OVERALL RECORD: Auburn, 53-52-8
LAST 10 GAMES: Georgia, 6-4
STREAK: Georgia, 4
If you were going to choose a game for the Deep South's Oldest Rivarly -- the longest feud in the SEC -- you would want a few things. You would want a game between two of the leagues' oldest, marquee names. In the post-expansion era, you would want a fight between a team from the SEC East and one from the SEC West. And you would want a pretty even matchup.
In the actual Deep South's Oldest Rivalry, you would find all three. The teams even clash when it comes to color schemes -- Georgia choosing shades of the red and black colors that are favored by several SEC teams and Auburn taking the orange and blue that are at least partially found on several other team's uniforms. (What is wrong with LSU and Vanderbilt is anyone's guess.)
This year's game has high stakes not just for both team's quest to upend their respective division's juggernaut, but for historical purposes as well. After four straight wins by Georgia, the Dawgs are almost back to even, threatening a lead Auburn has held in the series since 1987. The lead in this series has switched seven times since it was first played in 1892.
Not that there haven't been a few lengthy (decade or longer) streaks. Georgia won 11 of 12 from 1920-31 -- giving the Dawgs their first-ever lead in the series -- then went 10-1-1 from 1940-52. Auburn's best run was winning 11 of 13 from 1953-65.
Both coaches would also like a win in this one. While there's no clock ticking on him yet, Gene Chizik would just as soon claim a victory over one of Auburn's rivals this year. And whether you believe that he's on the hot seat or not, one of the things that has helped Mark Richt's status in Athens is his success against Auburn (6-3), which ranks ... well, it depends on which Georgia fan you ask, but the Mayor himself would easily choose Auburn. (He hates Auburn.)
Even the black jerseys worked!
It is unquestionably no larger than the second-biggest rivalry for Auburn (I hope no one reading this blog has to be told what the first one is), but it is still an important one. And it's the biggest one in which the Tigers have a lead. At least for now.