ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia tight end Arthur Lynch is from Massachusetts, and the redshirt junior has been with the Bulldogs long enough to know that their rivalry with Georgia Tech is a bit different from the rivalry he left behind.
That being Harvard-Yale, of course.
"The bragging rights up there come out with the report cards or during job interviews at Goldman Sachs or State Street or wherever," Lynch said. "No one down here is worried about med school applications right now. We're all worried about who's going to win this game.
"This is all about bragging rights and all about who is the better team, no matter what the records show."
Despite Georgia's 10 victories over Georgia Tech in the last 11 years, the Bulldogs insist this rivalry is as intense and as meaningful as ever. Should Georgia prevail Saturday for an 11th Governor's Cup under coach Mark Richt, the Bulldogs would move on to next week's Southeastern Conference championship game with a chance to play in the BCS title game.
Yet all that can wait according to the Bulldogs, some of whom grew up on Georgia-Georgia Tech and others from out of state who have been taught about the annual November showdown.
"I don't know how you could overlook Georgia Tech," quarterback Aaron Murray said. "When you get out on the field, there is going to be a lot of trash-talking. This game means so much to this team, to the university and everyone in Georgia. I woke up pumped on Monday."
Murray is a redshirt junior from Tampa, Fla., who enrolled in January 2009, several weeks after the decidedly favored but defensively challenged Bulldogs lost 45-42 to Georgia Tech. Senior receiver Tavarres King redshirted in '08 and has since warned younger players about the nausea that accompanies a loss to the Yellow Jackets.
"I told [freshman tailback] Todd Gurley that if you remember how bad you felt after losing to South Carolina this year, you'll feel 10 times worse losing to these guys," King said.
Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo was a 1994 quarterback signee for the Bulldogs out of Thomasville, Ga., and never lost to the in-state foe. He said that upon his arrival, coach Ray Goff made it clear that Georgia Tech was the No. 1 nemesis, ahead of Florida and Auburn and everyone else.
That way of thinking still appears to be intact, especially to those from the Peach State.
When asked if he would pull for Florida or Auburn over Tech, sophomore linebacker and Atlanta-area resident Amarlo Herrera said, "Yes. Any day."
Yet there may be no better proof for Georgia's desire to beat Georgia Tech than the start of the actual games. The Bulldogs have never trailed the Yellow Jackets after the first quarter in any of the past 11 meetings, instead leading by a combined 82-13.
"I think the guys understand how important this game is, and they want to win it," Richt said. "They want to win all of them, but I think this game takes on a little bit more special meaning for them."
And you don't need a Harvard or Yale diploma to know that.
"It's Tech, and you can't like them if you go to UGA," Lynch said. "If we lose to them, it's going to be living hell for the next 365 days."
David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...