Georgia-Auburn: No longer a ‘friendly’ rivalry?

John Jenkins and the Georgia defense need to keep Auburn's running game in check. (University of Georgia)

John Jenkins and the Georgia defense need to keep Auburn's running game in check. (University of Georgia)

Vince Dooley, an Auburn grad who made UGA his home, likes to refer to the Georgia-Auburn rivalry as “feuding cousins,” but there’s always been a sizable contingent in the Bulldog Nation that thinks more like freshman running back Isaiah Crowell, who said this week, “I never liked Auburn. Point blank, I never liked them.”

After last year’s contentious game — what with Nick Fairley’s unpunished dirty play, Gene Chizik stirring it up on the sideline during the fracas at the end of the game and assistant coach Trooper Taylor and rent-a-quarterback Cam Newton strutting around like playground bullies — a lot of UGA fans no longer view it as a “friendly” rivalry.

Has Georgia-Auburn gotten uglier? Is it still feuding cousins or pure hate now? I put that question to fans following the Junkyard Blawg’s Facebook page and Twitter feed this week.

Darrell Huckaby said the rivalry “changed forever last year because of the dirty play of Nick Fairley and the thuggish sideline demeanor of Trooper Taylor. No longer a friendly rivalry between conference cousins.”

Dawn Garland dates the change further back than last year. “I can’t forget when Reggie Brown was knocked unconscious in a deliberate helmet to helmet collision in Auburn in 2004. There was no penalty flag thrown and that set the tone for the 2 teams for the last several years.”

Cory Organ rates it “pure hate” now and Jesse Murrah agrees, while Chip Kash says, “Most of us are just tired of Auburn being treated by the NCAA as if they are teflon coated.”

Kevin McCann worries that, “after the dirty plays last year, this one could get ugly.”

Let’s hope not. The only really “chippy” game so far for Georgia was Vandy, and the Dogs didn’t handle that well. Better to take the business-like approach that worked this year in Jacksonville than to get too amped up over how things went last year.

The Georgia fans who have the closest view of the rivalry are those who live over the border and must put up with the Barners and Bammers on a daily basis. One of them is my longtime friend John Sosebee, who lives in Anniston with his wife Lisa, who is of the War Eagle persuasion. Or Turkey Buzzard, as John puts it. I asked him what folks over there were saying about this week’s game.

Auburn fans, John reported, “are still busy cackling about the LSU win and Bama’s drop to #4 and how their faithfuls have been momentarily silenced for the first time this season.” But, he said, some Tiger fans have admitted to him that “Auburn’s fickle defense and lack of a leader at QB is gonna make them a much different opponent than they were last year with Cambo leading them on the field, blowing kisses at everybody.”

As for John, he’s “getting psyched up for this Saturday’s feast of Turkey Buzzard stew.”

When asked this week what I expect out of this game, I’ve said I think the double-digit spread favoring the Dogs is kind of ridiculous for a conference game between two ranked teams, but if Georgia doesn’t cough it up or commit a bunch of special teams gaffes, I think they should be able to handle Auburn.

Under Gus Malzahn, the highest-paid assistant in college athletics, the uptempo Auburn offense is always dangerous, and it will be important for the Dogs’ defense to contain power back Michael Dyer up the middle and speedster Onterio McCalebb on the outside in the running game, while keeping tight coverage on wide receiver Emory Blake and big tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen (who killed us last year). Sophomore Clint Moseley only has a couple of games under his belt as the starter at quarterback, so it behooves Jarvis Jones and company to get in his face constantly from the start.

A good day for Aaron Murray probably means a win for Georgia. (Associated Press)

A good day for Aaron Murray probably means a win for Georgia. (Associated Press)

Offensively, the Dogs should be able to move the ball on an Auburn defense that ranks near the bottom of the conference in most categories. Getting Crowell and Malcolm Mitchell back is big, but I think how Georgia fares will come down to how Aaron Murray plays. If it’s a tight game, he should be the difference.

What’s your view of this year’s installment in the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry?

BULLDOG BITES

Coach Dooley will be meeting fans, posing for pictures and autographing copies of his books from 3 to 4:30 Friday at the Red Zone, 155 E. Clayton St. in Athens. … Jake Scott, one of the most exciting Bulldogs players ever, will be honored on the field during Saturday’s game for his upcoming induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. Scott becomes the 12th Georgia player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. … Athens’ Hotel Indigo is holding a 1980s era “Bulldog Legends” event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. before the game and for two hours right after the game Saturday in connection with the “1980 Dawgs” DVD set. Scott Woerner, who was at the Red Zone last week, will be on hand and organizers say some other 1980 players also might show up. There’s no admission charge and a cash bar will be open in the lobby area of the hotel. In addition, an exhibit of Georgia football photos by Wingate Downs is being held in the Indigo’s art gallery and runs through late December. … McFarlane Toys has announced its fourth series of college football action figures is due out in late June, and UGA’s Champ Bailey is in the lineup, along with Ricky Williams of Texas, Sam Bradford of Oklahoma, Tim Tebow of Florida, Cam Newton of Auburn, Marcus Allen of USC and Peyton Manning of Tennessee. McFarlane released a cool Hines Ward figure a couple of years ago.

