A great rivalry is contingent on many factors. In my opinion, the primary factor when considering an intense rivalry is proximity. Teams that compete in the same state fight over fan base, government and state contributions, recruitment, and most importantly pride in being "the best in the state". College rivalries reflect this best. Duke and UNC, otherwise known as The Battle of Tobacco Road, have campuses that reside only 8 miles apart. Another example is the I-88 rivalry between SUNY Albany and Binghamton, due to each campus sitting on opposite ends of Interstate 88.
The Alabama Crimson Tide and the Auburn Tigers have been traveling back and forth from Birmingham to Tuscaloosa for over 118 years now! From USC vs. Stanford to Miami vs. Florida State, programs that play in the same vicinity truly fuel the fire.
Proximity, however, is not the only ingredient in the mix of a burning hatred between bitter programs. History, pride, tradition, and passion of the sport bring out the love for your team while simultaneously bringing the intense hatred to another.
The University of Georgia Bulldogs vs. The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, otherwise known as "Clean, Old Fashioned Hate" is an accomplished rivalry in its purest form.
Back in 1891, the University of Georgia literary magazine said "old gold, black and crimson" would be the school colors. Old gold as a team color was later dropped because it did not settle well with Dr.Charles Herty (the University of Georgia's first football coach) who said old gold symbolized "cowardness".
In 1893 Georgia Tech and Georgia faced off on the gridiron for the first time. It is well known that Georgia fans heckled, harassed and even threw rocks at the Georgia Tech players from the stands during the game. According to school lore immediately following Georgia Techs 28-6 victory, Georgia Tech wrote their fight song "Ramblin' Wreck From Georgia Tech". Georgia Techs battle cry has stuck ever since, with its most famous lyric being "To Hell With Georgia!". Following the Georgia Tech victory, old gold was declared their official team color as a malicious slap in the face to Georgia.
Georgia and Georgia Tech were charter members of the Southeastern Conference upon its formation in 1932. However, in 1964, the Yellow Jackets left the SEC due to scholarship allocation concerns. GT tried to rejoin the SEC prior to joining the Atlantic Coast Conference. What school ensured they were not allowed to return. That’s right, the Bulldogs!
War-time intervention has also been a major impact on this classic rivalry. From 1917-1918 many players left to join the war effort. During World War I, Georgia called out the Georgia Tech players for not fighting for our country in a very public way-in a parade.
In 1919, during the First World War, Georgia fans pulled a large float through downtown Atlanta. The Georgia float was a red tank that read "UGA in Argonne" followed by a yellow clad donkey float that read "Tech in Atlanta". The public humiliation of Georgia Tech was so intense that Georgia Tech took a six year hiatus from the rivalry. Both teams can't even decide how many times they have played each other. During World War II, Georgia Tech won both games they played against Georgia, but Georgia claims the victories do not count since most of their players were serving active duty overseas.
Whenever the Georgia Bulldogs win a regular season game, traditionally freshmen are required to ring the Chapel Bell on campus. Georgia Tech has a similar tradition in which the freshmen blow a whistle on campus whenever a game is won. Whenever the "Clean, Old Fashioned Hate" game is played, the winning team rings the bell or blows the whistle not once but all night and into the early morning. Georgia Tech freshman wear R.A.T.S. (Recently Admitted Tech Students) caps with "the good word" under the brim reading To Hell With Georgia!
"Clean, Old Fashioned Hate" really goes beyond your average insults, pranks and name calling. The unofficial song of Georgia Tech is "To Hell With Georgia!" and is written to the tune of "The Battle of the Hymn Republic" in which GT calls the UGA the "cesspool of the South". During the annual Georgia Tech and Georgia game, in the Dawgs battle cry "Glory, Glory" G-E-O-R-G-I-A is replaced with To Hell With Georgia Tech! at the end.
Georgia Tech questions Georgia’s intelligence by referring to them only as University (sic) of Georgia. No, that is not a misprint, they are actually called the University (sic) of Georgia. Georgia lashes back by calling Georgia Tech the "North Avenue Trade School", often referring to Tech players collectively as "The Nerd Herd", "Dorks" or "Gnats".
Most fans of their particular institution during the season and specifically before the annual "Clean Old, Fashioned Hate" game refuse to partake in anything that might resemble their hated rival. You will never see a student from the University of Georgia wearing anything old gold just as you wouldn't see a Tech student using a red pen or wearing anything red. Often Georgia students will go as far as not using mustard as a condiment, while Georgia Tech students will refuse to use ketchup.
The Ramblin Wreck , a 1930 Ford Model A sports coupe, along with Buzz are the Georgia Tech mascots which have been stolen on at least two known occasions. The University of Georgia's mascot is named Uga, a lineage of English Bulldogs that never been stolen. However, a statue of Uga in front of Memorial Hall has been previously stolen. There is even a rumor that in the Georgia Tech visiting locker room during the Georgia game a replica of Uga is placed in the urinals forcing Georgia players to urinate on their own mascot!
In fairness to Georgia and Georgia Tech, both programs are prestigious and important to the history of college football. Both teams have a winning record all-time, with a combined six National Championships, seventy-seven All-Americans, a handful of Hall-Of-Fame coaches and players, two Heisman trophy winners and hundreds of athletes that have gone on to play in the NFL.
Despite both programs success over the year, objectively this is not a particularly close matchup. Since 1893, Georgia has dominated the rivalry with a record of 62-39-5. Despite the historic dominance, the hostility and hatred for both schools has never let up. The next Georgia Tech and Georgia "Clean, Old Fashioned Hate" game is scheduled for November 24, 2012.
Picture - allinallsports.com