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January 30, 2006

10 Pivotal Moments in Georgia Athletics History

I'm not going to rank them. Just publish them by dates.

Jan. 30, 1892 - Dr. Charles Herty organizes the first football game at Georgia against Mercer. The most amazing thing is that the first game was in late January likely conflicting with the Super Bowl.

Oct. 12 1929 - A capacity crowd paid $3.00 per ticket to watch the Georgia Bulldogs beat then powerhouse Yale, 15-0, in the opening of Sanford Stadium. The new stadium legitimized the Georgia Football program, forcing Tech to play Georgia in Athens regularly. Left to his own devices, Vince Dooley probably would've put Yale back on the schedule in the early 1990s. He scheduled every other half assed team he could find.

The stadium in 1929. So let me get this straight..did they take this photo from a bi-plane or what?

1946 - John Wooden interviews with Wally Butts for the head coaching job with the Georgia basketball program. Butts apparently levels with him admitting that the SEC, State Government and the university won't let Wooden recruit players of all races. Wooden turns Georgia down. Two years later he accepts the job at UCLA. Wooden's decision rescues Georgia from becoming a nancy boy southern athletic program like Kentucky only interested in roundball success.

Wooden would've own Rupp's ass at Georgia. Just like he did at UCLA.

1964 - Vince Dooley hired as Georgia Head Coach. When he was hired, Tech had a larger stadium, more media pull, a larger fan base, and a three game winning streak against Georgia. 40 Years later, Georgia beats Tech 70%+ of the time, their stadium was briefly 1/2 our size, and it takes a world class search and rescue team to find a Tech fan the Monday after Thanksgiving.

Even the A-Team has trouble finding Tech fans after "Clean Old Fashion Hate"

April 1980 - Herschel Walker signs his letter of intent to play football at the University of Georgia. Walker waited two full months after national signing day to sign his papers on Easter Sunday. Thus beginning his journey as one of the greatest college football players of all-time. If Herschel signs with USC or Clemson, there is no national title.

Nov. 8, 1980 - Georgia defeats Florida on the strength of a 93 yard pass completion from Buck Belue to Lindsay Scott. Called by some one of the greatest finishes in college football history. Earlier that day #1 Notre Dame tied Georgia Tech opening the door for the Dawgs to be ranked #1 in the AP poll for the first time ever with a win in the Cocktail Party. If Buck doesn't complete that pass, he wouldn't be working in sports talk now. And my head wouldn't hurt when I accidentally let the station rest on 680TheFan in the afternoons.


Jan. 1, 1981 - Georgia defeats Notre Dame to win the National Championship in football. Georgia had won a piece of several other national titles, but this was the school's first undisputed title. Tech fans weep openly at the realization that they helped make this game possible with their tie vs. ND earlier in the year.

Herschel runs over Notre Dame

March 1983 - Georgia defeats Michael Jordan and the North Carolina Tarheels to advance to the Final Four. Prior to that, the underdog Georgia team beat #1 seed St. John's led by Chris Mullins. Before to the UNC game, Sam Perkins insulted the Bulldogs by saying he "didn't even know what conference Georgia was in." Oddly, most Georgia fans didn't know either at the time. We all just assumed it was the SEC, but if it had been the MEAC or SWAC we wouldn't have been the wiser. This is still the biggest oddity in UGA hoops history as it happened the year after 'Nique left.

Georgia's Final Four Team

December 1988 - The Georgia Athletic Department manages to screw up the biggest hire in 25 years by naming Ray Goff as Vince Dooley's replacement. Erk Russell was right there, and he wanted it. But somehow the whole process went to hell. Suddenly, Tier 5 coaches all over the country are climbing out of the wood work to turn the job down. If he had taken it, there is no way that Spurrier owns us, and there is no way that the program falls apart defensively. The entire decade of the 90s would've been different for the entire SEC.

Photo: God Bless Erk Russell. The definition of bad ass.

