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Old-Fashioned Hate
Charleston Southern G Heal 1
Georgia head coach Mark Richt, right. and cornerback Damian Swann (5) watch as Georgia makes a field goal during the first half of a Nov. 22 game against Charleston Southern in Athens, Ga. - photo by Associated Press



    ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia won't be playing in the Southeastern Conference championship game.
    There's no hope of making the College Football Playoff.
    Now, the focus is solely on Georgia Tech.
    No. 8 Georgia (9-2) will be seeking its sixth straight victory over its state rival — and 13th in the past 14 years — when the 16th-ranked Yellow Jackets (9-2) visit Sanford Stadium on Saturday, the latest skirmish in a series known as "Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate."
    "Clean, One-Sided Dominance" might be a better moniker.
    Georgia has essentially owned this rivalry since Vince Dooley took over as the coach in Athens a half-century ago.
    Mark Richt has really been dominant, with a 12-1 coaching mark against Georgia Tech.
    But the Bulldogs took a loss, of sorts, before they even suited up. No. 17 Missouri (10-2) rallied to beat Arkansas 21-14 on Friday, clinching the SEC East and a second straight trip to the championship game in Atlanta.
    If the Tigers had lost any of their last three games, Georgia would have won the East and maybe had an outside shot at making the four-team playoff. But the Bulldogs, who handed Missouri its only SEC loss with a 34-0 blowout, couldn't overcome a shocking loss to Florida.
    Missouri won out, beating Texas A&M and Tennessee on the road before knocking off the Razorbacks at home.
    Even so, Georgia's players insisted they would be pumped up to play the Yellow Jackets.
    "I wouldn't want to lose to those guys and let this team down and have to live the rest of my life with that on my heart," defensive lineman Mike Thornton said. "I wouldn't want to do that, and I'm not going to do that."
    Georgia Tech, of course, had other plans.
    The Yellow Jackets already have clinched a spot against top-ranked Florida State in the Atlantic Coast championship game and are in the running for an Orange Bowl berth.
    At 18-4, these are the best combined records for the teams since their classic 1966 matchup, when one-loss Georgia ended Georgia Tech's bid for a perfect season in Bobby Dodd's final year as coach.
    That's given this game more gravitas on the national stage — and stirred up fans on both sides even more than usual.
    "Nobody wants to have to take crap at the water cooler," Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said.
    The Yellow Jackets are also eager to make up for 2013's double-overtime loss to Georgia, in which the Yellow Jackets squandered a 20-0 lead.
    "I felt like we had a good shot at them last year," receiver DeAndre Smelter said. "Any time you get another shot at a team, you always want to take advantage of it. It should be a good one."
    Richt clearly recognizes the importance of beating his closest rival, even if it won't help the Bulldogs get to Atlanta the following week.
    "We have extra team meetings this week to talk about the game we're about to play, the importance of the game, everything that it entails, and how we've got to be ready to play this game," said Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo. "I think coach Richt does a nice job of explaining the rivalry and what it means."