The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry is between Auburn and Georgia. It began Feb. 20, 1892 at Piedmont Park in Atlanta and has been played virtually every year since. Although Georgia did compete against Mercer a few weeks prior to their match-up with Auburn, the Auburn-Georgia game that year is largely considered the first real college football game to have been competed in the Deep South.

World War was the only thing strong enough to keep Auburn and Georgia from playing football. The two teams did not play in 1943 because Auburn did not field a team due to World War II, and the two teams did not play in 1917 and 1918 because of WWI. With those two exceptions, Auburn and Georgia have played continuously since 1898.

The Auburn-Georgia series is older than, and has been competed more times than either the Georgia-Georgia Tech series or the Auburn-Alabama series. Nationwide, the series is tied with Oregon-Oregon State and Baylor-TCU as the seventh-most played series in the nation. It is the lone Southern series and one of just 11 in the nation to have reached the century mark in games played. Just in case you were wondering who had the longest running rivalries, Minnesota-Wisconsin has played 6 more times than Auburn-Georgia; Missouri-Kansas has played 5 more; Nebraska-Kansas and Texas-Texas A&M have each played 3 more times; and Miami(OH)-Cincinnati and North Carolina-Virginia both have played once more.

And whether wanted or not, the Auburn-Georgia series has taken hospitality to a new level. Auburn owns a winning record in Athens (17-8) while Georgia has a winning mark on the Plains (11-8-2). The Tigers have won nine of their last ten games at Sanford Stadium. Even legendary Georgia coach Vince Dooley (1964-88) had better success against the Tigers in Auburn (7-5-1) than he did in Athens (4-8).

Through 106 meetings, Auburn leads the series in victories by a mere 51-47-8. The total points margin in the series is even closer with Auburn holding the scant edge of 1,584 to Georgia’s 1,581.

With this impressive record, it is no wonder that Auburn-Georgia is one of the most cherished rivalries in the South. However, differing from many other football rivalries, Auburn-Georgia is largely considered a friendly rivalry. Many friendships between coaches, athletic directors, and University presidents have helped keep the series active. Many coaches and players have also attended or worked for the other school, deepening the ties that bind the two schools together. Indeed, two of the schools’ most emblematic coaches, Pat Dye at Auburn and Vince Dooley at Georgia, both attended the other University as a student.

Furthering the bond of respect, of Auburn’s major rivals whose games were once played at neutral sites, Georgia is the only school to come to Auburn without argument. In fact, both Auburn and Georgia used a home-and-home AU-UGA series as the base for major stadium additions. Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia Tech all indicated they would drop Auburn rather than play at what was then known as Cliff Hare Stadium.

The 1996 Auburn-Georgia game, the 100th in the series, became a battle for the history books. Remembered well by Auburn and Georgia fans alike, the game was the first SEC game ever to go into overtime. Georgia won 56-49 in four OT’s and until recently, the game remained the longest in NCAA history.