Dec. 20, 2000 - Mark Richt turns Georgia Down. Only to reconsider later that night and ultimately accept the job. If Richt hadn't accepted the job, we could've ended up with someone like Chan Gailey. Frankly, Gailey would have been about as successful a football coach at Georgia as Bela Karolyi. Only Bela has more charisma and is better at developing short athletic kids with spunky attitudes who clearly aren't football players.

What did I leave off the list?

Starting the equestrian program didn't quite make the list


LD said...

Unfortunately I have one other pivotal moment: Jan Kemp's academic fraud allegations and the subsequent scandal. Changed a perception of the program for a decade, and coincided with the Dooley/Goff turnover. Repercussions still felt today, with the refusal to admit several borderline players (Michael Grant just last year).

Another pivotal moment I think could be World War II and the decision by the government to place training schools only at particular campuses. In 1942 UGA was riding a wave of victories and national acclaim. 1941 they went 9-1-1 and won the Orange Bowl. 1942 they went 11-1 (Damn Auburn), won a share of the National Title and Frank Sinkwich won the Heisman. In 1943, basically all the players were inducted into the military, leaving the Dawgs to field 4-Fs or underage players. Meanwhile, places like Georgia Tech were the sites of pre-flight training centers, and those places continued to suit up top tier athletes. For the duration of the war and some years after, Georgia continued to field strong teams, but who knows how dominant they could've been with a full complement of players. It's not too far a leap to say that the war cost the Dawgs a good amount in terms of national prestige.

Anonymous said...

1942 Rose Bowl win over UCLA propels UGA to first consensus national title even though AP went with Ohio St - six polls for OSU, six polls for UGA, and one poll for Wisconsin

1990 UGA wins baseball college world series. An improbable run with wins over national powerhouses Miss. St., Stanford, and Oklahoma St. gives UGA national titles in 2 of the big 3 college sports.

I'd also argue that the Jan Kemp case is pivotal in both a good and bad way for UGA. Bad in the long run as we place tougher restrictions on ourselves which allows Auburn to replace us dominant SEC football program in the mid to late 80's. In the long run, it changed attitudes about academics and athletics and leads to the hiring of Dr. Knapp and other determined people to make UGA a top flight academic university which is its first and foremost mission. Players like Grant, Chaney, etc. have no one to blame but themselves. Only the best deserve to wear the "G" at UGA.

Anonymous said...

October 28, 1995?

Apologies. You say Lindsay Scott and we go numb on our left side, so we have to retaliate somehow. Someone's got to pay for the precious IQ points we lose whenever we accidentally listen to 680 in the p.m.

Astronaut Mike Dexter said...

Then I have to come back at you with January 4, 2002, although that didn't turn out to be nearly as big a turning point in Georgia football history as we thought it would be at the time . . . dammit.

Anonymous said...

Sure...doesn't sting quite as much as 52-17, right? At home? To the OBC in his full Satanic swagger?

Just twisting a very old, very rusty knife...

Unknown said...

The only thing I remember about October 28, 1995 is The Braves Winning the World Series.

Did something else happen that day? My memory is foggy. lol.

Don't worry Orson. I'm preparing a Gator Version of this too. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Waiting with (gator) bated breath.

Anonymous said...

that is an amazing bit of trivia about Coach Wooden. I am frankly amazed that I never read or heard this before, but I cant imagine what UGA basketball history would be like if Coach Wooden had become the Wizard of Five Points. Imagine Lew Alcindor in a Bulldog uniform. Or Walt Hazzard. Or Keith Wilkes, Bill Walton, etc etc etc. Even Pete Trgovich, for crying out loud.

great stuff. My 10 would be different, but this is pretty good stuff.

Kyle King said...

I second what L.D. wrote.

He has already described the 9-1-1 Orange Bowl championship team of 1941 and the 11-1 Rose Bowl championship team of 1942. Following two down years in 1943 and 1944, the 'Dawgs returned to prominence when 1942's underclassmen returned to campus after the war was over.