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847 comments Add your comment

007

November 11th, 2011
7:42 pm

I HATE auburn.

who? Us?

November 11th, 2011
7:42 pm

it is just too easy riling up Ga fans….big mouths, thin skin.

Vince

November 11th, 2011
7:43 pm

who? us?

You’re making yourself look silly dude. Do a little research.

US News ranking of the best US colleges: UGA is 62nd. Auburn is 82nd.
Average SAT score for freshman at UGA is 1230, at Auburn it’s 1200.

who? Us?

November 11th, 2011
7:44 pm

wow Ga fans reduced to tech fans, we’re smarter than you, oh how the mighty dogs have fallen

who? Us?

November 11th, 2011
7:46 pm

of course at least when tech fans say that to ga fans, they are just stating the facts.

Vince

November 11th, 2011
7:47 pm

……oh no…..he even lacks logic!

Still@theKool-aidBAR

November 11th, 2011
7:51 pm

The Journal-Constitution studied 54 public universities, “including the members of the six major Bowl Championship Series conferences and other schools whose teams finished the 2007-08 season ranked among the football or men’s basketball top 25.”

We all suspect that big-time student athletes sometimes aren’t the best and the brightest academically.

Some highlights:

Football players average 220 points lower on the SAT than their classmates. Men’s basketball was 227 points lower.
University of Florida won the prize for biggest gap between football players and the student body, with players scoring 346 points lower than their peers.
Georgia Tech had the nation’s best average SAT score for football players, 1028 of a possible 1600, and best average high school GPA, 3.39 of a possible 4.0. But because its student body is apparently very smart, Tech’s football players still scored 315 SAT points lower than their classmates.
UCLA, which has won more NCAA championships in all sports than any other school, had the biggest gap between the average SAT scores of athletes in all sports and its overall student body, at 247 points.
Some “universal truths,” according to the Journal-Constitution:

All 53 schools for which football SAT scores were available had at least an 88-point gap between team members’ average score and the average for the student body.

Schools with the highest admissions standards, such as Georgia Tech, the University of Virginia, the University of California-Berkeley, UCLA, and the University of North Carolina, had the biggest gaps between the SAT averages for athletes and the overall student body.

Football players performed 115 points worse on the SAT than male athletes in other sports.

The differences between athletes’ and non-athletes’ SAT scores were less than half as big for women (73 points) as for men (170).

Many schools routinely used a special admissions process to admit athletes who did not meet the normal entrance requirements. More than half of scholarship athletes at the University of Georgia, the University of Wisconsin, Clemson University, UCLA, Rutgers University, Texas A&M University and Louisiana State University were special admits. . . At Georgia, for instance, 73.5 percent of athletes were special admits compared with 6.6 percent of the student body as a whole.

Vince

November 11th, 2011
7:54 pm

@ Still /kool aid

…and yet UGA has one of the higher graduation rates for athletes….even higher than Tech’s. Great opportunity for kids over in Athens.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

November 11th, 2011
8:00 pm

Vince it is because at UGA the players take classes that my 10th grade niece can pass right now. i know she could be taking sophomore level class the UGA football and basketball players take.
At Tech the professors still try to run students off. At UGA they bend over backwards to keep the Caleb King’s playing for as long as they can. A Tech Diploma is difficult to obtain. UGA diplomas are as easy to get as a GED.

