Scary Rivals In Your Face

Haven’t felt that sting.

When, historically for me, my Dawgs have had two or three losses on the year, especially in my favorite calendar month (see #rOCkTOBER at http://www.hanvance.com), there has been a whole hell of a lot of chicken clucking, syrupy-stupid Vols saying “nice try, buddy, maybe next year.” Vandy is not a real rival – sorry little ‘dores but we beat you by 45 last year and hadn’t lost on your home field in 22 years. Beat us once again over the next four or five years, and I will rank you as a rival. I rank our rivals every preseason, by the way, and I’m annually forced to put the Florida Gators first.

Look at our historic rivals: we own GEORGIA tech and run this state. Auburn-Georgia was not the first game played in the South, when we first lined ’em up in ATL’s Piedmont Park one winter. Three weeks earlier we’d played a Halloween-scary, non-rival Mercer Bears. Boo!

We went 1-1 on those first two, establishing a precedence of thwarted near-dominance in a close loss to the War DUMB Eagles. Of course, we forgot to bring along our mascot – a Goat – and they mythologically say an Eagle, the first ever War Eagle circled the field and netted them the win. If you believe that, I’d like to sell you a third nickname, Auburn Tigers.

GEORGIA-Aubie is the closest statistical rivalry in all of football, actually in all of sport. Look it up. Bring it on. No two teams mirror like the football programs of these sister schools. But when the SEC went East-West, they followed the Tigers (LSU) and Tide that way. The Georgia-Alabama state border is now West and the Midwest of the United States is Southeast-East. Go USA! Go #SEC

The rivalry was diminished by the conference dividing into divisions, and suddenly non-rival UT was a HUGE border rival, because we played every year in-division.

GEORGIA owns Carolina: North Carolina in recruiting (GURLEY, etc.); South Carolina in football. We beat you by eleven and aren’t within eleven ranking spots in the AP or any other poll. But, we own the tiebreaker this year, and Mizzou may melt. You remember the East tiebreaker don’t you, Cocky? The one you blew two years in a row. Your best two years EVER. You still suck, historically-speaking. But at least you won the East (once) and ACC (once).

Tech is ACC so that’s a who cares every year. They have beaten Mark Richt (once). The Jackets just don’t matter much to big ol’ GEORGIA. Win once and they’d skyrocket to importance. FIRE EVERYBODY!, we’d say. Clemson, our nearest geographic rival, is ACC and we hardly play.

GEORGIA — FLORIDA — JACKSONVILLE

It matters! GO DAWGS!!!

Check out my radio show Fridays at 9a-10a EST worldwide at: http://www.thesportsjoc.com

SPORTS JOC COLLEGE FOOTBALL PRE-VIEW

Here’s last week’s show: