Georgia football will face the hated Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets for the 115th time this Saturday. The rivalry is so deep that it has been nicknamed “Clean Old-Fashioned Hate.” The first game between the two took place in 1893. Georgia Tech won the game 28-6; however, the rivalry only intensified after and during that one game. First, there were accusations that Tech had players who were not even attending the college. This was kind of true; Leonard Wood, the player in question, was 33 years old.
Furthermore, Wood enrolled in Tech on November 2nd, two days before the game in Athens, and also left Tech that same month. Sounds like a ringer to me. Also, the game’s umpire had a brother on the Tech team.
This led to Athenians poking their canes at Tech players when they came near the boundary and throwing rocks at the Tech players. It got so bad during the game that one of the Georgia players drew a knife on the Tech team. From that moment on, there was bad blood between the two schools.
Georgia went on to win the next 5 out of the six games between the school. A 0-0 tie in 1902 was the only reason Georgia did not win 6 in a row. There is also a thing about the bushel of Apples and Clemson in 1903, but we won’t discuss that. Just know it brought John Heisman (Yeah, that Heisman) to coach Georgia Tech.
The rivalry took a bitter turn in 1919, and it all revolved around a parade for a baseball game. The parade had two floats; one was a tank that had the word Argonne painted on it. For non-history buffs, that was a battle in WWI.
The next float was a car in Tech colors and someone dressed in Tech clothing. The car’s sides had a sign: Georgia in France, Tech in Atlanta. This upset the Tech fans, students, alumni, and the entire university. They decided not to play Georgia in any sports for five years, and it was another four years after the football rivalry resumed.
For those who do not know, Tech was a training ground for the US military in WWI. Their enrollment soared during war times. Georgia had almost everyone in the war at one point and did not field a football team during those years. However, Georgia Tech played football and even claimed a national championship in 1917. The sign basically called Tech cowards for not fighting in the war.
However, Tech answered back in 1927. Georgia, in 1927, was nicknamed the Dream and Wonder team. The Dawgs were undefeated, and if they handled Tech, they would become National Champions.
That Georgia team was known especially for its speed on the field. It just so happened that Tech’s field was a complete mess, and many Georgia people claim that Tech made the field so wet and messy that it would give Tech an advantage. Tech won 12-0.
The game had been played in Atlanta every year since 1900. Georgia was so upset by Tech’s actions in 1927 that it built Sanford Stadium. So, thank you, Georgia Tech?
Georgia Tech left the SEC in 1964 because of a dispute with Alabama over the number of players on scholarship. Whatever the details of the situation, Georgia Tech’s program was never the same after that. Since 1964, Georgia has beaten Tech 43-14 times.
The Dawgs have completely dominated the rivalry. Dooley went 19-6 against Tech, Richt went 13-2 against Tech, and Smart record is 5 and 1. Tech has only beaten Georgia four times this century: 2000, 2008, 2014, and 2016.
Georgia’s overall record in this rivalry is 70-39-5. Georgia’s largest margin of victory against Tech was 52-7 in 2019. Tech’s largest margin of victory was 48-0 in 1943; that game is disputed by Georgia, who says they did not field a team. Georgia didn’t, so I believe them.
Georgia’s longest winning streak is 7, which occurred from 1991-1997. Tech’s longest streak of 8 lasted from 1949-1956. One day, Georgia will break Tech’s record. All the Dawgs and Kirby Smart need to do is win four more games against Tech to break that record.
The game has been played four times on Thanksgiving day: 1971, 1975, 1993, 1995. But more famously, the Freshman game was played on Thanksgiving from 1933 to 1993.
The NCAA ruled that freshman were eligible to play their first year, and the game then became the J.V. game. In 1993, the game was done away with because of scholarships and the sizes of teams getting bigger. Oh, also, the NCAA ruined it, but that is a different blog.
Because of the domination by the Dawgs, the rivalry has lost importance to younger Georgia fans and alumni. For folks like my grandfather, it was the only game that mattered. He hated when Georgia lost to Tech; it ruined Christmas for him and, thus, for me.
That is the only reason I really hate Tech; they ruin Christmas. However, they rank third on my personal rival list. It goes Florida, Auburn, Tech, and Tennessee for those interested.
But let us remember how annoying Tech is when they do beat us. It is a miserable existence. So remember that when Georgia is crushing Tech again on Saturday. I like Tech, and I like them to lose!