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

LET THE BIG DAWG EAT!

June 16th, 2010
6:41 am

SAY WHAT YOU WANT. I HAVE BEEN A LIFELONG DAWG FAN SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE 1960′S AND I’LL TELL YOU RIGHT NOW – NOTHING TASTES WORSE THAN HAVING TO FACE THE FACT THAT TECH BEAT US TO END THE SEASON. THINK ABOUT THIS, WHAT IF THE 3-17 RECORD WAS AGAINST TECH INSTEAD OF FLORIDA? NO WAY ANY REAL DAWG FAN COULD LIVE WITH THAT!

BuLLdawg

June 16th, 2010
6:55 am

Well if recent domination counts out a Rivalry as a Rivalry :

1-3 vs Florida the last 4 years

1-3 vs vols the last 4 years

guy

June 16th, 2010
8:25 am

amsterdam: i dont think my point was too obtuse. i was just pointing out the inconsistency of most dawg fan’s views of two rivalries. you claim that the GT rivalry doesnt count for much because of its recent one sidedness, and then crow about how florida is your biggest rival even though that rivalry has been even more one sided. when presented with this fact, most people claim that these things move in cycles and the dawgs will be back on top soon enough, while ignoring that same logic applied to tech.

i wasnt complaining about uga fans abuse. i just said as a tech fan/grad, im used to it at this point in my life. it makes it that much sweeter when we do manage to pull our heads out of our arses and beat you guys, the same way you guys probably feel on the rare occasions when you beat florida. as a gator fan/alum as well i get to see this from both sides. (and last time i checked the gators were indeed in the SEC, and do not get totally dominated, totally very often. or at least not at home against kentucky/vandy etc.

Pago Pago Dawg

June 16th, 2010
8:34 am

I think we’re looking at a 2011 pre-season # 1 ranking.

guy

June 16th, 2010
8:39 am

next year is totally the year…

Alan

June 16th, 2010
9:42 am

I think a bgger question is who thinks UGA is its BIGGEST rival. I would asy only Tech. However, I think it can be argued that Auburn, UT, and LSU fans might consider the Bama game their biggest.

Shankit

June 16th, 2010
10:11 am

Hey Gaterbred, strange you did not list Auburn as one
of your West Division rivals. Wonder why? They beat
your ‘arses last two times you played them And what
about your in state rival, Miami, why did ya’ll drop this
great rivalry?

DawgGirl32

June 16th, 2010
10:14 am

Rivals in order of most gratifying to beat:

1. Florida
2. Tennessee
3. Tech
4. South Carolina
5. Auburn

guy

June 16th, 2010
10:21 am

theres a difference between losing a game and getting your arse beat. an arse beating is 31-0 at the half. (for other examples, check out the uf/uga game the past two years). losing by a field goal to auburn hardly qualifies as an arse beating. i suppose the gators could consider auburn a recent rival due to the two close losses in our last series with them, but overall theyre not much of a historical rival.

and i seem to remember beating miami 26-3 the last time we played them (2008). though to be fair that game was closer than the score would make it seem, with a couple of 4th quarter scores for UF.

raleigh

June 16th, 2010
10:42 am

since i livein jacksonville, theres nothin better than shutting the lizards mouths

FromtheBARstool

June 16th, 2010
10:48 am

Dawg the Exterminator

June 16th, 2010
11:20 am

I believe UGA’s greatest rival depends on where your are physically located at and which state line and rival university is closest. In SW GA we have to put up with the Gator trash talk way too much. The dawgs need to restore the laws of nature and get that series back in balance!

PowerDawg

June 16th, 2010
12:52 pm

Hey RMP -

Yeah, the last twenty years have not been pretty for us. The twenty before that was a different story though, wasn’t it?

It’s time to start a new 20-year reign this year. I predict we will be 1-0 when the dust settles.

Meyer will never get too far away from the spread. This might just be his achilles heel.

