South's Oldest Rivalry

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This article is about the football game between North Carolina and Virginia. For other uses, see South's Oldest Rivalry (disambiguation).
South's Oldest Rivalry
UNC logo Virginia logo
North Carolina Tar Heels Virginia Cavaliers
First game played 1892
Played annually since 1919
Games played 119 (through 2014)
Series record North Carolina leads, 61–54–4a
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 28–27
(October 25, 2014)
Next game TBD
Current win streak North Carolina 5

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 have been members of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1953 but the Cavaliers and Tar Heels played their first two football games in 1892 (Virginia won the first and North Carolina the second), over sixty years before the formation of the ACC.

Series history[edit]

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 in the east. The 2013 meeting marked the 118th 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 twice played in 1892 (Virginia won the first, and North Carolina the second). It is the third most played rivalry game nationwide among college football's Automatic Qualifying conference schools, and soon to be the second-most played. Due to the 2010–13 NCAA conference realignment the UVA-UNC rivalry will surpass the Lone Star Showdown between Texas and Texas A&M as the third most played national rivalry on October 25, 2014 in Charlottesville. It will then surpass the now-defunct Border War between Kansas and Missouri in the fall of 2016, also in Charlottesville. Beginning in that year, it will be the second most-played national rivalry behind the Paul Bunyan's Axe rivalry between the Wisconsin Badgers and Minnesota Golden Gophers.

Virginia and North Carolina have faced each other 118 times. North Carolina leads the all-time series, 60–54–4.a In 2010 UNC broke a long losing streak in Charlottesville, UNC's first road win in the series since 1981. It ended what many UNC fans mockingly described as the "Charlottesville Curse." UVA led the series from 1893 to 1944, and UNC has since led from 1945 onward. Virginia closed to within two games in 2009 before UNC won five in a row since. Even after the losing streak, Virginia is 20–11–1 in the rivalry since 1983.

Second-most played is 103 for North Carolina versus the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, and second-most played for Virginia is 95 against Virginia Tech for the Commonwealth Cup. Though easily the most played rivalry football game in the ACC, this game is not between programs the conference itself considers "permanent rivals," which beginning in 2014-15 are officially Virginia Tech and Louisville for Virginia, and North Carolina State and Duke for UNC.

Nature of the Rivalry[edit]

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. UVA had its writer-in-residence William Faulkner, while UNC is the alma mater of Thomas Wolfe. President Woodrow Wilson attended the University of Virginia and was President of its Jefferson Literary and Debating Society, whereas President James K. Polk attended UNC.

When the 1985 Richard Moll book was published listing the original eight "Public Ivies," public colleges with rigorous academic standards, there were only two sharing a common athletic conference: the University of Virginia and the University of North Carolina. For at least nine consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has ranked UVA second and UNC fifth among all public universities, and they are first and second in the east.[1] The two were also the first future members of the Atlantic Coast Conference to be elected to the prestigious Association of American Universities: UVA was elected in 1904 and UNC in 1922. Only Duke University would join them, in 1938, before the ACC was formed in 1953.

The rivalry is often called a "Gentlemen's Rivalry." One reason for this moniker is the prestigious image, both academically and socially, of both universities in their states and throughout the region. The institutions' student bodies also tend to somewhat mirror one another from a social and academic standpoint. As for today and recent decades, the rivalry itself has been lackluster and less heated despite a few recent historical wins by UNC. Neither program has finished at the top of the ACC since the 1990s, nor has either program yet played in the ACC Championship Game.

Contributing factors[edit]

"Benedict Ronald"[edit]

Often considered the best high school football player of all time from the state of Virginia,[2] 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.[3] With the commitment from Curry, Welsh declined to recruit Michael Vick, whose own 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.[4]

Curry decommitted from UVA on signing day, causing him to be called "Benedict Ronald" and "Benedict Curry" by the Virginia faithful who blamed him not only for the program losing out on his own services, but for losing out on the unrecruited Vick. Curry was lampooned in the media, earning the title "Sports Jerk of the Year" in the nationally syndicated Tank McNamara comic strip. At North Carolina, Curry set many records including most career passing yards and most career total yards. He was twice named the most valuable player of post-season bowl games, doing so at the 1998 Las Vegas Bowl and the 2001 Peach Bowl. He also played basketball for two years along with Chicago Bears' defensive end Julius Peppers. A starter at quarterback for UNC in his freshman year, by his senior season he had been largely replaced on the field by a young Darian Durant. After an inspired combine though, the physically impressive Curry spent seven seasons in the NFL... as a wide receiver. Curry went 0-3 against UVA as a starter, but the Tar Heels did finally beat Virginia when he was a senior thanks in large part to his replacement, Durant.

Famous Spectators[edit]

President Calvin Coolidge attended the 1928 game held on Thanksgiving Day in Charlottesville.

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.[5]

Game results[edit]

Below are the results of all 118 meetings.

South's Oldest Rivalry
Date Year Location Winner Score Series

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
Sep. 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
Oct. 25 2014 Charlottesville North Carolina 28–27 UNC 61-54-4

Other Sports[edit]

Basketball[edit]

Carolina currently leads the series 127-50.

The Deep South's Oldest Rivalry[edit]

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, the UVA-UNC series has played far more consecutive years, as AUB-UGA was suspended during World War II.

Notes[edit]

^a North Carolina forfeited the 1956 game to Virginia for using an ineligible player.[6][7][8] 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.[9]

1Virginia won the first game played in 1892.
2North Carolina won the second game played in 1892.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ranked above both is the University of California, Berkeley and UVA is tied with UCLA. UNC then trails only the University of Michigan for fourth nationwide.
  2. ^ "The Amazing Ronald Curry". Dave Sez. 2004-08-12. Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  3. ^ "Virginia Won Big Before It Took The Field"; Richmond Times - Dispatch - Richmond, Va.; Bob Lipper; Sep 5, 1997; Page D1
  4. ^ Ronald Curry Has All the Moves; The Washington Post - Washington, D.C.; Angie Watts; Apr 8, 1998; page C1
  5. ^ O'Neals (1968) Pictorial History of the University of Virginia. Charlottesville, Virginia: University Press of Virginia (p. 154)
  6. ^ "Wahoos Play Host to No. 18/22 UNC Saturday - University of Virginia Cavaliers Official Athletic Site". VirginiaSports.com. Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  7. ^ Jon Blau, Penn State Daily Collegian, "Forfeits uncommon in realm of college sports"[dead link]
  8. ^ Sports Illustrated, 1957 Football Issue, September 23, 1957
  9. ^ [1][dead link]