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.

Got a question for the Junkyard Blawg? Send it to junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

Join us and “like” the Junkyard Blawg on Facebook.

And you can follow the Blawg on Twitter.

847 comments Add your comment

St Simons - we're on Island time

November 11th, 2011
1:47 pm

just make sure there’s a lot of cops in the stands and around the field

and play dat soulja boy over the sound system

2011 SEC....Where will ur team be?

November 11th, 2011
1:48 pm

Be nice to see someone knock over Chizhead this weekend

chazzo

November 11th, 2011
1:49 pm

The best revenge would be a well-disciplined no non-sense arse whippin’.

ole yeller

November 11th, 2011
1:50 pm

@george
I am reading your blog. I am totaly unimpressed. You need to go to another blog to support the thugs from the plains. Nothing you or Auburn can do will undo what happened last year. It is what it is like it not. . You can’t cover it up. You can try to change the smell. But, it is what its is “ROTTEN”

2011 SEC....Where will ur team be?

November 11th, 2011
1:52 pm

Another one bites the dust

2011 SEC....Where will ur team be?

November 11th, 2011
1:55 pm

Where’s BBBBB, BBBBBB, BBBBBB, BBB Bo ? Bo was short for Bob. It would have taken him an hour to spit that one out

St Simons - we're on Island time

November 11th, 2011
1:56 pm

$cam cheetahs, you HAD to know this day was coming…

2011 SEC....Where will ur team be?

November 11th, 2011
1:59 pm

don’t cry too much on your way back to bamalama Aub Cheat-ahs. Save some tears to water those trees at the drug store.

ryan

November 11th, 2011
2:00 pm

@2010 bcs champs….ur right, it DID take an auburn grad for us to win our last championship, but how can you forget it took a Georgia boy to win ur last one

JB

November 11th, 2011
2:00 pm

Chisik, The “Russian” coach at Auburn , has that look………….What look say………..A car salesman on any south side. A booger eater. A wife cheater. A win at any cost look. A liar. Con artist. A don’t trust that guy look. Back stabber………………..Yea, THAT LOOK

george

November 11th, 2011
2:00 pm

same to ya ole yeller. revisit the facts of before,during, and after the game and you will see it was just another example of uga being the most classless program from top to bottom of not only the sec but the country.

2011 SEC....Where will ur team be?

November 11th, 2011
2:02 pm

How are the drug policies at your school George?

AuburnGuy

November 11th, 2011
2:04 pm

Dawg Dawg Dawg 11:16 – I agree with you, and thank you for a reasonable post, unlike most I am seeing here. Bill, you really went for the lowest common denominator on this one and that is very disappointing. I thought you were better than that and I still do but this time you failed all of us by trying to incite the riot. I am attending the game tomorrow, although not without some concern. I will be there with my Auburn colors on, as you might expect. I have always had great respect for Georgia and it’s fans and have always had a great time with Georgia fans in Athens for the past twenty years but this year I’m not so sure and I am going to the game tomorrow with the intention to be ready for anything. I am quite physically capable of handling a situation if things get out of hand and I will not hesitate to do so if attacked. Of course I hope that NOTHING of the sort takes place and that we can all enjoy a great game but the things that you have written along with some other things that I have read from others is forcing me to approach tomorrow with a different attitude. If there are fights and someone gets hurt you need to know that incendiary words such as the ones you have written will have played a part and must be at least partially responsible for what could take place. There is no place for such talk as yours and others. The situation at Penn State this week should make all of us take a step back and reassess. It’s just a game. You and your ilk are perpetuating the madness and if someone gets hurt tomorrow it should at least partially be on your heads for aggravating the circumstances. There is just no excuse for that and deep down you know it. Let’s have a good game tomorrow and NOTHING else. War Eagle.

Hollywould

November 11th, 2011
2:05 pm

JB, we are on the fifth page and it took u all day to come up with that gem. Loser, I guess your next one will come around 7 this evening. War Eagle!!!

Joey

November 11th, 2011
2:06 pm

Former Head CoachTerry Bowden said that Auburn, on NCAA Probation at the time he became coach, was still paying recruits $10,000 to $15,000 to sign letter-of-intent.

