OPINION: Who is Georgia Southern’s biggest rival?

Discussing a much-debated topic among Eagle fans

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DJ Cadden, Correspondent

Appalachian State and Georgia State.

Both are hated by Eagle nation, but who do Eagle fans hate more?

In my eyes, it differs from sport to sport.

Let’s start with the big one: football. There is no question that Appalachian State is Georgia Southern’s biggest rival on the football field.

The hatred between the Eagles and the Mountaineers dates back to 1932 when the teams faced off for the first time. However, the modern rivalry was born in the 1987 Division I-AA Quarterfinals.

The rivalry has garnered a name as well, “Deeper Than Hate.” The series is tightly contested and the usual Thursday night scheduling usually allows for the game to be nationally televised.

This national exposure only magnifies the rivalry and makes the annual game even more important in the eyes of Eagle fans. This is why there is no doubt in my mind that Appalachian State is GS’ most hated rival on the football field.

Now that we have settled who the Eagles’ biggest rival is on the field, let’s shift to all other sports.

In every other sport other than football, I believe Georgia State is the Eagles’ biggest rival. The main reason being that the football history between the two programs only dates back to 2014, which is when the Eagles moved up to the FBS level.

Many other sports rivalries between the two universities date back to the 1970s, which makes sense given how close the teams are to each other.

However, the similarity in names, more specifically the GSU abbreviation has also added an aspect to the Georgia Southern-Georgia State rivalry. Eagles fans have used the hashtag #SouthernNotState thousands of times on Twitter and the phrase is chanted at sporting events.

The pride taken by students from both institutions in the GSU abbreviation is one of the main aspects that makes this a heated rivalry. This is only magnified when you take into account that many students at both schools have former high school classmates who attend the rival institution.

In conclusion, Eagle fans hold a deep hatred for both the Mountaineers and the Panthers, however each game means something different depending on the sport.