South's Oldest Rivalry
|South's Oldest Rivalry|
|North Carolina Tar Heels||Virginia Cavaliers|
|First game played||1892|
|Played annually since||1919|
|Games played||118 (through 2013)|
|Series record||North Carolina leads, 60–54–4a|
|Largest margin of victory||Virginia 66–0
(November 26, 1912)
|Highest scoring game||Virginia 56-24
(September 11, 2004)
|Lowest scoring game||Tie 0–0
(November 29, 1923)
|Most recent game||North Carolina 45-14
(November 9, 2013)
|Current win streak||North Carolina 4|
The South's Oldest Rivalry is an American college football rivalry game played annually by the Virginia Cavaliers football team of the University of Virginia and the North Carolina Tar Heels football team of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Both universities are currently members of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), but the Cavaliers and Tar Heels played their first football game in 1892, over sixty years before the formation of the ACC.
Long being the most played game among all Football Bowl Subdivision series in the Southeastern United States, it has become known over the years simply as the South's Oldest Rivalry. It is also the oldest series in this highest division on the Atlantic coast. The 2010 meeting marked the 115th edition of this game (played continuously since 1919), five more than the Army–Navy Game (played continuously since 1930), and one more than the "Deep South's Oldest Rivalry" (Georgia–Auburn, played continuously since 1944).
The game was first played in 1892, twice (Virginia won the first, and North Carolina the second). It is the 4th most played rivalry game among college football's BCS conference schools, behind three midwestern or Texan rivalries: Paul Bunyan's Axe (Minnesota–Wisconsin), Border War (Kansas–Missouri) and Lone Star Showdown (Texas–Texas A&M). Since the Border War and Lone Star Showdown are no longer played annually due to conference realignment, the Virginia-North Carolina rivalry may eventually overtake them in the number of games played.
Virginia and North Carolina have faced each other more times, 118, than they have faced any other program. Second-most played is 103 for North Carolina versus Wake Forest University who North Carolina first played on October 18, 1888 losing by a score of 6-4. North Carolina leads the all-time series, 60–54–4,a but Virginia is 20–10–1 in the rivalry since 1983. In 2010 UNC broke a long losing streak in Charlottesville with a 44-10 victory. It was UNC's first road win in the series since 1981, ending what many UNC fans mockingly described as the "Charlottesville Curse." In 2011 UNC posted a 28-17 victory in Kenan Stadium and Beat Virginia in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1982. The teams recently renewed their rivalry on November 15, 2012 in Charlottesville. UNC broke up a close game in the 4th quarter to win 37-13. It was UNC's second consecutive victory in Scott Stadium and third straight over all in the series. UNC currently leads 60-54-4.
Nature of the Rivalry
There is considerable historical lineage and academic standing between the two universities involved. The University of Virginia was founded by third President of the United States and founding father Thomas Jefferson whereas the University of North Carolina was the first operational state university in the United States & alma-mater of U.S President, James K Polk and literary writer Thomas Wolfe. When the Richard Moll book listing the original eight "Public Ivies" (public colleges with high academic and tough admissions standards) was published in 1985, there were only two sharing a common athletic conference: the University of Virginia and the University of North Carolina.
In addition, the rivalry is also nicknamed the "Gentlemen's Rivalry." One reason for this moniker is the prestigious image, both academically & socially, of both universities. Both institutions' student bodies tend to mirror one another from a social & academic standpoint. As for today and recent decades, the rivalry has been lackluster and less heated despite a few recent historical wins by UNC. In 2010, former coach Butch Davis [UNC] ended a 14 year drought and won in Charlottesville (44-10), officially ending "the Charlottesville Curse" (commonly referred to by Carolina fans), and was UNC's first victory in Charlottesville since 1981. UNC also beat UVa the following season in 2011 to win 2 straight in the series, which had not been done by a UNC football team since the mid '70's into the early '80's, when Carolina won 9 straight and dominated the series. In addition, when UNC coach Mack Brown took over the Carolina program in the late 1980s and had very successful recruiting efforts, especially in the talent rich Tidewater (VA) area throughout the '90's, the rivalry really hit its peak when highly rated (VA) prospect Ronald Curry committed to North Carolina over Virginia.
"The Curse of Benedict Ronald"
Widely considered the best high school football player of all time from the state of Virginia, and the only junior ever to be named the nation's top high school quarterback by USA Today, Ronald Curry announced a verbal commitment to George Welsh's Virginia program on September 4, 1997 during ESPN coverage of that night's game between Virginia and Auburn. With the commitment from Curry, Welsh was not able to recruit Michael Vick, whose stellar career in the same high school district was largely overshadowed by Curry's. While Curry's high school football coach, 12-time state champion Mike Smith, was happy that Curry would attend Virginia, Curry's AAU basketball coach Boo Williams told Curry he should decommit and go to a "basketball school" like North Carolina to get a better shot at the NBA. Curry would never play for an NBA team, though he spent seven seasons in the NFL as a wide receiver.
Curry decommitted from Virginia and signed a letter of intent to North Carolina in April 1998. Meanwhile Michael Vick had signed with another major football rival of Virginia, Virginia Tech. This made Curry a very unpopular figure among Virginia fans, who referred to him by such terms as "Benedict Curry", "Benedict Ronald", or "WHN" (an abbreviation of "What's his name?"), and he won the "Sports Jerk of the Year" award for his actions in the nationally syndicated Tank McNamara comic strip.
Curry was 1-3 against Virginia in the South's Oldest Rivalry. Curry's first trip to Charlottesville was greeted by much pre-game hype. Curry was soundly booed by the Scott Stadium crowd during his time on the field, and senior Oscar Davenport took most of the snaps at quarterback for UNC, going 18-of-33 for 227 yards in a 30-13 loss. UNC's sole victory against Virginia during Curry's time as a Tar Heel came when he was a senior in 2001, when he also split time at quarterback (with freshman Darian Durant). Curry did contribute one of the biggest plays in the 2001 game, a 66-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Sam Aiken.
Probably the most famous spectator of this rivalry was present on Thanksgiving Day 1928. United States President Calvin Coolidge and First Lady Grace Anna Goodhue Coolidge were among the 20,000 spectators watching the game at Charlottesville to see North Carolina win 24–20 over Virginia.
Below are the results of all 118 meetings.
|South's Oldest Rivalry|
|Oct. 22||1892||Charlottesville||Virginia||30–18||UVA 1-0|
|Nov. 26||1892||Atlanta, GA||North Carolina||26–0||tie 1-1|
|Nov. 30||1893||Richmond, VA||Virginia||16–0||UVA 2-1|
|Nov. 29||1894||Richmond, VA||Virginia||34–0||UVA 3-1|
|Nov. 28||1895||Richmond, VA||Virginia||6–0||UVA 4-1|
|Nov. 26||1896||Richmond, VA||Virginia||46–0||UVA 5-1|
|Nov. 25||1897||Richmond, VA||Virginia||12–0||UVA 6-1|
|Nov. 24||1898||Richmond, VA||North Carolina||6–2||UVA 6-2|
|Nov. 24||1900||Norfolk, VA||Virginia||17–0||UVA 7-2|
|Nov. 23||1901||Richmond, VA||Virginia||23–6||UVA 8-2|
|Nov. 27||1902||Richmond, VA||Tie Game||12–12||UVA 8-2-1|
|Nov. 26||1903||Richmond, VA||North Carolina||16–0||UVA 8-3-1|
|Nov. 24||1904||Richmond, VA||Virginia||12–11||UVA 9-3-1|
|Nov. 30||1905||Richmond, VA||North Carolina||17–0||UVA 9-4-1|
|Oct. 26||1907||Richmond, VA||Virginia||9–4||UVA 10-4-1|
|Nov. 26||1908||Richmond, VA||Virginia||31–0||UVA 11-4-1|
|Nov. 24||1910||Richmond, VA||Virginia||7–0||UVA 12-4-1|
|Nov. 30||1911||Richmond, VA||Virginia||28–0||UVA 13-4-1|
|Nov. 28||1912||Richmond, VA||Virginia||66–0||UVA 14-4-1|
|Nov. 27||1913||Richmond, VA||Virginia||26–7||UVA 15-4-1|
|Nov. 26||1914||Richmond, VA||Virginia||20–3||UVA 16-4-1|
|Nov. 25||1915||Richmond, VA||Virginia||14–0||UVA 17-4-1|
|Nov. 30||1916||Richmond, VA||North Carolina||7–0||UVA 17-5-1|
|Nov. 27||1919||Chapel Hill||North Carolina||6–0||UVA 17-6-1|
|Nov. 25||1920||Charlottesville||Virginia||14–0||UVA 18-6-1|
|Nov. 24||1921||Chapel Hill||North Carolina||7–3||UVA 18-7-1|
|Nov. 30||1922||Charlottesville||North Carolina||10–7||UVA 18-8-1|
|Nov. 29||1923||Chapel Hill||Tie Game||0–0||UVA 18-8-2|
|Nov. 27||1924||Charlottesville||Virginia||7–0||UVA 19-8-2|
|Nov. 26||1925||Chapel Hill||Tie Game||3–3||UVA 19-8-3|
|Nov. 25||1926||Charlottesville||Virginia||3–0||UVA 20-8-3|
|Nov. 24||1927||Chapel Hill||North Carolina||14–13||UVA 20-9-3|
|Nov. 29||1928||Charlottesville||North Carolina||24–20||UVA 20-10-3|
|Nov. 28||1929||Chapel Hill||North Carolina||41–7||UVA 20-11-3|
|Nov. 27||1930||Charlottesville||North Carolina||41–0||UVA 20-12-3|
|Nov. 26||1931||Chapel Hill||North Carolina||13–6||UVA 20-13-3|
|Nov. 24||1932||Charlottesville||Virginia||14–7||UVA 21-13-3|
|Nov. 30||1933||Chapel Hill||North Carolina||14–0||UVA 21-14-3|
|Nov. 29||1934||Washington DC||North Carolina||25–6||UVA 21-15-3|
|Nov. 28||1935||Chapel Hill||North Carolina||61–0||UVA 21-16-3|
|Nov. 26||1936||Norfolk, VA||North Carolina||59–14||UVA 21-17-3|
|Nov. 25||1937||Chapel Hill||North Carolina||40–0||UVA 21-18-3|
|Nov. 24||1938||Chapel Hill||North Carolina||20–0||UVA 21-19-3|
|Nov. 30||1939||Norfolk, VA||North Carolina||19–0||UVA 21-20-3|
|Nov. 23||1940||Norfolk, VA||North Carolina||10–7||tie 21-21-3|
|Nov. 20||1941||Norfolk, VA||Virginia||28–7||UVA 22-21-3|
|Nov. 21||1942||Norfolk, VA||North Carolina||28–13||tie 22-22-3|
|Nov. 27||1943||Charleston, WV||North Carolina||54–7||UNC 23-22-3|
|Dec. 2||1944||Norfolk, VA||Virginia||26–7||tie 23-23-3|
|Dec. 1||1945||Charleston, WV||North Carolina||27–18||UNC 24-23-3|
|Nov. 30||1946||Roanoke, VA||North Carolina||49–14||UNC 25-23-3|
|Nov. 29||1947||Roanoke, VA||North Carolina||40–7||UNC 26-23-3|
|Nov. 27||1948||Roanoke, VA||North Carolina||34–12||UNC 27-23-3|
|Nov. 1||1949||Roanoke, VA||North Carolina||14–7||UNC 28-23-3|
|Dec. 2||1950||Roanoke, VA||Virginia||44–13||UNC 28-24-3|
|Nov. 10||1951||Charlottesville||Virginia||34–13||UNC 28-25-3|
|Nov. 4||1952||Chapel Hill||Virginia||34–17||UNC 28-26-3|
|Nov. 21||1953||Chapel Hill||North Carolina||33–7||UNC 29-26-3|
|Nov. 20||1954||Charlottesville||North Carolina||26–14||UNC 30-26-3|
