Georgia Tech Football: Perceptions in the State of Georgia

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

An examination of Georgia Tech's "little brother" relationship with its rivals in Athens.

I was born in the state of Georgia. I grew up in metro Atlanta; thirty miles southeast of Bobby Dodd Stadium to be exact. My father breathed and bled Georgia Tech. He graduated from the Institute in '75 with a degree in Biology. So it was only natural that yours truly grew up in his shadow. He took me to games every season when I was a kid. I actually got to see a game during the 1990 national championship season when Clemson came to town on my birthday. That was an incredible game. I think the whole city of Atlanta was wearing old gold and white that year...with a shade of navy. Although Tech had an amazing run that year, it dumbfounded me that there was still so many Georgia flags and stickers on cars, houses, and Georgia clothing in department stores. What was the deal? Was there some kind of conspiracy theory against Georgia Tech? Did Herschel Walker promise every UGA fan in the state a signed jersey? What gives?

I asked my father this question a long time ago: Why are there more Georgia fans than Georgia Tech fans in the state of Georgia? He couldn't really give me a good answer. One answer he gave me was that Georgia is a bigger school with more academic variety which produces more alumni. OK. Another answer he gave me was Georgia is located in Athens and is a more rural area and college students don't want to have to deal with hustle and bustle of a big city like Atlanta where Georgia Tech resides. Huh? I said, "Really Dad? Come on, there has to be something else." Finally he looked me straight in the eye and said " Son, Tech simply just doesn't beat Georgia enough." Now that was hard to swallow.

I thought about that answer long and hard as I grew up. As the years passed and the losses mounted up, my father's answer was making more sense. Since 1964, Georgia Tech is 12-38 against UGA. Georgia leads the series 64-39. If that doesn't make you mad as a tech fan, then you just don't understand this rivalry. That is why you see more UGA flags on cars. That is why you see more UGA shirts on people in this state.

You see, when you go to other states that have rival schools like Alabama or South Carolina, you see an equal amount of hate. If you travel to Alabama, you can see Roll Tide tags and you will also run into War Eagle tags. When you travel to South Carolina, you will see a lot of purple and orange as well as scarlet and white. That's because that's an actual rivalry. Those teams exchange blows every year; in Georgia, not so much. The university of Georgia is the only school people care about. Georgia fans don't even consider Tech a rival any more, and can you blame them? So how do you change this perception? Beat Georgia!

I'm not saying Tech has to win 5-6 in a row. I'm saying that if Tech wants to make this a rivalry, they have to start beating UGA on a consistent basis. If Tech wants to stop being the door mat in this state and stop seeing UGA players holding up their cute poster's that read "WE RUN THIS STATE", then they need to start beating Georgia. Will they ever beat UGA consistently? That remains to be seen, maybe one day. I might be old and gray before they even catch up in the series record. The way college football is going these days, I just don't know if Tech can keep up with big time college football. The one shining light for Georgia Tech is that it's in the ACC. The conference is getting better. Florida State won the National Title last year and with the addition of Notre Dame and Louisville, the conference has nowhere to go but up. Tech has had great football players in the past and I believe they have them today and I know they will down the road.

So what do you say? Will Tech ever get to a position to be on a level playing field with the mutts? If so, what do they need to do to get there? Or should we just pull out of this rivalry for good?

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