It's an old joke that I'm sure you've heard by now: Auburn is really in west Georgia, rather than Alabama. Auburn's history in terms of teams the Tigers have played most often seems to bear this out.
Auburn and Georgia have squared off 118 times in their storied histories. 1943 is the only blemish in what has otherwise been a continuous series of yearly contests dating back to 1892.
The closest team to UGA's 118 games for Auburn is Georgia Tech. The Tigers and Yellow Jackets have faced each other 92 times on the gridiron. Auburn leads the series 47-41-4. Auburn and Georgia Tech have did not play every season in the early years as the Tigers and Bulldogs did, but from 1902 onward, they played every season except that same 1943 season where Auburn and UGA did not play due to neither school fielding a team during the heart of World War II.
It is a rivalry filled with traditions and great plays. It goes back to the late-night sabotage by the Auburn Corps of Cadets of the train tracks in 1896 that resulted in the Yellow Jackets' trains sliding on greased tracks "half-way to Loachapoka." USA Today named it the second greatest prank in college football history.
The annual Auburn - Georgia Tech series came to a close in 1987. Since that game almost 28 years ago, the two have only played twice. Both games (2003 and 2005) were Georgia Tech victories. Yet even with only two games in a 28 year time span, it will still be another five seasons before the Mississippi State series ties Georgia Tech for second on Auburn's "most played" list.
Unless the Tigers and Yellow Jackets play again during that time span, that is.
It is looking as if that might just happen. An article came out yesterday that the Tigers and Yellow Jackets were in discussions to renew the rivalry in some form. That article does point out the difficulties involved in making this happen, though. In particular, Georgia Tech already has an annual game against the Georgia Bulldogs on its schedule. Adding another Power 5 conference team (and a traditional SEC power at that) would make Georgia Tech's schedule insanely difficult.
Neither team is going to want to have to play Georgia and the other on the road in the same season, either. That would just add to the level of difficulty. Unless the SEC's current scheduling rotation changes, that would also mean Auburn would have to play Georgia Tech, Georgia, and Alabama on the road in one season. It would be similar to this season's schedule that saw Auburn travel to Manhattan, KS along with trips to Athens and Tuscaloosa.
So, the most likely result would be a neutral site game. It just so happens that both teams' schedules align for that in 2018.
The SEC now requires each of its member schools to play at least one non-conference game against a team from one of the Power 5 conferences. Auburn will open 2015 against Louisville in the Georgia Dome, play a home-and-home series with Clemson in 2016 and 2017, and then have a home-and-home series with California in 2019 and 2020.
This leaves 2018 open for another neutral site, one-off game. Currently, Auburn has no out-of-conference games scheduled for the 2018 season.
Georgia Tech has its annual non-conference game against Georgia on the 2018 schedule. The only other game currently slated for that season is a home game against Tulane.
Playing in 2018 would make for a difficult season for each team, but Auburn in particular may be reluctant to schedule a tough P5 game that season. Even number years will be the years Auburn has to make those road trips to Athens and Tuscaloosa. It's in Auburn's interest to play a weaker P5 team that season.
However, sometimes you just have play the tough games. Auburn's 2014 schedule was brutal. 2018 would be similar in many ways if Auburn added Georgia Tech. Plus, there's no way to tell just how strong either team will be with three full seasons between now and then.
The Atlanta Falcons' amazing new stadium (dubbed The Stankonia Dome here at SB Nation) will open in 2017. I'm sure it would not be hard to get Auburn and Georgia Tech to play there in 2018 as the annual Chick-fil-A Kick Off Game.
In the end, I think it's something both fanbases would love. It's a chance to renew one of the better rivalries in college football. The students of today will be almost as far removed from the last time Auburn played Georgia Tech as the students of 2003 and 2005 were from the series ending in 1987.
This game needs to happen more often than that. Personally, I would love it if every student got to see Georgia Tech at least once in their four years. I would rather see Florida and Tennessee back on the schedule that often first, but without drastic changes in the structure of the SEC or college football scheduling, that is not going to happen.
What is your favorite Auburn-Georgia Tech memory? Sound off in the comments below!