John Shearer: The Rivalry Of Georgia And Auburn

Monday, November 12, 2012 - by John Shearer
For those who like interesting sports statistics, how about this: Georgia and Auburn have played each other 116 times in football since 1892, and the series record is now tied.

Following Georgia's 38-0 win at Auburn Saturday night in this game long billed as the Deep South's oldest rivalry, Georgia has now won 54 times, while Auburn has won 54. They also tied eight times before the overtime rule was enforced before the 1996 season.

The Georgia win also marked the first time since 1987 that the series has been tied.
Auburn had actually owned the series lead since 1988, but Georgia has battled back to win six out of the last seven games.

This year also marks the 15th time the series has been tied. Since World War II, the series record was also even in 1964, 1966, 1972, 1974, 1979 and 1985, in addition to 1987.

The two teams first met at Atlanta's Piedmont Park on Feb. 20, 1892 -- before autumn permanently became associated with college football -- and they have played every year since except for 1893, 1897, 1917, 1918 and 1943.

The football game between Virginia and North Carolina has been called the South's oldest rivalry, and, as of the game this coming Thursday in Charlottesville, the Cavaliers and Tar Heels will have actually played each other one more time than Georgia and Auburn have. However, because Georgia and Auburn are in different conference subdivisions and UNC and U.Va. are not, Georgia and Auburn could eventually surpass that game in number of meetings.

The North Carolina-Virginia series record, which also dates to 1892, is 58-54-4 in favor of UNC.

Auburn and Georgia have long had some other close connections with each other, including that a number of coaches played or coached at the other school. Former Georgia coach Vince Dooley, for example, played at Auburn, while former Auburn coach Pat Dye played at Georgia.

The two teams are also known for having a rivalry that is perhaps a little more civil or respectful among fans than Auburn-Alabama, Georgia-Florida, or even Georgia-Georgia Tech.

jcshearer2@comcast.net

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