Indeed, that’s Tech’s little saying. One son/daughter of George P. Burdell asks, “What’s the good word?” Another responds: “To hell with Georgia.” (Which is technically four words, but never mind.)
The enmity, at least in latter days, isn’t quite mutual. Among Georgia’s rivals, Tech lags Florida and Auburn, though the Jackets might have drawn ahead of Pruitt’s Tennessee. We say again: Tech folks stew about Georgia every day of every year; Georgia folks stew about Tech only in those years when they deem the Jackets a clear and present danger.
No, it wasn’t always thus. Tech under Bobby Dodd beat Georgia so often that, after the Bulldogs won 7-0 in 1957 to snap an eight-year losing skid, the touchdown-making Theron Sapp was christened “The Drought-Breaker.” (A huge photo of Sapp’s touchdown graces the Sanford Stadium press box.)
Vince Dooley, whom Techies cannot abide, changed everything. He went 19-6 against the Jackets. Ray Goff didn’t beat many teams, but he was 5-2 against Tech. Mark Richt was 13-2, the losses coming by three points and in overtime. Kirby Smart is about to be 3-1. The only Georgia coach since Dooley to have a losing record versus the Jackets was Jim Donnan (2-3). He was fired because of it.
Conventional wisdom has long held that Tech alums would be satisfied to beat Georgia once every three years. The Jackets have gone 14-41 against the hated mutts since 1963, which means they’ve averaging a win every 3.9 years. (A loss Saturday would make it a flat 4.0.) With Georgia in the ascendancy under Smart and Tech beginning a rebuild under Geoff Collins, it’s tough to imagine when the Jackets’ next win will arrive. Maybe 2022?
Chan Gailey worked six non-losing seasons and went 0-for-Georgia. (He was fired because of it.) Paul Johnson, fryer of fish, did better, winning three times in 11 seasons, which was one win per every 3.6 years. Tech hasn’t beaten Georgia at Bobby Dodd Stadium this century, which sounds wrong until you tick off the games in your head and think, “That’s really true.” (If you ask Georgia fans, who still turn purple at the mention of 1999 and the unseeing Al Ford, Tech hasn’t beaten the Bulldogs in Atlanta since 1989.)
This is supposed to be a rivalry, but many years — most years — it doesn’t feel like one. In a rivalry, you’re supposed to Throw The Record Book Out The Window. The ledger of Clean Old-Fashioned Hate sits undisturbed on its dusty shelf. Bulldogs old-timers who recall the Drought and its Breaker still take nothing for granted, but to everyone else it has become Georgia’s game to lose. It mightn’t lose it again for a while.