The first thing you see when you enter the College Football Hall of Fame is the helmets. Supposedly there’s one of nearly every college football program in the country. For the next couple of days when you climb the staircase to the second floor the next thing visitors to the hall will be geared towards Georgia Bulldogs and Ohio State Buckeyes fans.

The 1993 Citrus Bowl jerseys of former Georgia Bulldogs stars Garrison Hearst (5) and Eric Zeier. That game was the last time Georgia and Ohio State played in a bowl game. Photo by Donnell Suggs/The Atlanta Voice

On Saturday the Bulldogs and Buckeyes will meet for the second time in the history of the storied programs n the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. The winner earning a first-class ticket to the National Championship game in Inglewood, California the following week.

Fans of either team can get a look at some curated pieces of their team’s college football history at the College Football Hall of Fame this week. Special artifacts from Ohio State’s 1968 National Championship Rose Bowl victory will be displayed, along with uniforms and helmets from all-time greats like Jim Otis and Alan Jack. Georgia fans will see artifacts from the late former Bulldogs head coach Vince Dooley, receiver A.J. Green, running back Garrison Hearst and many more. 

College Football Hall of Fame historian and exhibit designer Denis Crawford is in charge of putting the exhibits together. “It’s a lot of fun when we sit around and think of a story to tell in a three-dimensional manner,” Crawford told The Atlanta Voice during a recent interview.

Crawford added that all of the artifacts in the exhibit were donated from the schools and/or the former student-athletes. The artifacts sit in 3x3x3 portable display cases.

A painting of former Ohio State head football coach Woody Hayes by Mike Simpson, a well-admired artist and 50-year veteran art teacher in Urbana, OH. Photo by Donnell Suggs/The Atlanta Voice

Atlanta is often referred to as the center of the college football universe. With the annual Chick-fil-A kickoff games and Southeastern Conference championship game bringing thousands to the city’s downtown every year, it’s easy to see why.

This year’s College Football Playoff National Championship game will take place at SoFi Stadium in Englewood, but one of the semifinals, the Peach Bowl, will take place in Atlanta at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The first time the two played was in Orlando at the 1993 Florida Citrus Bowl. Georgia won 21-14 behind a two touchdown performance from Hearst. Former National Football League running back Robert Smith also starred in the game, running for over 100 yards with a touchdown.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Donnell began his career covering sports and news in Atlanta nearly two decades ago. Since then he has written for Atlanta Business Chronicle, The Southern Cross...