1943* and 1944*

Bulldogs quarterback Kenny McCall

Georgia quarterback Kenny McCall vs. Tech, 1944

The Georgia Bulldogs record book shows asterisks next to the scores of the 1943 and 1944 Georgia-Georgia Tech game.   Why is it that these particular years of ‘Clean Old-Fashioned Hate’ warrant this special attention?

Upon the outbreak of WW2, each branch of the U.S. military faced the seemingly insurmountable challenge of providing enough officers to command the massive influx of new soldiers, sailors, and airmen necessary to fight the war.  Adding to this problem was the increasingly specialized nature of warfare, which required men trained in engineering, languages, and other more esoteric disciplines.  To alleviate this situation, the U.S. Navy established technical training schools at colleges and universities under the V-12 program. The V-12 program allowed officer candidates and sailors training for specialized service roles to enroll at colleges and complete a shortened course of study, eventually entering active service as junior grade officers.  Georgia Tech, due to its focus on engineering, was selected as a V-12 school and Navy personnel enrolled as full students as part of this program.   This allowed the Tech athletics program to have its pick of healthy, able-bodied men enrolled at the school, regardless of whether or not they had any prior college playing experience.

The Georgia Bulldog starting line-up against Georgia Tech, 1943

1943 Georgia Bulldogs starting line-up vs. Georgia Tech

The University of Georgia, by contrast, was part of the Navy’s V-5 program (described in more thorough detail in the section ‘A Brief History of the U.S. Navy Pre-Flight School at UGA’ on this website), in which a Navy pre-flight training school was established at the University, but its students were not part of the general body of regular students enrolled at the University.  The few remaining students enrolled in Athens were either females, men completing courses of study to then enter the military, or men who were either too young or physical unable (a 4-F draft status) to join any of the service branches.  The Georgia Bulldogs athletics teams were able to draw from these students, but not from the Navy school’s cadets. 

For Wally Butts, the prospect of facing the 1943 schedule with a team composed of men too young for the draft or exempt from the service due to physical problems would have been daunting.  Before the season began, Butts gave the team the option of disbanding or playing out what would most likely be a non-competitive season.  Had the team opted to disband for the duration of the war, Butts would have been given a contract to teach physical education to the University’s remaining students.  The team opted to compete during the season, however, and played a limited schedule during the season.  

1943 Georgia Bulldogs schedule and results

September 17 Presbyterian Athens, Georgia W 25–7  
September 25 at LSU Baton Rouge, Louisiana L 27–32  
October 1 Tennessee Tech Athens, Georgia W 67–0  
October 8 Wake Forest Athens, Georgia W 7–0  
October 16 at Daniel Field Augusta, Georgia L 7–18  
October 23 LSU Columbus, Georgia L 6–27  
October 29 Howard (AL) Athens, Georgia W 39–0  
November 5 Presbyterian Athens, Georgia W 39–0  
November 13 VMI Atlanta (Grant Field) W 46–7  
November 27 at No. 14 Georgia Tech Atlanta (Grant Field) L 0–48  

Tech also competed during the war, though its team was made up of men mostly taken from the V-12 program.

1943 Georgia Tech schedule and results (with weekly AP poll rankings)  

September 25 North Carolina   Atlanta, Georgia W 20–7  
October 2 at Notre Dame   South Bend, Indiana L 13–55  
October 9 Georgia Pre-Flight   Atlanta, Georgia W 35–7  
October 16 Fort Benning   Atlanta, Georgia W 27–0  
October 23 at No. 3 Navy   Baltimore, Maryland L 14–28  
October 30 No. 8 Duke   Atlanta, Georgia L 7–14  
November 6 No. 20 LSU   Atlanta, Georgia W 42–7  
November 13 at Tulane No. 19 New Orleans, Louisiana W 33–0  
November 20 Clemson No. 15 Atlanta, Georgia W 41–6  
November 27 Georgia No. 14 Atlanta, Georgia W 48–0  
January 1 vs. No. 15 Tulsa No. 13 New Orleans, Louisiana W 20–18

 

The situation was the same for each team in 1944: Georgia fielded a team of men who were too young or otherwise unfit for the military, while Tech fielded a team of men taken from the V-12 program.

1944 Georgia Bulldogs schedule and results

September 29 Wake Forest Athens, Georgia L 7–14  
October 6 Presbyterian Athens, Georgia W 67–0  
October 13 Kentucky Athens, Georgia W 13–12  
October 20 Daniel Field Athens, Georgia W 53–6  
October 28 LSU Atlanta, Georgia (Grant Field) L 7–15  
November 4 at No. 19 Alabama Birmingham, Alabama (Legion Field) W 14–7  
November 11 vs. Florida Jacksonville, Florida W 38–12  
November 18 vs. Auburn Columbus, Georgia W 49–13  
November 24 Clemson Athens, Georgia W 21–7  
December 2 Georgia Tech Athens, Georgia L 0–44  

 

1944 Georgia Tech schedule and results (with weekly AP poll rankings)

September 30 Clemson   Atlanta, Georgia W 51–0  
October 7 North Carolina   Atlanta, Georgia W 28–0  
October 14 Auburn No. 10 Atlanta, Georgia W 27–0  
October 21 No. 9 Navy No. 8 Atlanta, Georgia W 17–15  
October 27 Georgia Pre-Flight No. 5 Atlanta, Georgia W 13–7  
November 4 at Duke No. 5 Durham, North Carolina L 13–19  
November 11 Tulane No. 13 Atlanta, Georgia W 34–7  
November 18 at LSU No. 9 Baton Rouge, Louisiana W 14–6  
November 25 No. 18 Notre Dame No. 10 Atlanta, Georgia L 0–21  
December 2 at Georgia   Athens, Georgia W 44–0  
January 1 vs. Tulsa No. 13 Miami, Florida L 12–26 

After the war, Dan Magill, long-time UGA sports information director, felt that the Bulldogs teams were at an unfair competitive disadvantage against Tech in the 1943 and 1944 games and took those games off of the Georgia record books.  These games are now listed with an asterisk in the Georgia Bulldogs media guide.  Tech, on the other hand, maintains that those two games should count for the overall series record, as they were agreed upon games that were part of the regular seasons for both schools.  For Georgia, the all-time series record against Tech stands at 66 wins, 39 losses, and 5 ties.  Tech lists the series record as 66 wins (for Georgia), 41 losses, and 5 ties. 

While Georgia's commanding lead in the series is not in question, the two disputed losses add historical fuel to the fire of a rivalry that is known as ‘Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate’.