are College graduates. I know UGA girls are easy but I can’t see a non-UGA man wanting to go where any/everyman has been before. I figure the House Divided with a G is just a high school grad that likes the DAWGS like most UGA fans.

Standing on the sidelines

June 15th, 2010
3:12 pm

Sometimes its own coaching staff is UGA’s worst rival.

One, two, free, fo, fi, dem der Gator don't take no jive!

June 15th, 2010
3:12 pm

I grew up a Gator. Always considered FSU as our biggest rival becasue we lived amongst them. On top of that, we pretty much expected to lose to UGA. Having moved to Atlanta 8 years ago and the SEC splitting into two divisions prior to that, I would have to say UGA is our biggest rival now. I have to live amongst them and it sets the way for winning the East….escpicially with Tennesse being down. The East will USUALLY be a pretty easy deal if UF gets past UGA. In my opinion, that is why most Gators probably view UGA as their biggest rival.

As to why UGA is such a big rival to so many teams. In my opinion, it is because UGA has more than it’s fair share of loudmouths. Don’t get me wrong, all fan bases have them. It just seems that SOME of UGA’s really don’t mind putting in the overtime! I mean, they still talk trash non-stop even when they haven’t been competetive in the series for 20 years. Kind of like UGA fans feel about the Techies. It’s only a minority, but a very VOCAL minority.
Just one man’s opinion.

Good luck this year and see ya’ll in Jax!

One, two, free, fo, fi, dem der Gator don't take no jive!

June 15th, 2010
3:18 pm

Tampa Dawg,
I’m sure you feel that way in large part because you live surrounded by Gator fans. I feel your pain. I am surrounded by Dawgs. Currently, I don’t have to listen to too much “trash talikn’” because of UF’s recent success against UGA. I’m sure it can get downright painful at times when the shoe is on the other foot.
God bless ya, man and stay true to your team no matter where life takes ya!

guy

June 15th, 2010
3:23 pm

how2fish, im just saying that the past doesnt put a mark on the W column. historic records dont mean squat. you have to win it on the field, and uga hasnt been able to do recently against uf. im not going to put a whole lot of emphasis on games played before i was born. if you really want to get historical, princeton and yale have a lock on the most national titles, but they at least have the sense not to talk too much smack about college football.

and i was/am a tech fan before a uf fan, so unfortunately i am well versed in losing to uga.

'94 UGA Grad

June 15th, 2010
3:39 pm

Hey One, two, free…..

Good post. We do have our fair share of loudmouths. The ones that bother me most are the delusional ones that every year say we are going to win the National Championship guaranteed, book it, etc. I just roll my eyes when I read those posts. I on the other hand am more of a realist and know that we are still rebuilding and are a couple of years (at least) away from really contending for it all.

Damn Good Dawg

June 15th, 2010
3:52 pm

I for one must apologize to the other rival schools who think the UGA fans are obnoxious. I think its the booze, something different in the water/liquor in North GA, but I have been one of the obnoxious fans, and if I have offended, I apologize.

Whew, now that thats out of the way…

GO DAWGS! GATA!!!

Yoda

June 15th, 2010
3:54 pm

SSIgator….I’m gonna run over that big tail of yours, right there on the traffic circle on Demere!!

One, two, free, fo, fi, dem der Gator don't take no jive!

June 15th, 2010
4:01 pm

Damn Good Dawg,
I’ve been that boozer on more tham one occasion myself! Now that I’m a alot older and a “little” wiser, I find the games are more enjoyable when I can actually remember what happened…LOL!
All kidding aside, it’s great to be a college football fan in the greatest conference ever assembled…..no matter who your team is!
Once again, good luck and hope to see all of you in Jacksonvile this fall. It should be a great game.

Damn Good Dawg

June 15th, 2010
4:08 pm

One, two, free-

I can usually remember the beginning of the game, and most of the times, I can remember the outcome, but the middle is the foggy part! I really hope we are competetive this year, and not just all talk like last year, but it’s hard not to get excited (as a DAWG fan and an SEC/College football fan) about the upcoming season. Best of luck to ya’ll too, see you in October.

