North Carolina–South Carolina football rivalry
|First meeting||October 10, 1903|
North Carolina, 17–0
|Latest meeting||August 31, 2019|
North Carolina, 24–20
|Next meeting||September 2, 2023 in Charlotte, NC|
|All-time series||North Carolina leads, 35–19–4|
|Largest victory||North Carolina, 48–0 (1914)|
|Longest win streak||North Carolina, 5 (1903–11)|
South Carolina, 5 (1967–74)
|Current win streak||North Carolina, 1 (2019)|
The North Carolina–South Carolina football rivalry, also known as Battle of the Carolinas, is an American college football rivalry between the North Carolina Tar Heels football team of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and South Carolina Gamecocks football team of the University of South Carolina. North Carolina leads the series 35–19–4.
The series started in 1903 with a win for North Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina. The teams last met in 2019; North Carolina won 24-20. The teams will play in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2023 for the 59th meeting.
Being close geographically, both teams compete for recruits on an annual basis. North Carolina has pulled players such as Robert Quinn and Quinshad Davis out of South Carolina in recent years. South Carolina has done the same by recruiting Larenz Bryant and Connor Mitch from North Carolina. Proximity also plays a role because in some areas of the two states there are significant populations of fans for each team. For example, Charlotte, North Carolina is closer to Columbia than Chapel Hill. Location can lead to ". . .families with Gamecocks and Tar Heels split down the middle. Couples where the man bleeds Carolina Blue, and the woman is all about the Garnet and Black. The fight, when it is present, is very real."
The usage of "Carolina"
Both North and South Carolina make use of "Carolina" as a moniker. From 1999 to 2004, North Carolina had "Carolina Tar Heels" written on its interlocking N and C logo. South Carolina uses only a "C", which is used to start the title "Carolina". The official color of UNC is "Carolina Blue", which is an officially licensed color. Both schools use end zones painted with the title "Carolina" and "Tar Heels" or "Gamecocks" across them. Both schools use the script "Carolina" on a number of their sports uniforms. Both have the moniker trademarked.
North Carolina fans argue that it was the first public university in America, and claimed the nickname first. Also, the Province of Carolina was founded in what is modern day North Carolina, however the principal seat of government was in Charles Town.
South Carolina fans argue that South Carolina became a state first.
Gamecocks leave the ACC
North Carolina and South Carolina spent 49 years in the same athletic conferences, first in the Southern Conference and later in the Atlantic Coast Conference, until the Gamecocks left the ACC to become independent in 1971. The reason for South Carolina's departure was how much control and influence UNC and the other North Carolina schools had on the ACC and Gamecock coach Frank McGuire's displeasure with conference officials who he felt were biased in favor of the "Tobacco Road" schools. Some high-profile South Carolina recruits did not meet the academic requirements to play in the ACC. Gamecock basketball player Mike Grosso never played a game with South Carolina, because Duke University questioned his academic standing.
|North Carolina victories||South Carolina victories||Tie games|
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- "The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill -". The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 2015-08-18.
- "Maisel: I-Formation - College Football - ESPN". sports.espn.go.com. Retrieved 2015-08-18.
- Medley, Mary-louise (1976). History of Anson County, North Carolina, 1750-1976. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company. ISBN 9780806347554.
- "South Carolina - U.S. States - HISTORY.com". HISTORY.com. Retrieved 2015-08-18.
- "7 Reasons Why There is Only One Carolina". Retrieved 2015-08-18.
- "7 Reasons Why There Is Only One Real Carolina: A Rebuttal". Retrieved 2015-08-18.
- "Spats Caused S.c. To Split From Acc". Retrieved 2015-08-19.
- News and Observer, 28 September 1941