Auburn University – headed to the top – of the Probation Race.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

November 11th, 2011
2:06 pm

2011 SEC….Where will ur team be?…………………probably the same place about 118 other teams will be…………..Not really giving a S..T where your team is.

Alabamadawg

November 11th, 2011
2:06 pm

Oh the stories I could tell you folks about being at Georgia-Auburn games. I want the dawgs to run the score up as high as possible…and call time outs !!

george

November 11th, 2011
2:06 pm

2011 where will you be- That may be the most comical thing I have ever heard. Trying to make more excuses for the thugs that wear the UGA uniform huh? Trust me this will not be the last time the biggest thug of them all is in trouble. By this time next year crowell he prob wont even be on the team.

ole yeller

November 11th, 2011
2:08 pm

@george
Give it a break, it’s never going to happen, your blog being ok on this blog. You know i’m right, i’v been right, and it bugging the hell out of you because can’t change it. It is what is is.”ROTTEN”

Consider this...

November 11th, 2011
2:09 pm

So I think we have determined Hollywould is a Tech fan…and probably a very upset and angry one after that game last night.

And, no, I never played college football. Oh, poor, pitiful me, coming on these blogs and making comments regarding the team I actually support. Since I didn’t play college football, I guess I can’t have an opinion. And I definitely can’t stand the pressure, of course. Nevermind that I have a wife and two kids to support, a job with aggressive deadlines, and the ability to embrace the regular stresses life throws at me. Oh, poor, poor me.

I am thoroughly convinced that Hollywould played college football somewhere awesome because he seems like such a stud, and, of course, he can stand the pressure so well.

Realiy check

November 11th, 2011
2:09 pm

Now that Cam is gone, its obvious last year was a fluke for Auburn. The forgotten little brother in the state for Bama and silly cousin who gets beat up by Georgia, 5 out of last 6 for Dawgs.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

November 11th, 2011
2:09 pm

@JB…….Richt is smarter than ex-Penn St Defensive Coach. Richt does his “Mission Work” out of the US where the lil boys don’t speak English.

anotherdawg

November 11th, 2011
2:10 pm

JB

November 11th, 2011
2:11 pm

Auburn guy…………….I agree 100%……………But open your mind a minute. What happen last year was wrong. No, not you guys winning….The actions and encouragement from some on the Auburn Staff enjoying the suspect late hits and dirty play from Auburn. The tape don’t lie, and if you didn’t see it, you don’t want to…… I just hope it’s a clean game and the Dawgs win………….And not go where some AU players went last year.

Nick

November 11th, 2011
2:11 pm

So surprised it took this long for the HOF to induct jake Scott. Well deserved if not well overdue.

Hollywould

November 11th, 2011
2:12 pm

Consider, if you weren’t blogging so much those aggressive deadlines would not be a problem. Get back to work

george

November 11th, 2011
2:13 pm

bugging the hell out of me?????? HA HA HA HA now that is funny. I just want you to look at the facts PLEASE I know it is hard and get back to me how you could consider auburn rotten. I am sure i know what bugs you though. your football team not being relevant in 30 plus years.

Me

November 11th, 2011
2:13 pm

@Realiy check — Last year was a “fluke” for Auburn?? They still have the Crystal hardware. The Dawgs are capable of winning this game but I’m not seeing an easy win by either team.

george

November 11th, 2011
2:14 pm

reality check- congrats now you have the dumbest post of the day. We lost a hell of a lot more than cam last year. Give it a rest. And as for your little brother comment again you need to go look at the facts. It is really that difficult?

Old Dog

November 11th, 2011
2:15 pm

UGA Alumnus -
“Cam and Auburn were cleared by the NCAA. ”

That is right, and OJ Simpson was found not guilty of killing his wife, and Casey Anthony was found not guilty of killing her daughter. And we all know that the killer of JonBenet Ramsey is still out there free (and it certainly could not have been her parents).

I could hope that our biggest, meanest defense player try deliberately to target Auburn quarterback’s knees, but I will instead just hope we win.

JB

November 11th, 2011
2:16 pm

Hollywould……………your Boy Johnson looked like a genius last night coaching

Old Dog

November 11th, 2011
2:18 pm

Did someone say that Auburn has changed their masccot from one large cat to another – the Cheetah? I like that!

