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Clean Old-Fashioned Hate:
Who Runs the Peach State?

By: Alexis Johnson 

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Tensions between the University of Georgia Bulldogs and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets have been high since their first meeting between the goal posts at Herty field in 1893. Though there’s no historical event or moment that officially led to the “clean, old-fashioned hate” label, it's said the phrase was coined by author Bill Cromartie in 1977. Nearly 50 years later, it seems the name has stuck, and it couldn't describe the feelings harbored between Georgia and Tech students any better.


“My view on the rivalry is kind of funny because both of my parents went to Georgia Tech in college,” said Georgia goaltender Ryan Testino. “I grew up being a Tech fan and going to all the football games when I was younger—I was taught to hate UGA and their football team for as long as I remember… Now I’m on the other side of it and everything has kind of flipped.” 


The two institutions may both call the Peach State home, located only 70 miles from one another, but it’s no secret their cultures and student bodies are vastly different. Georgia Tech, formally known as the Georgia Institute of Technology, can be found in the heart of bustling Midtown Atlanta. Its rival Georgia, also called UGA for short, is nestled in suburban Athens—a place many call the best collegetown in the United States. 


Approaches to learning curriculum differ amongst the schools as well. UGA labels itself as a liberal arts research university, offering many classes and majors in the arts, humanities and business; Tech, however, heavily emphasizes pursuits in STEM—science, technology, engineering and mathematics. 


Though the rivalry originally related to the gridiron and the pigskin, it has since spread to the schools’ other varsity and club sports—including ice hockey.


The Georgia Tech club hockey team was established in 1973, making it the second longest operating collegiate club hockey team in the Southeast. The University of Georgia Ice Dawgs were established over a decade later in 1987.


“Playing Georgia Tech is always a big game for our team,” Testino said.  "The pressure is always on and everyone knows what’s at stake. We only get to play Tech a handful of times throughout the year, so we really have to rise to the occasion when the time comes.”


The in-state rivals will face off for the third and final time this season in Savannah, Ga. at the 2024 Savannah Hockey Classic. Their last meeting, Nov. 5, 2023, resulted in a nine point shutout by the Ice Dawgs in Yellow Jacket territory.


Nevertheless, Georgia Tech looks to turn the tables in their favor and will debut a number of new players at the tournament. Georgia will also be introducing a new face to their roster.


In the Savannah Hockey Classic’s inaugural installment 25 years ago, the Yellow Jackets came out victorious. Since then, Georgia has gone on to win nine of the tournament’s titles and Tech has won eight. However, it’s been four years since either team has won the Classic. 


When asked what sets the “clean, old fashioned hate” tradition apart from other rivalries associated with UGA or GT, Testino claimed it all boils down to a battle for statewide clout. Whoever wins the matchup is said to hyperbolically “run” or “own” the state of Georgia.


“Being an in-state rival makes the game that much more competitive; Everyone wants to have bragging rights over the state until the next time we play each other,” said Testino. “The games are always a lot more physical than others, and anyone who wants to watch a fun game will definitely get the chance when we hit the ice.” 


Puck drop for the rivalry rematch is set for 8:30 p.m. (ET) on Jan. 13, 2024 at Savannah’s Enmarket Arena. The Yellow Jackets head into the tournament with a record of 3-7-2, the Ice Dawgs 11-3-1. 


“Savannah is a huge stage and opportunity for us, and to play one of our biggest rivals makes it even more special,” said Testino.

ABOUT College Hockey South: Founded in 2008, College Hockey South is a 29-school, 46 team intercollegiate hockey conference spanning seven southeastern U.S. states that competes in AAU College Hockey. College Hockey South is a 501(c)3 not for profit organization.

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