Why has Georgia had the recent success it’s enjoyed against Auburn? Vince Dooley has an explanation.
“My scheduling,” he said.
Dooley elaborated: Every year from 1953-2001, the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry had immediately followed the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail party. Georgia played Florida and then turned around and immediately played Auburn. It took a toll, which Dooley know from first coaching the Bulldogs and then serving as athletics director.
“I said, If there’s one damn thing I’m going to do I’m going to separate the Florida and Auburn games,” Dooley said. “That was the toughest thing we ever had to do, was to play those two teams back-to-back.”
So over three days in Birmingham, Dooley can’t remember which year, the SEC athletic directors hashed it out so Georgia would get a break in between those arch-rivalry games. That started in 2002, and ever since then the Bulldogs have had the better of the rivalry.
Georgia has defeated Auburn 11 of the past 15 times…
Hey, it’s as good an answer as anything.
I do think there’s a little ironic coincidence, in that both Florida (when Spurrier arrived in 1990) and Georgia sought separation between the Cocktail Party and the Auburn game. The difference being, of course, that Spurrier sought the break to gain advantage against the Dawgs. It took Georgia a while longer to figure out that a little separation the week before Jacksonville was a good thing as well.