In 1945, Georgia went 9-2 and won the Oil Bowl. The Bulldogs beat Florida (34-0), Auburn (35-0), and Georgia Tech (33-0).

In 1946, Georgia went 11-0, captured the S.E.C. championship, won the Sugar Bowl, and won the national title in one of the recognized polls.

The 1943 and 1944 teams contained none of the able-bodied members of the 1941 and 1942 squads, but, when those players returned, they finished out their careers in style.

The four-year record of the 1941-'42-'45-'46 class was 40-4-1, with two S.E.C. titles and two national championships. That ranks right up there with 1980-'81-'82-'83 among the great (albeit interrupted) four-year stretches for a particular recruiting class in school history.

Had Georgia been the site of a military training post in 1943 and 1944, the early to mid-1940s unquestionably would be hailed as the greatest period of sustained excellence ever by the Bulldogs.

Orson is right about the 1995 Georgia-Florida game, of course, but I have another pivotal moment that is even worse: Vince Dooley's decision to turn down the Auburn job in 1980.

Had Coach Dooley taken the post at his alma mater, Erk Russell would have taken over as the Bulldogs' head coach in 1981 and Pat Dye never would have returned to the Southeastern Conference.

A quick look at Coach Russell's record at Georgia Southern, Coach Dye's record on the Plains, and Coach Dooley's record in Athens after the last of Erk's players exhausted their eligibility following the 1983 season makes it clear that the conference's power shift from the Classic City to the Ugliest Village would not have happened had Vince returned to the Plains.

Unknown said...

DAMN! Kyle that's a GREAT call. Way to bring it.

Although, with our luck some dipshit Georgia administrator would have wanted to interview Dye for the Georgia job instead of Erk.

The 1946 season is interesting. We we lost the national title despite being 11-0. Army and Notre Dame split the title after a 0-0 tie in Yankee Stadium

That army team had Blanchard and Davis so the shutout was an amazing accomplishment. But still, we won 'em all.


Anonymous said...

hold on to your hats, boys, but concerning the whole VD to AU, Erk takes over scenario....

it was my last year in law school at the time, but I dimly recall that Pat Dye was eager to sell himself to UGA in the event VD left for Auburn. Erk would surely have gotten the interim gig, and perhaps Fred Davison would have bumped Erk to the permanent post...but Pat Dye fully intended to campaign for which ever job VD left open.

Imagine, if you will (and as some of us did in the mid 80s.....), not Erk Russell as the new man (and Erk would have had a lot of supporters), but Pat Dye. Running the wishbone. Running his faux Bear Bryant, gravel voiced country hick routine and bringing alllllllll those linemen from the state of Georgia to UGA instead of AU.

Now imagine the downside. Pat Dye learned how to cheat from the best. It's hard to imagine he wouldnt have tried to continue cheating at UGA. It's also likely that the human hand grenade known as Jan Kemp would have gone off, perhaps worse even than she did with VD, who at least had a reputation as a rule follower. What if the NCAA came in to drop the hammer on UGA in combination with the Kemp matter?

It would have been a disaster. I would have liked to see how Erk would have done, but thank your lucky stars that Pat Dye didnt end up running our program into the ground. If the price of success is UGA being run like Auburn, cheating and all, noooooooo thank you.

Anonymous said...

The last day of the Dooley Administration was a pivotal moment.

Another moment was when the Harrick scandal came out.

Also, in the future, Michael Adams not being President of UGA!

Kyle King said...

If memory serves, Loran Smith and Lewis Grizzard were very straightforward upon this point in "Glory, Glory!": had Vince taken the Auburn job between the end of the 1980 regular season and kickoff of the 1981 Sugar Bowl, Erk would have been promoted to head coach, no ifs, ands, buts, or "interims." I don't think Pat Dye would even have gotten an interview.

As for Orson's reference to the 1995 Florida game, that was a low point for Georgia football, but not a pivotal moment. If Darth Visor hadn't called the flea-flicker and the final score had been 45-17, Ray Goff would have been just as fired and the Gators would have been just as Fiesta Bowl-bound. It was embarrassing, certainly, but, in the grand scheme of things, it didn't change anything too dramatically.

