This Saturday, the University of Georgia and Auburn University will play in the 127th edition of the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry. This historic matchup has had plenty of iconic figures participate and leave their mark on these two southern institutions but, it would be hard to argue anyone has had a greater impact on this game than Pat Dye.
Patrick Fain Dye, from a small town outside of Augusta, Georgia, knows this rivalry. Dye was a decorated two-way starter at offensive guard and linebacker for the Bulldogs; two-time All-American (1959 and 1960), SEC Lineman of the Year in 1960, and team Co-Captain in 1960. During his four years in Athens, Dye only defeated Auburn once which was in the 1959 Orange Bowl and SEC Championship season for Georgia, 14-13 in Athens.
So how did this home-grown Georgia great become one of the most important figures in the history of arch rival, Auburn’s football program? Dye began his coaching career at Alabama under the Bear Bryant. Dye would work his way up through the coaching ranks in Tuscaloosa before taking his first head coaching job at East Carolina. After six seasons in Greenville, Dye would have a short stint as Wyoming’s head coach before taking the Auburn job. But, that wasn’t the original plan.
Following the 1980 season, Auburn parted ways with Doug Barfield and was on the market for a new head coach. Many thought Auburn would look to Alumnus and at the time Georgia Head Coach, Vince Dooley. It just so happened that Dooley and the Bulldogs were weeks away from playing for the national championship in the Sugar Bowl so, Dooley had to turned down the offer. It is said that Dye, who had been driving from Wyoming to Athens to be the next coach after Dooley, heard the news in Atlanta and turned the car around to Auburn. The rest is history.
Pat Dye, achieved a record of 99–39–4 over 12 seasons at Auburn. His 99 wins are behind only Mike Donahue and Ralph Jordan for the most in program history. Under Dye, the Tigers won four SEC championships (1983, 1987, 1988, 1989) and Dye became the fourth coach in SEC history to win three straight (1987, 1988, 1989). Dye also had a 7-5 record as Auburn’s head coach in the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry. In the 1983 contest, Dye’s first win against Georgia at Auburn, the Tigers handed the bulldogs their first conference loss since the 1979 season.
A theme throughout the years in the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry is all of the connections between these two schools. Both playing surfaces are named after Alumni of the other (Pat Dye Field and Vince Dooley Field). There are number of iconic Auburn players from the state of Georgia; Cam Newton, Ronnie Brown, Derrick Brown, to name a few. All the similarities and familiar faces are what make these matchups between Auburn and Georgia so special. As we prepare for the 127th chapter to this historic showdown, which players and coaches on Saturday can begin to write in their own unique stories like the great Pat Dye did for many seasons on end.
Gameday Information - Auburn versus Georgia | Game Six
Timeline: 11:30pm - Tiger Tailgate Show - Auburn Network
12:30pm - Tiger Walk 12:30pm - Samford Stadium Gates Open 2:30pm - Kickoff
Watch: SEC on CBS
Listen: Auburn Sports Network
Patrick Party Information - Coverage of Week Six Patrick Party Pregame: Patrick Party Pregame, live from Auburn, AL, will air from 8:00am - 9:00am on Saturday Morning. Pregame will take an inside look into the Auburn Football Tiger's week six matchup against the Georgia Bulldogs and all of the other games across the College Football landscape.
Patrick Party Picks: Our weekly minute long picks of the best college football games of the weekend will debut on Pregame on Saturday morning and will then be made available on all of our Social Media platforms.
Patrick Party Podcast: The Patrick Party Podcast provides listeners with a weekly update and analysis of the Auburn Football program. This week's Patrick Party Podcast debuted Friday afternoon. Episodes are made available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and www.patrickparty.com