He has a pro-style, drop-back passer behind center this year. Yet, he will line up in the shotgun and try to run some modified combo of the two formations. (by putting little Jeffrey in the Percy position)

You have to fish or cut bait. Can’t do both at the same time and be successful.

Tebow is gone and the ability to run CUM’s system went with him. It ain’t gonna be very pretty for ya’ll this year especially since you have to rebuild the majority of your defense as well.

Your “juggernaut” is headed for rough seas ahead.

dawgfan

June 16th, 2010
1:12 pm

My level of hatred of different SEC teams varies from year to year, but my hatred of Tech never wanes. It has very little to do with who beats who. I just don’t like those pinheads. I think they’re arrogant, hypocritical, and whiny sore losers. They are all mouth until the actual games get started. Then you look to the empty seats in that dump of a stadium and wonder where all the big mouths are. Then they wonder why the media pays no attention to them. And they simply cannot handle losing with any class. Its nothing but excuses and rationalizations after a loss. Georgia Tech has never lost a game to hear a Tech fan tell it. A win was taken from them. They are so entitled.

The hiring of Paul Johnson is one of the best things to ever happen to this rivalry. He is just like them. “What has Georgia ever done?” So says the smug a-hole right after Georgia beat the best team his arrogant fat arse has ever coached. Classic Techie Foot In The Mouth disease. He’s a perfect fit on the Flats.

Yep, I just don’t respect Tech fans or their athletic programs. Some people say they like to see Tech win when the aren’t playing Georgia. I am not one of those people. I hope the lose every damn game they play, from football all the way down to the club soccer team. They and their fans deserve no better.

Thanks.

guy

June 16th, 2010
2:08 pm

power dawg: meyer won a national title in 2006 with a drop back passer who couldnt run for squat, so i wouldnt be so confident in your predictions of the crashing and burning of the florida program. i dont expect us to make a title run this year, but i dont see us losing games by 30+ points either.

and check this out:

my level of hatred of different SEC teams varies from year to year, but my hatred of [uga] never wanes. It has very little to do with who beats who. I just don’t like those pinheads. I think they’re arrogant, hypocritical, and whiny sore losers. They are all mouth until the actual games get started. Then you look to the empty seats in that [stadium in jax] and wonder where all the big mouths are. Then they wonder why the media pays no attention to them. And they simply cannot handle losing with any class. Its nothing but excuses and rationalizations after a loss. [Georgia] has never lost a game to hear a [uga] fan tell it. A win was taken from them. They are so entitled.

kind of funny how this keeps working perfectly isnt it?

How2fish

June 16th, 2010
2:16 pm

guy sorry but as long as your a Bug fan NOTHING will EVER work out perfectly or otherwise…

guy

June 16th, 2010
2:33 pm

not that i base my life worht/happiness off of what a bunch of 20 somethings are doing on a field, but i have no problems being a gt fan. we may not be in the national title talk often, but its entertaining football, and i dont have to get caught up with every year being ‘the year’, inevitably followed by dissapointment like the uga folk. plus, as i said, it makes it all the sweeter when we do knock uga off their high horses. if i want to watch my team win all the time, i just watch florida games, so i have the best of both worlds.

How2fish

June 16th, 2010
2:42 pm

guy really not disappointed at the end of the year ?? Really I’m glad you had the Gators to fall back on last year after the double mudhole aZZ stomping your Bugs got from UGA and Iowa last year…I mean your ACC champs for like first time in honestly how long was it??..and end the season with a beatdown against UGA and a REAL buttkicking by Iowa..and you weren’t disappointed? WOW!