The day Steve Spurrier was hired at Florida, though, was a pivotal moment for S.E.C. history generally and for Georgia history specifically. Although Florida was the school most affected by the Evil Genius's return to Gainesville, Georgia, Tennessee, and Auburn all bore the brunt of the shift of power.

Orson's mention of the final score of the 1995 Georgia-Florida game reminds me of my lone favorable memory of that event, though.

In 1994, the Gators beat the Bulldogs in Gainesville, 52-14. In 1995, the Gators beat the Bulldogs in Athens, 52-17. On the Monday after the beat-down between the hedges, a law school classmate of mine said, "We're gaining ground. In another 10 or 12 years, we'll tie 'em!"

Anonymous said...

Dr. Davison said Dye would not coach at UGA as long as he was President.

Anonymous said...

You would be hard pressed to deny that These are The Good Ole Days now, PaulWesterDawg.

The 40-4-1 Recruiting Class of 1941 was truly the beginning of This BuLLdawg Football Program, and the 1983 Class that went 43-4-1 was even better, but our 26 Seniors on the Team last season went 44-9 and that certainly is better than the Senior Class the year before of David Pollack and David Greene that went 42-10.

Putting history into perspective, UGA has 6 National Championships in Football listed in the NCAA 1-A Official Football Records Book, and now with the 2 of the last 4 have 12 SEC Championships, one less than the vols for 2nd place.

Starting 1997, only Florida State and Georgia have been ranked in every Final AP Poll these 9 years and both have 87 Wins. Georgia's 87-27 starting 1997 also includes a strong run of sending players into the NFL that Rodney Garner is our Recruiting Coordinator for, and he also is an Auburn graduate. In fact, he was All-SEC there as Nose Guard for SEC Champions Auburn.

But, it is not just only Rodney Garner who signaled the return to Glory for The Bulldogs, for it is this little 8-Year $19.2 million dollar contract, with incentives, that continues this Coach Mark Richt Era for The BuLLdawg Nation. Never before in our history have the recruiting analysts stated that Georgia has averaged a ranking in the two Primary WebPages ranking recruiting averages that combined have made Georgia Bulldogs' Recruiting the # 5.8 Best Average in the Nation for these last 5 recruiting classes.

# 3 in 2002
# 6 in 2003
# 6 in 2004
# 10 in 2005
# 4 in 2006

We went 19 years of not winning the SEC Championship before the Coach Mark Richt Era ended it right there.

Of these 9 years of 87-27 starting 1997, Georgia has Won 7 of the 9 Bowl Games, have owned Tennessee and humiliated Georgia Tech as well.

Tennessee, in the meantime, has now gone half of the last half a dozen years, not even ranked in the Final AP Polls. That is 3 of the last 6 years not ranked for the vols.

And, Georgia Tech is on Probation in Football for the next complete entire two full years.

Florida, in the meantime, has had 5-Loss Years every season after Steve Superior bolted for the Washington Redskins after the 2001 season.

2002-2003 Crocodiles had 5 Losses
2003-2004 Crocodiles had 5 Losses
2004-2005 Crocodiles had 5 Losses

And, now last season, 2005-2006, Urban Cryer had 4 Losses.

And, while those are all great runs for UGA

42-10 Class Ending 2004
40-4-1 Class Interrupted by World War II of Charley Trippi
43-4-1 Class of 1983

44-9 is quite remarkable that this perspective shared with you here now by me is required to put this all into view.

Comparing these two programs of where Coach Richt accepted this gig from December 2000 and where he is now, who are the only two Football Programs in America who have been ranked every year starting 1997, is even more profound.