|Nov. 21||1955||Chapel Hill||North Carolina||21–14||UNC 31-26-3|
|Nov. 10||1956||Charlottesville||Virginia||Forfeit a||UNC 31-27-3|
|Nov. 30||1957||Chapel Hill||Virginia||20–13||UNC 31-28-3|
|Nov. 8||1958||Charlottesville||North Carolina||42–0||UNC 32-28-3|
|Nov. 14||1959||Chapel Hill||North Carolina||41–0||UNC 33-28-3|
|Nov. 26||1960||Charlottesville||North Carolina||35–8||UNC 34-28-3|
|Dec. 2||1961||Chapel Hill||North Carolina||24–0||UNC 35-28-3|
|Nov. 10||1962||Charlottesville||North Carolina||11–7||UNC 36-28-3|
|Sep. 21||1963||Chapel Hill||North Carolina||11–7||UNC 37-28-3|
|Nov. 14||1964||Charlottesville||Virginia||31–27||UNC 37-29-3|
|Oct. 2||1965||Chapel Hill||Virginia||21–17||UNC 37-30-3|
|Nov. 26||1966||Chapel Hill||Virginia||21–14||UNC 37-31-3|
|Nov. 11||1967||Charlottesville||Virginia||40–17||UNC 37-32-3|
|Nov. 9||1968||Chapel Hill||Virginia||41–6||UNC 37-33-3|
|Nov. 1||1969||Charlottesville||North Carolina||12–0||UNC 38-33-3|
|Oct. 31||1970||Chapel Hill||North Carolina||19–0||UNC 39-33-3|
|Nov. 1||1971||Charlottesville||North Carolina||32–20||UNC 40-33-3|
|Nov. 11||1972||Chapel Hill||North Carolina||23–3||UNC 41-33-3|
|Nov. 3||1973||Charlottesville||Virginia||44–40||UNC 41-34-3|
|Nov. 11||1974||Chapel Hill||North Carolina||24–10||UNC 42-34-3|
|Oct. 4||1975||Charlottesville||North Carolina||31–28||UNC 43-34-3|
|Nov. 13||1976||Chapel Hill||North Carolina||31–6||UNC 44-34-3|
|Nov. 12||1977||Charlottesville||North Carolina||35–14||UNC 45-34-3|
|Nov. 18||1978||Chapel Hill||North Carolina||38–20||UNC 46-34-3|
|Nov. 17||1979||Charlottesville||North Carolina||13–7||UNC 47-34-3|
|Nov. 15||1980||Chapel Hill||North Carolina||26–3||UNC 48-34-3|
|Nov. 14||1981||Charlottesville||North Carolina||17–14||UNC 49-34-3|
|Nov. 13||1982||Chapel Hill||North Carolina||27–14||UNC 50-34-3|
|Nov. 12||1983||Charlottesville||Virginia||17–14||UNC 50-35-3|
|Nov. 17||1984||Chapel Hill||Tie Game||24–24||UNC 50-35-4|
|Nov. 16||1985||Charlottesville||Virginia||24–22||UNC 50-36-4|
|Nov. 15||1986||Chapel Hill||North Carolina||27–7||UNC 51-36-4|
|Nov. 14||1987||Charlottesville||Virginia||20–17||UNC 51-37-4|
|Nov. 12||1988||Chapel Hill||Virginia||27–24||UNC 51-38-4|
|Oct. 14||1989||Charlottesville||Virginia||50–17||UNC 51-39-4|
|Nov. 10||1990||Chapel Hill||Virginia||24–10||UNC 51-40-4|
|Oct. 19||1991||Charlottesville||Virginia||14–9||UNC 51-41-4|
|Oct. 17||1992||Chapel Hill||North Carolina||27–17||UNC 52-41-4|
|Oct. 23||1993||Charlottesville||Virginia||17–10||UNC 52-42-4|
|Oct. 22||1994||Charlottesville||Virginia||34–10||UNC 52-43-4|
|Oct. 7||1995||Chapel Hill||North Carolina||22–17||UNC 53-43-4|
|Nov. 16||1996||Charlottesville||Virginia||20–17||UNC 53-44-4|
|Sep. 27||1997||Chapel Hill||North Carolina||48–20||UNC 54-44-4|
|Nov. 14||1998||Charlottesville||Virginia||30–13||UNC 54-45-4|
|Sep. 4||1999||Chapel Hill||Virginia||20–17||UNC 54-46-4|
|Nov. 14||2000||Charlottesville||Virginia||17–6||UNC 54-47-4|
|Oct. 13||2001||Chapel Hill||North Carolina||30–24||UNC 55-47-4|