BIG DOG

June 16th, 2010
2:54 pm

Those damn gators. We gone kick they ass this year!!!!

guy

June 16th, 2010
2:56 pm

cant say i was pleased, but thats the way it goes sometimes. and i dont know about ‘double mudhole azzstomping’. despite letting you guys run all over us, we were in that game right up until bebe dropped that pass. you could tell me you weren’t worried during that drive, and i’d know you were lying. that kid made circus catches all season long and dropped a gimmie for a first down that cost us a chance to take the lead way late in the 4th. such is life sometimes.

the iowa game wasn’t pretty at all, but to play that badly and still only lose by 10 is better in my mind then losing by 30+ in jax, or against tennessee. or being down 31-0 at the half vs bama. at least we were competitive in both of those losses last year with a chance of winning.

ill take a competitive loss any day of the week over a total blowout against big rivals.

NYC Dawg

June 16th, 2010
3:15 pm

Order:
1) Auburn
2) Tech
3) Florida
4) Tennessee
5) South Carolina

The reason why UGA has the most rivalries is definitely because of the location. Atlanta is a hotbed for alumni from schools all over the SE, and UGA fans definitely have the most pride and talk the most trash. Personally, this list can change every year pending who I talk to the most.

Dawg Trainer

June 16th, 2010
3:41 pm

Vols hold the overall lead 21-16-2. We aim to stay that way.

17 of 20

June 16th, 2010
3:50 pm

How many of you dogs were born before 1950? The gators have owned the dogs 34-25 form 1950. If you go back any more you are in grandpa’s time.

How2fish

June 16th, 2010
4:02 pm

guy I understand your thinking..we differ in one regard..I’d rather beat my most hated rival by either 50 points or by less than a touchdown at the buzzer…they both are very hard to swallow..and yes I admit we let it get to close last year..can’t wait to see how it goes this year.

guy

June 16th, 2010
4:13 pm

well obviously youd rather win the game. im just saying if youre going to lose id rather go down at the last minute than have the stadium empty by halftime because youre getting stomped.

Chickasaw

June 16th, 2010
5:53 pm

A number of commenters have included in their rivalry rankings an assessment of fan character. I grew up in and around Athens, worked in restaurants and partied there, and got to see visiting fans from many schools outside the hallowed grounds of Sanford. Regarding game day behavior, I’d say worst behaved visiting fans based on personal experience are: Clemson (really nasty sometimes, don’t respect our town, and no tips), Auburn (often obnoxious in the day, tho much better in recent years), UT (tho not at all bad in their own stadium)–all Orange! Best behaved: SC (loyal but generally polite) and the SEC Miss schools (really classy). Bama fans tend to be smug and don’t tip well, but at least aren’t nasty. Tech fans? Sorry, they always seemed kinda goofy to me and really don’t know how to win or lose with grace. Possibly best opposing fans I’ve ever seen are Wisconsin’s–helluva band, too. Outside of game day, tho–and I’ve lived in other states–I find most fellow SEC fans to be just fine, tho UF fans would come in last.

Honest Lee

June 16th, 2010
7:03 pm

The reason UGA has all the heated rivalries is not because of the high quality of the football. It’s due to the low quality of your fans. I’ve been to games in every SEC stadium plus Georgia Tech and Clemson and the truth is abundantly clear: EVERYBODY hates dawg fans.

TidePrideGA

June 17th, 2010
8:09 am

I have lived in Athens for most of my life. Born and raised though none of us went to UGA. I went to Bama, brother went to Ole Miss, sister went to a small school in Demorest. Athens is a great town to grow up in. I get a lot of good natured ribbing for being a Bama fan, not so much anymore since we won the SEC and National championships, and the 41-30 win a couple years ago. I’ve seen the good and the bad with all of the fanbases. We all have our share of idiots. Some Georgia fans can be goofy and unrealistic, but most of them just love their team. I gotta say that most of the Gator fans I met at the SEC championship were nothing but classy. Can’t wait for college football to get here.