DawginOH

June 15th, 2010
4:19 pm

Beating Tech gives us in-state bragging rights, but the rivalry is mostly for the fans these days and means next to nothing in terms of conference standings. And I think the victory last season was just what the doctor ordered for a very frustrated Bulldog fan base. Beating Auburn gives us the satisfaction of winning a game against our most historical rival.

But I think all Dawg fans should agree that there’s nothing as sweet as beating Florida these days, especially given the recent record. Although it can be downright frustrating to watch (especially these past two seasons), there’s no game I get more excited for.

Besides the fact that the winner of this game often goes on to play in Atlanta, the rivalry is cyclical, leaving the dominated team’s fans on simmer for decades. And once the tide turns, the other team’s fans get a taste and so on.

As much as any Dawg fan in their 20s today is frustrated by the lack of success against the Gators as of late, just ask a Gator fan who was around for the 70s and 80s how they felt about Georgia back then and you’ll get the same answer. These are just a few of the reasons why I think Florida should be considered the Dawgs’ biggest rival- the game is a must-win, not only for bragging rights but for a ticket to Atlanta as well.

Looking forward to turning things around in the new decade. GO DAWGS!

Gary

June 15th, 2010
4:22 pm

The biggest georgia rivalry seems to go in cycles, a lot depending on who is coaching. When I was growing up in the 60s and 70s, there was noone we hated more than Auburn, especially since the visiting team usually won regardless of ranking. Then Florida seemed to be the team we most wanted to beat, especially with Spurrier at the helm. Although we’ve always paid lip service to the in-state rivalry with Tech, it seems like that one has really heated up the emotions the last few years. Ya gotta beat them all though if you want to play for a NC.

hmmmmmmm

June 15th, 2010
4:32 pm

I hate jean shorts and bugs…..

UGA is Just Fine...

June 15th, 2010
4:37 pm

As stated in Bill’s article, the main reason we have so many rivals is our state is right in the middle and we share borders with more rivals than any other school period.
We have UT to the north, Auburn to the west, SC to the east and FL to the south. Add to that fact, Knoxville is 235mi away, Columbia,SC is 169mi, Auburn is 173mi, and Jax where the UF game is played is 305mi away. Then throw in GT at just an hour’s drive away.

It would be interesting to see as fans list their most hated rival, if they hate the school that they either live closest to or grew up closest to.

But, to the haters if telling yourself the reason is because all Dawg fans are a-holes helps you sleep better at night then so be it.

Go Dawgs!

lets talk jail

June 15th, 2010
5:02 pm

did florida not have an all american fall asleep drunk at a red light?? did florida not have an all american shooting off an ak47 in an apartment complex??? did florida not have some bum using a dead womans credit card? Lets not get into the arrest record folks!! So shut your mouths you bums from florida we go to jail for drinking and rubbing on woman!! you go to jail for shooting them and using the credit cards once they are dead!!

paul "has a small" johnson

June 15th, 2010
5:04 pm

florida! hate them with a passion

Clete

June 15th, 2010
5:09 pm

I hate Any team that wears orange…….and Tech.

Paul (You doesn't have to call me Johnson).

June 15th, 2010
5:22 pm

UGA is the most hated team in America

Clarification

June 15th, 2010
5:23 pm

Drop the series with gtu, and watch their football program wither away. They have no other reason to exist other than their yearly “rivalry” game.

Chickasaw

June 15th, 2010
5:24 pm

Bill, over the span of Georgia football history, I agree that Auburn is #1. Maybe I (like you?) am a bit prejudiced because I remember brutal slugfests in the 70’s and 80’s (like that awful loss in ‘71), but the series has been so hard fought, there’s so much coach and player cross-history, and it has been so important for both schools in so many decades, that I think it’s tops. Otherwise, I agree with another commenter that Ga Tech is the team you most don’t want to lose to, which may be a literal fact of life for coaches–e.g. Jim Donnan, who was gone after his 3d loss to GT, tho coaches have survived after losing 3 in a row to UT, UF & AU. Florida’s always big, too, and the recent losses are bitter. Tho UT and SC are great games, and some UT fans are hard to take, these are in “they come and they may go” category for me, like LSU and Bama. As I’m sure you know, once upon a time, LSU hatred was so high that violence resulted, and the series was called off for 25 years! And the old UGA-Bama annual brawl was huge until that controversial 7 year break in the 60’s–but no UGA wins electrified the Classic City like the incredible flea-flicker & go-for-2 upset in ‘65 or the “round the bowl and down the hole” Junkyard Dawg shutout of ‘76. Sweet stuff! But no longer a top rivalry to most fans.