JD

November 11th, 2011
8:10 pm

I really hope last year’s game, at the barn, is fresh on the minds of ALL UGA’s players! *U’s thugs (aka Fairley, T. Bell, etc.) were coached to do what they did. The defensive coordinator, obviously, encouraged dirty hits on QB’s… after all, Fairley injured the QB’s from Clemson, Arkansas, LSU (both of them), and UGA. He continued with those dirty hits, from the start to the finish of the season, (until the ref at the Iron Bowl penalized him and let him know that kind of crap would not be tolerated in Tuscaloosa, as it ALWAYS was tolerated in *uburn). He was never reprimanded or benched by his coaches for the dirty hit to Murray’s spine or the dirty hit to Murray’s knee (even though numerous complaints were submitted to the SEC and to Chizik and the President of *uburn asking that he be punished. Nor was T’sharvin (sp?) Bell reprimanded for throwing McElroy on his head in the Iron Bowl & giving him a concussion (a totally UNNECESSARY hit because he already had McElroy sacked). So, it is very obvious to me that these kinds of “targeting to injure & remove opposing QB’s from the game” hits were both taught & encouraged by the *uburn coaches. Therefore, I think UGA’s players should hit *uburn’s players as hard as they can on EVERY play. I don’t care if there is 56 seconds left in the game, and Georgia is up 45-3…they need to have NO mercy on those thugs. It doesn’t matter if 24 Tigers graduated…it is still the same THUG coaching staff that allowed this behavior last year. It is still *uburn…a team with the same mindset as last year…they just aren’t as good, and they don’t have Cammy, their hired mule. They need to be humiliated, and sent home with their tails between their legs! GO DAWGS, ROLL TIDE, & GEAUX TIGERS! *uburn sucks and they always will.

who? Us?

November 11th, 2011
8:12 pm

awwww….somebody really hurt JD’s feelings

Vince

November 11th, 2011
8:13 pm

I think you know that is incorrect.

As an educator myself, I do not see a problem with taking underprivileged youth, giving them a chance and then giving them the tutoring they need to succeed.

(STILL) 2-10 against ranked teams

November 11th, 2011
8:13 pm

I wonder if I will be able to change my name to …..”Now We’re a Whopping 3-10 Against Ranked Teams”…..after tomorrow’s game. I’m not holding my breath…

Dawgs 2011

November 11th, 2011
8:15 pm

Auburn’s sorry defense will once again be exposed by Mitchell, Murray, Charles and Crowell. All Auburn has is their running game, which will be limited against a huge bulldog defensive line. If Auburn has to throw the ball a lot, they have no chance. Boykin will totally shut down Emory Blake and Dyer will be limited, just like he was against Florida. Go Dawgs and destroy Auburn!

who? Us?

November 11th, 2011
8:15 pm

sorry going to have to change to (NOW) 2-11 against ranked teams

(STILL) 2-10 against ranked teams

November 11th, 2011
8:16 pm

…..so what?….football players are by and large….stupid

….and this is news???

Still@theKool-aidBAR

November 11th, 2011
8:16 pm

That might not be a bad idea. Look at the Stupid degrees the underprivileged kids are taking. I would love them to get a GOOD education in a degree that might have some VALUE. If you are a parent having to pay for that DEGREE would you want you kid taking those worthless degrees or really learning something?

Vince

November 11th, 2011
8:17 pm

@JD

I disagree. Georgia should just play their game. Intentionally trying to injure players, booing injured players and defending those actions would make us sink to their level. We’re better than that. Win or lose we can at least be decent sportsmen about it.

Dawgs 2011

November 11th, 2011
8:17 pm

Who us, JD obviously knows what he’s talking about and all Georgia fans know just how sorry Auburn’s defense truly is. 23 points to Ole Miss? Pathetic.

(STILL) 2-10 against ranked teams

November 11th, 2011
8:17 pm

@who?us?……if we are 2-11….fine by me.

One step closer to sending CMR out the door….works for me

Dawgs 2011

November 11th, 2011
8:19 pm

Clint Moseley sucks, and he will be even worse when Jarvis Jones is in his face all day.

who? Us?

November 11th, 2011
8:19 pm

of course it would really mean something if we did it for all the kids not just the ones who line the pockets of all these schools with, MONEY, MONEY, MONEY MONEY

Old Dog

November 11th, 2011
8:19 pm

“Once again another crime has taken place on North Ave”

Maybe.

Dawgs 2011

November 11th, 2011
8:21 pm

Tech sucks, ask David Wilson and Logan Thomas. I always hear about how our players are “thugs”, but Attachou didn’t make a good name for himself last night, did he? Florida sucks as well, -19 yards rushing haha.

Vince

November 11th, 2011
8:22 pm

Attachou reminded me of Reggie Ball last night

who? Us?

November 11th, 2011
8:23 pm

Ark gave up 24 and Aub gave up 23 yet they both did something the pathetic Ga bulldogs could not do…..BEAT South Carolina

Old Dog

November 11th, 2011
8:24 pm

“Once again another crime has taken place on North Ave”

If they catch the alleged assailant, how will they prove it, since the victim has not spoken to police and did not allow herself to be examined? I understand victim’s rights, but what does she expect? You have to have EVIDENCE to make a case!

Randy

November 11th, 2011
8:28 pm

Bunch of chop blockin wussies.Can’t believe THUGA fans have the nerve to talk about anybody else.Go smoke some weed with your thug idols.

who? Us?

