Rivalry win would ease disappointment

Published 7:21 pm Wednesday, November 12, 2008

One of the Southeastern Conference’s most storied rivalries is being renewed this weekend—but the hype won’t match the game’s history.

Disappointing seasons turned in so far by both Auburn and Georgia has relegated the 2008 edition of the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry to a usually undesired 11:30 a.m. kickoff Saturday on Raycom Sports, which gets the third selection of SEC games each week.

Threats most seasons for their respective division titles, the Tigers (5-5, 2-4 SEC) and Bulldogs (8-2, 5-2) have been eliminated from conference contention because Florida and Alabama have clinched the Eastern and Western divisions, respectively.

But even without any respect from the TV networks and without title implications, the rivalry is still important to those involved.

“It’s a great rivalry; it’s one we’re looking forward to playing,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said during Wednesday’s telecon-

ference for SEC coaches. “We know we’ve got a heckuva game ahead of us Saturday.”

How great of a rivalry has it been? Well, the 111 meetings through last year’s 45-20 Georgia win is tied for seventh most of any series in the nation. Auburn holds a 53-50-8 edge in the series, though Georgia has outscored Auburn 1,730 to 1,685.