|Oct. 19||2002||Charlottesville||Virginia||37–27||UNC 55-48-4|
|Oct. 4||2003||Chapel Hill||Virginia||38–13||UNC 55-49-4|
|Sep. 11||2004||Charlottesville||Virginia||56–24||UNC 55-50-4|
|Oct. 22||2005||Chapel Hill||North Carolina||7–5||UNC 56-50-4|
|Oct. 19||2006||Charlottesville||Virginia||23–0||UNC 56-51-4|
|Sep. 15||2007||Chapel Hill||Virginia||22–20||UNC 56-52-4|
|Oct. 18||2008||Charlottesville||Virginia||16–13 (OT)||UNC 56-53-4|
|Oct. 3||2009||Chapel Hill||Virginia||16–3||UNC 56-54-4|
|Oct. 16||2010||Charlottesville||North Carolina||44-10||UNC 57-54-4|
|Sept. 17||2011||Chapel Hill||North Carolina||28-17||UNC 58-54-4|
|Nov. 15||2012||Charlottesville||North Carolina||37-13||UNC 59-54-4|
|Nov. 9||2013||Chapel Hill||North Carolina||45-14||UNC 60-54-4|
Carolina currently leads the series 127-50.
The Deep South's Oldest Rivalry
The Deep South's Oldest Rivalry (Auburn-Georgia) may eventually surpass "South's Oldest Rivalry" (UNC-Virginia) in number of games played due to the conference expansion of the SEC and ACC conferences. With the possibility of a same-season rematch in the SEC Championship, Auburn and Georgia can play a second game in the same season; North Carolina and Virginia, however, are in the same division of the ACC, making a similar North Carolina vs. Virginia ACC Championship matchup impossible. Currently the UVA-UNC series leads the AUB-UGA series by one game. However, because the UVA-UNC series kept playing through World War II, it will be very difficult for AUB-UGA to surpass the rivalry in consecutive years played. Chronologically, Auburn-Georgia is the oldest rivalry in the South. Auburn-Georgia was first played on February 20, 1892. UNC-Virginia was first played eight months and three days later on October 22, 1892.
^a North Carolina forfeited the 1956 game to Virginia for using an ineligible player. The UNC athletic department does not acknowledge the forfeit when reporting on the result, and chooses to count the game as a UNC win in its marketing materials.
1Virginia won the first game played in 1892.
2North Carolina won the second game played in 1892.
- Top 10 Most Played Rivalries
- "The Amazing Ronald Curry". Dave Sez. 2004-08-12. Retrieved 2012-07-26.
- "Virginia Won Big Before It Took The Field"; Richmond Times - Dispatch - Richmond, Va.; Bob Lipper; Sep 5, 1997; Page D1
- Ronald Curry Has All the Moves; The Washington Post - Washington, D.C.; Angie Watts; Apr 8, 1998; page C1
- O'Neals (1968) Pictorial History of the University of Virginia. Charlottesville, Virginia: University Press of Virginia (p. 154)
- "Deep South's Oldest Rivalry - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia". En.wikipedia.org. Retrieved 2012-07-26.
- "Wahoos Play Host to No. 18/22 UNC Saturday - University of Virginia Cavaliers Official Athletic Site". VirginiaSports.com. Retrieved 2012-07-26.
- Jon Blau, Penn State Daily Collegian, "Forfeits uncommon in realm of college sports"[dead link]
- Sports Illustrated, 1957 Football Issue, September 23, 1957
- [dead link]