Reality Check

June 15th, 2010
5:30 pm

A rivalry is two relatively equal team who play one another regularly and don’t like each other.
Two out of three does not a rivalry make.

Until UGA gets competitive with UF on a consistent basis, it’s NOT a rivalry.

FromtheBARstool

June 15th, 2010
5:35 pm

A quick Poll if I may: Any non-UGA fans please say if you typically and a nice time when visiting Athens for a game? My father and I quit going to Athens in 88. We could not take the Dawg Fans. I have always had a goodtime at Auburn, FSU, VT, Bama, UT, Clemson, and UNC. The Dawg fans on their home ground are just unbearable.

taco bell dogs

June 15th, 2010
5:46 pm

This is why everyone outside this state hates UGA: There fans! They think UGA is the best team every year. News Flash! You suck :)

FromtheBARstool

June 15th, 2010
5:57 pm

“clarification” who is gtu? Are you dumb? Do you mean GIT or maybe NATS? I love the misspelling or name calling many of the Dawgs do.

Boise Dawg

June 15th, 2010
7:00 pm

I am with you Bill… Auburn is #1 for me and it is a really tough call between Tech and Florida. I’ll give Florida some credit and admit winning that game probably means the most, especially given the struggles the last 20 years. The Tennessee and S. Carolina games obviously are huge as well.

Where did Chris Low rank Tennessee v. Alabama? I think that is one of the best rivalries in the SEC. Had to be #3 and I must admit suprised it wasn’t #2.

Sugar Hill Dawg

June 15th, 2010
7:15 pm

I’ve enjoyed reading the posts. Until two years ago, I was like most Dawg alums – Hate the Gators!!! I still harbor ill will toward them, but I now have two sons at Auburn. I taught 30 years with a bunch of Auburn alums – loved to see them on the Monday after a UGA win, avoided ‘em after a loss. After going to The Loveliest Village the past two years to watch my son perform (he’s in the AUMB – the 6′5″ melaphone player), my wife and I are now Tiger fans (except for a certain Saturday in November). Some of my fondest memories are of games in Jax, Auburn, and at Grant Field. (There’s nothing like seeing all that red and black on North Avenue – the Varsity and a Tech butt kicking afterward! Nothing’s sweeter!) USC’s always a great game – no real ill will there. The Tennessee folks – gotta feel sorry for ‘em, having to live in Tennessee, but that dang “Rocky Top” drives me nuts!

GATORS!

June 15th, 2010
7:18 pm

Trust me, it isn’t a rivalry with you clowns. And Texas would biotch slap you.

HBTD1

June 15th, 2010
7:56 pm

Georgia Tech….gotta live with them here in ATL.. Gator fans are too stupid to make it in business in ATL, so I only come in contact with their azzes on rare occasions.

dan

June 15th, 2010
8:20 pm

I hate to say it, but I have to agree with the Gators fans on this blog. It is not a rivalry when one team beats another team 17-3 over a 20 year span. And no, it wasn’t a rivalry in the 70’s or 80’s either when UGA was dominating. Then again I don’t think Florida has a rivalry with FSU anymore either, even though that was a MONSTER rivalry in the 90’s. And Ga. Tech isn’t a rivalry because UGA wins most of the time and when they do lose to Tech, it has more to do with UGA playing like crap than it does with Tech playing great( although Tech to their credit can be a tough out some years).

