Being a fan of the Georgia Bulldogs is exciting and nerve racking all at the same time because of the number of rivalries that we have. Just about every other game on the Georgia schedule is a rivalry game. We have 5 games that I consider to be "rivalry" games this year (and in 2013 we will once again met with rival Clemson). I thought it would be interesting to see how these rivalries ranked in terms of competitiveness during the Mark Richt era.
#5 Georgia vs. Georgia Tech "Clean Old-Fashioned Hate"
All-Time Series: Georgia 60-37-5
Mark Richt Record: 8-1
Current Streak: Georgia 1
The first meeting of these two state rivals was in 1893. Tech says the game has been played 104 times, Georgia says only 102 (not counting the games in 1943 and 1944 during World War II when many of the players were at war). With Paul Johnson taking the helm at Georgia Tech this rivarly could be closer over the next few years, although Willie Martinez is not around for Paul to pick on anymore.
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#4 Georgia vs. Florida "The World's Largest Cocktail Party"
All-Time Series: Georgia 46-39-2
Mark Richt Record: 2-7
Current Streak: Florida 2
This game has been held every year since 1915. Since 1933 it has mostly been contested in a "neutral" site in Jacksonville, Florida. As an addition to the rivalry, after the 2009 game the "Okefenokee Oar" is given to the winning team.
#3 Georgia vs. South Carolina
All-Time Series: 45-14-2
Mark Richt Record: 7-2
Current Streak: Georgia 2
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This rivalry has recently turned into a very important game for both teams as it usually gives a good indication on how both teams will fare during the year. Despite it looking like Georgia has been dominant during the Mark Richt era against South Carolina the average margin of victory is only 5 points over the last 3 years and by only 6.5 over the last 6 years. Although the Gamecocks have a big rivalry with Clemson most would say that Georgia is South Carolina's biggest SEC rival due to the proximity of the schools. I gave the nod to Georgia/South Carolina over Georgia/Florida in terms of "competitiveness" due to the scoring margin of the games in both series.
Georgia vs. Auburn "The Deep South's Oldest Rivalry"
All-Time Series: Auburn 53-52-8
Mark Richt Record: 6-3
Current Streak: Georgia 4
The first game in this rivarly was in Piedmont Park in 1892. This rivalry is tied for the 7th most played in all of college football. Auburn leads the series by one game and Georgia leads the scoring margin by 56 points.
#1 Georgia vs. Tennessee
All-Time Series: Tennessee 21-16-2
Mark Richt Record: 5-4
Current Streak: Tennessee 1
While this rivalry is a late bloomer there is just a natural instinct for Georgia fans to hate anything orange. This is a big game for both teams because the states border and the impact it has on recruiting. Georgia is a very fertile recruiting ground and when Tennessee beats Georgia you can bet that the recruits will hear it.