Gatormeat

June 17th, 2010
8:16 am

As I have told you dogs before, you are not a rival, you are scrimmage. When it comes to the SEC, the Mighty Gators are king, you are simple pawns

How2fish

June 17th, 2010
8:38 am

Gatormeat really I remember a lot of Gator angst after we danced all over you in 07 wasn’t any mention of a scrimmage then..nice to have such a short term memory..have a great season make sure CUM takes his meds and we will see you in Jax.

guy

June 17th, 2010
10:22 am

and once again….

[uga fan] really I remember a lot of [dog] angst after we danced all over you in [08] wasn’t any mention of a scrimmage then..nice to have such a short term memory..have a great season make sure [CMR] takes his meds and we will see you in [athens]

joe robby

June 17th, 2010
11:05 am

UGA coaches are and always will be judged ultimately by their record vs. 3 teams: Florida, Auburn, and Georgia Tech. It’s been that way for almost a century and that’s not ever going to change. It’s a tradition thing. Now who your biggest rival is may depend on where you live in the state, but it’s always these 3 first and everything else is secondary.

Before GT dropped out of the conference, GT was of the most importance because it affected everything….recruiting, conference, pride, etc. But I can understand how more people are now affected by the UF game because its in conference and a divisional game. Auburn will always be an important piece to our puzzle because Auburn has traditionally been the game where SEC fortunes are ultimately won or lost. Plus, there’s a great argument that its the most important game to win because of recruiting.

South Carolina and Clemson have a history with us. Those are great games and I love those too. I wish we could play Clemson 4 times a decade. Tennessee is more new. It didn’t have to be that way but after a hillbilly pulled a rifle on the UGA team in Knoxville in the 1920’s, and threatened the officials too, Dr. Sanford said we would no longer play in that city, and we didn’t again until 1968. See Loran Smith’s story, “The Day Tennessee stopped Georgia with a .22.”

Gatormeat

June 17th, 2010
12:04 pm

Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then How2fish. You guys may average one or two wins a decade against us. Congrats?

Luke M

June 17th, 2010
2:15 pm

hate to keep infusing my LSU bias, but LSU has Alabama (this one’s all about the coaches: first we had Bear v. Cholly Mac in the 70s, now Saban v. Miles), Auburn (SECW hinged on this match up many times), Florida, Ole Miss, and Arkansas. All 5 legitimately hate LSU and vice-versa. The only problem is none of those teams view LSU as their primary rival. We are secondary rivals to many schools, and in the case of Florida, like 2-3. But the fact remains that they hate LSU and we hate them.

In short, LSU has just as many, if not more, rivalries as Georgia, though not quite as fervent it’d seem.

Watts

June 17th, 2010
10:02 pm

guy, you remind me of every Florida fan I’ve ever met. For some reason noone of the Gator persuasion is even willing to acknowledge the fact that Florida played football prior to Spurrier arriving or that there was a Georgia-Florida game previous to that event. And your argument of only counting the games in the intervening years because its been “during your lifetime” is baseless as well, as if the Gators had been dominant since 1960 instead of 1990 we all know you would be quoting those numbers instead.

Mike T.

June 18th, 2010
6:46 pm

Amen, Amen, Amen to the following post.
Mike T. from Tville

Dawg the Exterminator

I believe UGA’s greatest rival depends on where your are physically located at and which state line and rival university is closest. In SW GA we have to put up with the Gator trash talk way too much. The dawgs need to restore the laws of nature and get that series back in balance!

Mike T.

June 18th, 2010
6:49 pm

Gatormeat

47-39-2 Georgia leads the series dude.
So your little scrimmage game didn’t turn out too well forty seven times now did it.

guy

June 19th, 2010
5:10 pm

watts: name me 3 players from the dominant.glory uga days back in the 30’s/40’s without googling it, and ill buy you a beer this year in jax. gators have the edge for the past 50 years, even though uga has the overall series. my point was that for as long as i, and any student at either school, has been alive, the dogs have been gator bait. youre free to hang your hat on a string of victories in the 30’s if that floats your boat, but ill keep celebrating national titles and steamrolling the pups on the regular in the modern era.