Dissatisfaction with the two schools may have begun shortly after the Civil War when it was decided that a new technology school should be established. UGA president Patrick Mell then tried to convince law enforcement that a new school should be located at the Georgian state center in Athens. in addition to his efforts, the Georgia Institute of Technology was established near the city limits of Atlanta in 1885.
It did not take long for the first enmity to begin a few years later in 1891 more, of all things, the colors of the school. The school magazine UGA has announced that the school colors are gold, black and black. The Georgia football coach felt that gold was very close to yellow, which he felt was a limited cowardice. That same year, however, the Tech student body voted white and gold as official school colors. In their first football match against Auburn, Tech would use gold in their football uniforms, with some feeling slapped in the face by Georgia. Two years later, after Tech defeated Georgia in their first football match, the gold was permanently removed from the Georgia school color.
That first bad match took place in Athens on November 4, 1893 with Georgia Tech, then known as the Blacks, winning by 28 – 6 points. But it was they who beat those four touchdowns that sparked the controversy. Leonard Wood was a 33-year-old U.S. Army nurse who was officially registered as a Georgia Tech student just days before the game. However, as a full-time student, he had the right to play. This fact has angered Georgian fans from time to time and after the game throwing rubbish stones at all Tech players. The next day an article in the Atlanta Journal, of an Athenian sports writer, joked that Tech’s football team was nothing more than a group of Atlanta residents with a few students thrown into it.
An argument was born.
Over the next several years, the Georgia Tech football system would do even worse. As a result, they decided to hire a new coach at another competitive school, Clemson. In 1904, John Heisman was paid $ 2,250 and 30% of his salary to become a Georgia Tech football coach. (NOTE: After retiring from football coaching in 1927, he joined the Downtown Athletic Club in Manhattan in 1935. After his death in 1936, the club trophy of the highly regarded footballer was renamed the Heisman Trophy). Heisman soon changed the Tech football system to 8-1-1 in his first year. In 1908, Georgia alumni were investigating Tech’s recruitment plans, by the SIAA (Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association). The allegations were baseless and the SIAA later issued a ruling in favor of Tech. In his 16 seasons at Georgia Tech, Heisman led the Golden Tornado (as Tech was known) in three unbeaten seasons, including 32 game-winning and Georgia’s 23 – 6 crucial wins. Heisman also led Tech to the highest-profile football match ever played in a 222 – 0 victory over Cumberland State in 1916 (the worst was not Georgia!).
In 1917, with the advent of WWI, the UGA disbanded its football program because many of its students could be drafted into the army. Since Atlanta was a military training center at the time, Tech retained its male students and continued its football program throughout the war. When UGA revived its football system in 1919, they proudly announced “UGA in Argonne” and “TECH in Atlanta” on the float of the show. As a result, Tech severed all sports relations with UGA, including canceling several Georgia-based games at Atlanta’s Grant Field (UGA’s most widely used Grant Field as their home ground). It was not until 1925, accordingly, when the regular season competition would resume.
In 1932, Georgia and Georgia Tech would become the first 13 members of the SEC, of which UGA is a member. Tech, however, will leave the SEC in 1964 after coach Bobby Dodd started a dispute with Alabama’s Bear Bryant (the result of a cheap Alabama player’s shotgun that ended a Tech player’s job, and Bryant’s refusal to discipline a runner). There were also concerns about the allocation of scholarships, questionable recruitment strategies and the treatment of student athletes that led to Tech’s departure from the SEC. However, Dodd understood the importance of the contention and would lead the Yellow Jackets to eight consecutive wins (1946 – 1954) and beat Georgia 176 – 39 in those games. This remains the longest route for any party in the conflict.
Several years later, Tech will try to re-enter the SEC but their application was rejected, mainly due to a dispute with Georgia. With no league to compete in, Tech could have won the Metro Conference, with all its combined games apart from football. Like Notre Dame, Tech will compete as an independent for the next 15 years, until it finally joined the ACC in 1979, a conference that continues to this day.
Dissatisfied with their lack of love on the football field, both institutions also matched their anti-civil rights songs. Ramblin Wreck’s Tech song consists of the lines “To Hell with Georgia”, and “Up With the White and Gold” line immediately followed by the lyrics “Down with the Red and Black” and later “Drop the Battle Ax on Georgia’s Head”. Georgia’s war song, “Glory Glory”, which has remained unchanged since its first release in 1909, officially ends in G-E-O-R-G-I-A. The students’ body, however, turned the closing songs into “and hell with Georgia Tech!”
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