With the SEC’s announcement that they will be playing a 10 game schedule, Georgia will be losing one of the biggest rivalries on their annual schedule: Clean, Old Fashioned Hate. This will be the first time since the 1924 season that the two sides will not face off on the gridiron. Currently, Georgia leads Georgia Tech 68-41-5 and leads 59-33-3 in the 95 previous consecutive meetings.
A Brief History of Clean, Old Fashioned Hate
As much as some Georgia fans might downplay the importance of this game, this is still one that both teams and the majority of their fan bases circle every year. The game has consistently served as the regular season closer for both sides since 1941. Of the 114 meetings, 52 have been decided by less than 10 points. That is roughly 46% of match-ups between the schools. Even when they are not playing at the same level for the whole season, the two teams both show up to try and play spoiler to each other.
The Early Years
This extra level of competition for both teams has led to some truly iconic moments in the history of the rivalry. You can go all the way back to the first meeting in 1893 to see that the roots of the rivalry were there from the start. After the Blacksmiths (Georgia Tech’s former mascot) beat Georgia, the Georgia fans reportedly chased their opponents back to their train. The following day, an Athens-based reporter accused the team from Atlanta of using ringers to win the game.
34 years later, Georgia went to Atlanta for their final game of the season. Up to that point, they were undefeated, including an upset win over the Yale Bulldogs. A win would likely see Georgia crowned as consensus National Champions. The Georgia Tech Golden Tornadoes (one of their other previous mascots) knew that. In front of 38,000 fans, the Dawgs would lose 12-0 to Georgia Tech and have their hopes of a consensus title dashed.
The SEC – 2000
In 1932, both teams became inaugural members of the Southeastern Conference. Tech would stay in the conference until 1964. During that time, they amassed five conference championships and one National Championship. The Dawgs won four SEC Championships and one National Championship over the same time period. In the 55 seasons since leaving the SEC, Tech has won just fourteen games against Georgia.
Since joining the ACC, Georgia Tech has slowly begun to rebuild what was once a storied program. This has led to some of the most iconic moments in this rivalry’s history coming in the past 25 years. In 1999, the highest-scoring edition of Clean, Old Fashioned Hate took place, with the Yellow Jackets picking up a 51-48 win. It was an entertaining, high offense game, but it was not without controversy. Late in the game, Jasper Sanks fumbled the ball near the goal line. This would force overtime, where Tech would ultimately win. However, replays showed that Sanks was down before the ball came out. And thus we had another big moment in the series history.
In 2002, Georgia defeated Tech 51-7 in what is now the Dawgs’ second-biggest win in the series. This momentum would catapult the team to an SEC Championship and Sugar Bowl win. Four years later, Matthew Stafford made his rivalry debut and led Georgia on a late-game drive to come back and defeat Tech. The Yellow Jackets returned the favor in 2008, turning 28-12 into 45-42. Stafford’s final home game for Georgia was a loss to their bitter rivals.
In 2009, Georgia Tech was ranked #7 and had won their division, while Georgia came in at 6-5. But in classic Clean, Old Fashioned Hate style, Georgia played spoiler and picked up a 30-24 win over Georgia Tech. In 2014, #16 Tech scored a 30-24 overtime upset against #9 Georgia. And in 2019, Georgia scored their biggest win in the series with a 52-7 win in Atlanta, highlighted by a fight between George Pickens and Tre Swilling that will likely be added to this conflict’s lore.
This rivalry has such a storied past. Every time these two teams step on the field, we see a new piece of history written. Losing it from the schedule, even for just one season, is a real shame for both sets of players, coaches, and fans.