Friday, November 13, 2009

Preview: The South's Oldest Rivalry

It's Auburn's next to last game, which means it is time to take on Georgia in the South's Oldest Rivalry. Take a gander at the program from the 1959 game, 50 years ago, also at Sanford Stadium.

This is honestly the first time I remember neither team being ranked when they meet, and quite a slide from 2004's premier matchup of top 5 teams that Auburn won 24-6. Georgia has had the upper hand lately, winning the last three. Auburn's last victory came in a 31-30 win in 2005 with a last minute field goal. Check out this nice summary for the past twelve meetings between the teams. The home team has dropped 3 of the last 4 games between these two teams, and 8 of the last 12.

Neither team is playing well, with Georgia losing to Tennessee and Florida by considerable margins and Auburn dropping three in a row, including a home loss to Kentucky, before correcting with a win over Ole Miss. This Georgia fan really thinks Auburn is going to put the hurt on, but I'm not sure.

Now for the annual historical analysis that comes with this game: Although not as storied as the Auburn-LSU matchup, this one is much closer. Auburn holds a slight edge over Georgia in the all-time series, 53-51-8, but Georgia holds the all-time scoring edge over Auburn, 1747-1698. This is the seventh-most played series in the country. Most noteworthy that I can remember is this reminder of Robert Baker almost being bitten by UGA V back in 1996, probably one of the most memborable moments in the recent rivalry.

As I alluded to in the podcast, I'm surprised Auburn isn't favored in this game based on current play. I think Auburn has a chance to take this game and get at least 8 wins (with the dreaded Iron Bowl left), and if the offense can play well like they have the last couple of weeks, they just might pull it out. The defense must take control, putting the game in the hands of Joe Cox, who has struggled at times throughout the year. For a prediction, make it Auburn 27, Georgia 23.

War Eagle!

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