Bill is one ugly SOB

November 11th, 2011
2:18 pm

Bill you are just mad cause that ‘rent-a-quarterback bonked your wife

Consider this...

November 11th, 2011
2:19 pm

Koolaid Bar, that is both disgusting and uncalled for. You should be ashamed dude.

JB

November 11th, 2011
2:19 pm

AU class showing……..check post @2;18

Virginia DAWG

November 11th, 2011
2:20 pm

I want the DAWGS to simply win this game, with no extracurricular activity, and then focus on KY and GT. If we win out and play respectfully in the SECC this will go miles for recruiting and momentum leading into next year. With another good class in 2012 we could be something special next season.

Snake Doc

November 11th, 2011
2:20 pm

You know its a bad year in college football when:

1. JoePa is fired amid a sex scandal.
2. Georgia is ranked 14 in the country and has not beaten a ranked opponent or a team with a winning record.

I’m not sure which is more shocking.

JoePa is a crazy old man who only cared about the number of games he won.

UGA, well they have talent but no coaches.

JoePa has coaching smarts but no commonsense. UGA coaches have commonsense but no coaching smarts.

Bad year indeed

Ahilq

November 11th, 2011
2:21 pm

This has to be the dumbest article I’ve ever seen.

red hill

November 11th, 2011
2:21 pm

Lock your doors in Athens. No telling how many attempted burglaries will take place with the Barners in town.

Consider this...

November 11th, 2011
2:22 pm

Hollywould, who said the agressive deadlines were a problem? I can multitask dude. I was just making the point that I can handle pressure just fine. It doesn’t take all of my brain cells to focus on a blog.

Realiy check

November 11th, 2011
2:22 pm

George- In the national mainstream press Auburn is always second fiddle to Bama. OK instead of little brother, maybe more like little sister.

Old Dog

November 11th, 2011
2:24 pm

No matter what I think of Auburn (or Fairley), I will say that Cam Newton was the best player last year and deserved the Heisman based on his football talents. If we had recruited him, we probably would have sat him on the bench all season out of loyalty to our “regular” QB. Sounds like what our coaches would do.

Ahilq

November 11th, 2011
2:27 pm

Trivia question for the dawg fans out there: Who committed the first personal foul of the game on the first play of the game last year?

Whaaaaa!

November 11th, 2011
2:27 pm

Bama and UGA compete every year for the National Championship of Whining.

AuburnGuy

November 11th, 2011
2:28 pm

JB 2:11 – I did see the game and both sides were guilty of it. Stomping on the logo before the game and having half your team try to come off the bench to start a brawl wasn’t so innocent either. What I’m trying to say is that most UGA people on this post today are trying to slant that UGA was completely innocent during last year’s game and that is just not true. Thank you for what you wrote though. It was very reasonable and rational and I appreciate it. Let’s have a good game and some fun tomorrow and nothing else.

Huck

November 11th, 2011
2:29 pm

Nova Roar….That is a lie….The water cannons were fired into the stands and onto the fans there. I know. I was one of them.

Scooter

November 11th, 2011
2:29 pm

While we’re talking about Auburn…I have wondered something. In Georgia everyone knows Auburn as the school where you send your kids if they aren’t smart enough to get into UGA….is it the same in Alabama in that instate kids go to the Plains if they can’t get into Bama?

Ahhh…good old auburn…where dumb kids throughout the south go to party…err…get an education. I will say one thing about Auburn…lots of hot girls there with daddy’s credit card…too bad they are dumb as rocks though…

Ahilq

November 11th, 2011
2:29 pm

Quick, dawg fans, since we like living in the past, google “dirtiest player in the NFL” and see what name pops up…

Still@theKool-aidBAR

November 11th, 2011
2:30 pm

you really read some of the stuff your fans posted on our blog last night. I just though I would throw one in the middle of your blog.
Listening to One SEC teams fans calling another SEC teams classless it as funny and both calling the others team Dirty. It depends on the game or year which team is dirtier or fans a less classy.
The SEC is nothing But DIRTY teams for the most part.

JB

November 11th, 2011
2:30 pm

Joe Pa, Saban being owned by Miles after crowned best ever, Johnson winning percentage at Tech .663 after almost four years, thus title of best football coach in America in jeopardy. It has been a strange year.