College Football and the Fall of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia 

Atlanta, Georgia is home to the College Football Hall of fame and four football teams. They have one NFL team, the Atlanta Falcons, and three College Teams – the Morehouse Maroon Tigers, the Georgia State Panthers, and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. 

The Falcons are one of the 12 NFL teams that have never won a Super Bowl title. This may shock people, as the city is fairly successful at the college level. However, most of the college teams in Atlanta are quite new and many argue that once their programs get more established we might see some better performances from the Falcons. 

Today, we are going to take a closer look at the college football set up in the city of Atlanta. 

The Morehouse College Maroon Tigers 

You may recognize the name Morehouse College more for its alumni (Martin Luther King Jr, Spike Lee, Samuel L Jackson) than its football team who play in Division 2 of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC). 

The Maroon Tigers are a small team that only plays around 10 games a season. They have had the same coach,  Richard Freeman since 2007. The team was formed in 2005. 

Notable alumni: 

N/A

The Georgia State Panthers 

The Panthers have played in the Center Parc Stadium (26,000) since 2017. The team was formed in 2010. They are the football team that represents Georgia State University. 

They play in the East Division of the NCAA Division I FBS’s Sun Belt Conference. They began playing in an independent league, before eventually joining the Sun Belt Conference in 2012. 

The Panthers have won the Sun Belt Conference twice since joining it. They beat Western Kentucky in both 2017 and 2020 to win the Cure/LendingTree Bowl. Only 5 teams have won the Sun Belt Conference more times than the Panthers. 

The Panthers’ all-time win record currently stands at 42–87 (32%). They have an intense rivalry with the Georgia Southern Eagles. Georgia Southern University also has the initials GSU which has been causing tension between the teams for over 100 years now. 

Notable alumni: 

  • Nick Arbuckle- Toronto Argonauts (CFL)
  • Robert Davis – Free Agent
  • Penny Hart – Seattle Seahawks
  • Ulrick John – Retired
  • Wil Lutz – New Orleans Saints
  • Chandon Sullivan – Green Bay Packers
  • Albert Wilson – Miami Dolphins
  • Brandon Wright – Los Angeles Rams

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets represent The Georgia Institute of Technology, which was established in 1885. Their football team was founded in 1892 – making them one of the oldest college teams in America. And they are by far the most successful football team based in Atlanta. 

The Yellow Jackets play at the Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field. They play in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The conference they play in is the Atlantic Coast Conference. They are 16-time ACC champions. 

The Yellow Jackets have won a total of 7 NCAA national championships. They also hold the record for the biggest college football victory – they beat Cumberland 222-0. John Heisman (after whom the Heisman Trophy is named after) was once a coach of the Yellow Jackets. 

Notable alumni: 

Georgia Tech has had over 150 alumni who have been drafted into the NFL. They have 14 alumni who have been admitted to the College Football hall of fame. They have 4 alumni who have won the Heisman award, and over 50 First Team All-Americans.

They also had 3 alumni admitted to the NFL hall of fame

  • Calvin Johnson 
  • Billy Shaw 
  • Joe Guyon

The Hall of Fame 

The College Football hall of fame (currently known as the Chick-Fil-A College Football hall of fame) is currently based in Atlanta. 

The hall of fame was established in 1951 to celebrate the lives and careers of college football players and coaches. The establishment was moved to Atlanta in 2009. It can be found in the middle of the Atlanta tourism district. 

A player can be admitted to the hall of fame between 10-50 years after they played their final college game. They must have been voted onto a first All-American team. Coaches must have at least a 60% win record to make it into the College Football hall of fame. 

The college with the most alumni in the hall of fame is Notre Dame (46 members), closely followed by the University of Southern California (43 members). With 14 members, the Georgia Institute of Technology is the team in Atlanta with the most hall of fame members. 

Atlanta was also home to The Black College Football Hall of Fame (BCFHOF) – which was founded in the city in 2009 to celebrate coaches and players who had greatly contributed to black universities. The BCFHOF is now located in Ohio. 

%d bloggers like this: