When Georgia and Georgia Tech renewed their Clean Old-Fashioned Hate rivalry in November, they met for the first time in 72 years when each team had at least nine victories.
The Bulldogs and Yellow Jackets are on the verge of another accomplishment to illustrate their uncommon mutual success. They could finish together in the top 10 of a final poll for the first time in 48 years.
Tech held the No. 10 spot in the Associated Press poll after the regular season, so the Yellow Jackets’ 49-34 victory in the Orange Bowl secured a top-10 finish.
Georgia entered the Belk Bowl ranked No. 13 by AP, and a 37-14 victory against Louisville may have propelled the Bulldogs into the top 10.
An opening exists for the Bulldogs. Three key teams ranked ahead of them lost their bowl games: No. 8 Mississippi State to Tech, No. 9 Ole Miss 42-3 to TCU and No. 12 Arizona 38-30 to Boise State. Also, No. 11 Kansas State must play No. 14 UCLA.
No. 4 Baylor lost, but by one point against No. 7 Michigan State, so don’t expect Georgia to pass the Bears. The Bulldogs likely will jump over Arizona and Ole Miss. That leaves the question whether Georgia would pass Mississippi State, although that may not be necessary if K-State were to lose.
Here’s Tech and Georgia’s history together in the top 10. In the 1966 season, Georgia finished No. 4 in the AP and coaches polls, and Tech was No. 8 in both. In the 1942 season, Georgia finished No. 2 in the AP, and Tech finished No. 5. (The coaches poll began in 1950.) That’s it.
Given the state of both programs, it may happen again sooner than later.