November 11th, 2011
8:29 pm

Well? What you got to say about that? The only stat that counts is the numbers on the score board when the clock reads 00 at the end of the game. Ark and Aub had the only stats that counted in the game.

Bdawg

November 11th, 2011
8:29 pm

Hope all you Auburn fans and nay sayers are on here after the game tomorrow. It’s gonna be great rubbing it in your faces. Here’s a stat for all you people…Richt 6-4 against Auburn….soon to be 7-4….yeah, he’s an awful coach. lol

Dawgs 2011

November 11th, 2011
8:31 pm

Georgia only chop blocked, because Fairley was getting away with dirty hits against Murray! How about the 2 morons who threw punches for Auburn. Fairley could have paralyzed Murray with the shot to the back, would you have approved of that, Auburn fans? He was an extremely dirty player, but he’s gone now and your defense is a joke. Even Ole Miss made you look bad.

who? Us?

November 11th, 2011
8:31 pm

After the SC game on the GA blogs it was woulda, coulda, shoulda, but in reality it was DIDN’T

Dawgs 2011

November 11th, 2011
8:31 pm

Arkansas put up 38 on Auburn hahaha.

Dawgs 2011

November 11th, 2011
8:33 pm

We had beaten AU the last 4 before last year, and you don’t have your stupid fans behind you this year. Go Dawgs! Georgia 34 Auburn 17.

who? Us?

November 11th, 2011
8:33 pm

SC put up 45 on GA regardless of how they did it.

who? Us?

November 11th, 2011
8:34 pm

Boise spotted you a TD and then put up 35 I believe

Roll Tide

November 11th, 2011
8:34 pm

Dawgs 2011, you’re giving Auburn’s defense too much credit.
Georgia 38 Auburn 10.
Alabama 45 Auburn 7

Auburn sucks, life isn’t so good without Cam and Fat Fairley!

Roll Tide

November 11th, 2011
8:35 pm

Boise is a really good team who us, they would beat your team, no question.

Lakedawg

November 11th, 2011
8:36 pm

2-10 soon to be 3-10 and one step closer to 5 year extension for CMR. 105-36 best winning percentagw of any SEC coach and in top 9 of all coaches in country.

who? Us?

November 11th, 2011
8:36 pm

Choke tide is more like it up 24-0 and still lost

Tech sucks

November 11th, 2011
8:36 pm

Tech sucks and so does Auburn. The two little brothers of their states. The Barners will get theirs tomorrow, WDE for worst defense ever.

RJ Voorhees

November 11th, 2011
8:36 pm

Uga is on the rise an

Roll Tide

November 11th, 2011
8:37 pm

We lost to a great QB and our defense imploded, but we had a lot of youth and Cam isn’t there this year to bail you out. Get ready for a beatdown, Auburn is back to being irrelevant!

who? Us?

November 11th, 2011
8:38 pm

well this little brother put an ass whooping on both the big brothers last year on the way to the NC

Vince

November 11th, 2011
8:39 pm

@ who? us?

The point of this article and blog was to remind of us the behavior of Auburn’ coaches,players and fans last year. I take it you think it was perfectly okay for Fairley to spear Murray in the back by lowering his helmet, that it was okay for him to intentionally grind his helmet into Murray’s chin to cut it, that it was just fine to direct his helmet into Murray’s knee to cause an injury that made Murray leave the game and that it was okay to fight, go to mid field, pose and high five a coach and that it was okay for Auburn fans to boo an injured Georgia player…..

Right?

Roll Tide

November 11th, 2011
8:39 pm

Calzone better call a lot of trick plays, because AU’s pathetic offensive line can’t block Goergia’s d-line. Go Dawgs, do the rest of the SEC a favor. Where’s Cam and Fairley when you need them?

wins-by-a-link

November 11th, 2011
8:39 pm

I remember the fire hoses well, Auburn turned the hoses on the fans in the stands, I know I was there, No one was tearing up the turf, That is a ball face lie. But that is what Auburn does lie and cheat, Everyone knows that Auburn paid the Neuton family money to get Cam to sign with Auburn.

Roll Tide

November 11th, 2011
8:40 pm

Little brother will be back on the losing end again, good luck scoring on our D, not even LSU could get a TD on us. If you think Arkansas was good, you may not want to watch the Iron Bowl this year.

who? Us?

November 11th, 2011
8:42 pm

well we will just have to beat you 6-3

Roll Tide

November 11th, 2011
8:42 pm

Who us, it’s gonna be a long time before AU is relevant again, Calzone will leave you and Chizik’s defense will continue to implode. Might want to recruit some better corners!