Friday, March 27, 2009

Bringing Back Traditions: The Georgia-Clemson Rivalry

Other than Georgia Tech, no other Division I football program is closer to the University of Georgia(in distance) than Clemson. The orange clad Tigers sit a mere 75 miles away, tucked in the hills behind Lake Hartwell. The two teams have squared off 62 times on the football field, with Georgia having a distinct lead, 41-17-4, in the series. While the two teams will square off again during the 2013 and 2014 seasons, it will mark the first time in over ten years the two teams have met. For these two teams who were once considered rivals, this is clearly unacceptable.

South Carolina, Clemson's instate rival, shares a nearly an identical record against Georgia. The all-time series against the Gamecocks stands at 45-14-2. South Carolina, who considers Georgia a rival, has met us on the football 61 times, once less than Clemson. If you consider that Georgia has played South Carolina every year since 1992 since USC joined the SEC, Clemson-Georgia is actually the match up with a much longer history. An annual match up with Clemson would feel much more like a rivalry to me than our battle with Carolina every year.

Another reason I think this rivalry should be reinstated as a yearly affair is the similarity between our two schools. Both teams found great success during the early 1980's, with Georgia taking the Championship in '80 followed by Clemson in '81. Since that time, neither team has made it back to the top however both teams are generally considered contenders for the National Championship. This video from the 1987 game helps paint the picture:

As a student, I was lucky enough to see Georgia beat Clemson twice. The first time was the opener in 2002, a nail-biter that would kick-off Georgia's run to the SEC Championship. Georgia's running game was struggling and David Greene had one of his worst days as a Dawg. But freshman DJ Shockley threw for a touchdown and ran for another, as Georgia overcame a 7 point fourth quarter deficit to win 31-28.

It was Shockley to the rescue in this game.

The following year the Dawgs beat down the Tigers in Death Valley, 30-0, and kicked off another season that ended with a trip to Atlanta.

I think it is cool that Georgia is trying to schedule more opponents from across the country, such as Arizona State and Oklahoma State, but if we are looking for another out of conference team to play on a regular basis, we should look no further than just up I-85.



MikeInValdosta said...


Bernie said...

Amen. My family is from Clempson and are regular IPTAYers. Let's get this thing going more regularly. It makes for a nice Thanksgiving meal when we teach them that hunkerin' down is so much more vital to success on the gridiron than "touching that rock".

Anonymous said...

As a resident of Lake Hartwell, there is no greater tailgate experiance than an early morning float up the Seneca, followed by a serious beatdown of the orange nation, followed by a post game Gin and tonic while enjoying a casual swim behind the stadium. Book it now, don't need to play in Athens.

Bubba said...

"I don't have anything against Clemson, it's just Auburn with a lake."

BFR said...

I punched an orange T-shirt wearing Clemson fan in the face in Athens in 2002 and had a great time beating their asses in Death Valley in 2003. I'm all for re-instituting what is sure to be an exciting rivalry!

Anonymous said...

Bring it back!

I remember that 2002 game. Didn't we win by a field goal. I had to watch that with a bunch of Tennessee fans who's team had just played a crappy game against Wyoming( the game that preceded Ga-Clemson on ESPN). Everytime Georgia messed up or looked like they were going to lose they gave me hell about but then the Dawgs emerged victorious. GO DAWGS!

AUMaverick said...

I agree with Bubba, Clemson is Auburn by the lake. They're damn dirty imposters! Mascot - Tiger, sounds familiar. Auburn is Orange and Blue, Clemson is Auburn and Purple? WTF?? The campus is nearly the same too!
A few distinct difference: Clemson sucks, plays in the ACC, they're fans and women are classless hoes, Cullen Harper is gay, and purple sucks more than any other color.
May UGA kick the ever living snot out of their sorry, un-original asses.

dean said...

While I agree we don't play them often enough I'm not in favor of making it a yearly event. Playing SC, UT, UF, AU and GT yearly is plenty. Every four or five years would be nice. Just enough to keep the hatred flowing.