In my opinion Auburn and Tennessee are UGA’s best rivals. The Tennessee game wasn’t a rivalry in the 90’s, but I think the Vols have come to despise us in the 2000’s when UGA dominated the early part of the decade and then the Vols came back and smacked us in the mouth in the later half of the decade. And the Auburn game is historically a hard fought series chock full of upsets. UGA may hate the Gators more, but in terms of games that are actually evenly matched, Auburn and Tennessee are UGA’s biggest rivals as of now.

supsalemgr

June 15th, 2010
8:37 pm

North Avenue Trade School just to keep them quiet for another year. Gators becuase they are the Gators. Auburn is a very respectful rivalry but it does not have the passion as Tech and FL. USC is a nuisance we have to deal wuth annually. It is their second best rivalry. The TN deal ebbs and flows. It will be more civil with Derek Dooley at the helm. Lane Kiffin would have made it close to the FL game.

Major Dawg

June 15th, 2010
8:43 pm

I think its very simple why we are such a rivalry to so many, we instill passion to play us because if you win you have bragging rights. Not quoting any stats but I am sure we have spoiled several seasons of “others” and they have probaly spoiled a couple of ours but in the long run, this loyal fan base does not all of a sudden become a “seasonal” fan like a lot of “other” teams. As I like to think ” American by birth, Georgia by the grace of God!!” GO DAWGS!!!!!!!

Buckhead Bulldog

June 15th, 2010
8:48 pm

Always has been, is today, and will be in the future = Georgia Tech. Make no mistake about it my fellow Dogs, they are our A#1 rival. All you have to is remember how you felt after the 2008 game, and the absolute hell we received from the Yellow Jackets the ENTIRE year. Another way to look at it is who makes you cringe the most if UGA loses the game? For me, it has got to be the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

Sic’ ‘em Dogs!

Dawg 39

June 15th, 2010
9:25 pm

A few years ago I talked to some parents of some Vandy players. They said that they were actually afraid because of the way the Gator Fans treated them in the Swamp. They also said that the best fans were those of the Dawgs & of USCe. The others fell between those 2 extremes.. I Agree.

Gatorbred

June 15th, 2010
10:24 pm

UGA has a lot of rivalries, but so does UF. The Gators also have the SEC east teams like UGA, UT, and USC (Esp now that Spurrier is there), but UF also has LSU (our permanent west opponent) and some big time games this decade with each team winning two NC’s. UF and Alabama have become a big rivalry as well meeting each other often in Atlanta for SEC supremacy. FSU and Miami (when we play them) are big rivalries as well for UF, even though the Gators have beaten FSU six straight.

UGA owns the overall series record vs UF, but since 1950 (which was well before I started watching the games in the early 70’s, UF has won more games in this series. This is a great rivalry regardless of UF’s dominance over the past two decades.

Hank Williams Jr

June 15th, 2010
11:45 pm

Are you ready for some football? Like ultimate fighting – Let’s get it on!

College Football is the best thing

June 15th, 2010
11:46 pm

The most hated team in America is Alabama. It was Florida and Tebow because that is all we had to hear about. The most annoying fans are LSU’s fans and Tech’s fan.

UGA’s Greatest rival:
1) Florida
2) Auburn
3) Tech
4) Tennessee
5) S. Carolina

Amsterdam Sam

June 16th, 2010
2:33 am

Hey, GUY, think before making a point. You complain about how UGA fans abuse Tech fans because of our domination, then you point to the gator’s dominance of us. So, you are being dominated by another team that is being dominated – what does that make you – double dominated? I do not see your logic. My advice to you is – you best thanks the good lawd you are not in the SEC, where you would be totally dominated totally.

Amsterdam Sam

June 16th, 2010
2:40 am

And you, Gatorbred, are a gator with class. All the vitriol spewed by the mindless creatins grows tiring. I relish a well communicated point of view like the one you posited today. Now, please, ship me a box of fried gator tail – it’s still real cool here in Amsterdam and I need a reminder of home, lol.

SiddyBoy

June 16th, 2010
2:46 am

hey guy:You sound like a girl !!

Greensboro, Georgia

June 16th, 2010
3:18 am

————————————–
……Nesbitt for Heisman……
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