21 Losses since Coach Richt accepted this gig at FSU including two ACC Championships with 5-Loss Seasons both times because specifically FSU has "replaced" Coach Richt with Jeff Bowden and done nothing at the Quarterback Position. FSU has averaged a # 17 Ranking in the Recruiting 5 Years Available to Average at both and Rivals to Coach Richt averaging # 5.8 over these 5 years of recruiting that make up FSU's team and Georgia team, with redshirts, this up-coming season. And, # 9 Average Finish in the Final AP Poll for Coach Richt Era at UGA to # 17 Average Finish in the Final AP Poll for Bobby Bowden without Coach Richt.

Two weeks ago, UGA had 16 Bulldogs on the NFL rosters of the Playoff teams competing to play for the NFL Championship Sunday last week. NFL Championship Sunday Bulldogs on the rosters of these 4 teams numbered 10. Now, we send 5 more to the Super Bowl next weekend.

It seems to me that you are begging the question in this PaulWesterDawg Blog, are These the Glory Good Ole Days Today ?

I thought that I would clarify the perception for the fans of the nerds, criminoles, Crocodiles, and unqualified for a bowl vol fans of just where The Bulldog Nation is now today.

We have finished in the Top 10 of the Final AP Poll 4 years in a row.

We have a Head Coach in Football who left his previous employer, but not alma mater, is total disarray at Quarterback since.

And, for all the success of The Bulldogs' Football Program at # 11 All-Time in Wins, Coach Richt has certainly gotten a lot out of his Quarterbacks here as he has in his two entire decades teaching Quarterbacks. First, he took Jim Donnan's Quarterback David Greene and made him the All-Time Division 1-A Winningest Starting Quarterback. And, then he took his own recruit, DJ Shockley and taught DJ Shockley to set the All-Time Bulldogs' Record for every season of our Glorious 114-Year History with both 24 Passing Touchdowns and 28 Total Touchdowns responsible for with his 4 Rushing Touchdowns.

Indeed, these are the good times.

And, what do we face this up-coming season now ?

Doubts that Coach Richt can find a Quarterback; that is what we have as the perception of this football program on this day.

Coach Richt has Joe Tereshinski III who is certainly a # 20 Dual-Purpose Threat Quarterback he recruited, Blake Barnes a # 9 rated Quarterback, Joe Cox a # 3 rated Quarterback recruit and adds in for good measure Matthew Stafford generally considered the # 2 Best Quarterback in the Nation this season.

Oh, I think we can win 9 games next season.

9-4 is my prediction. If we could make it the SEC Championship, we could go 10-4.

We have a really good thing going on here at UGA in the Coach Richt Era.

These are the Glorious Good Ole Days for certain today, right now, at the moment, in the present day – not yesterday.

Now, a couple of Defensive Tackles who can tackle wouldn't hurt.

And, by the way, you left off that Georgia Won our 1st Football Game in 1892 over Mercer by 50 to Nothing with John Kimball and Park Howell stars for us when Georgia Tech instead LOST to Mercer and in fact, Tech lost every game in 1892, their 1st year too. Therefore, Tech hired said Park Howell and John Kimball in 1893 to beat Georgia. We stoned them in a Train where the barricaded themselves Wrecking near Lawrenceville and showing up in Atlanta AJC snapping a photograph of the Wrecked Train that rear-ended a freight train in its rush to get out of Athens and put a Caption that read Rambling Wreck Returns Home.

Nowadays, at On Probation Georgia Tech that is called a 1930 Automobile.

The Ramblin' Wreck is not an automobile but a Train.

The players during World War I at Tech were from every other school in the nation, as they stayed behind while UGA Football Coach Army General W.A. Cunningham, took our men to France and Won the War. So, this crap about World War II at Georgia Tech with their V-12 was nothing new for those cheaters. By the way, the Tech Coach in World War I who did this then too, was none other than John Heisman.

Today, they name their football stadium for a college dropout of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Bobby Dodd, who Vince Dooley never lost to, not once, and beat every game.

But, we were trying to Dump Dooley and make Erk Russell our Head Football Coach, but that is not to be confused with the fact that while 3 Yards and a Cloud of Dust was not always the most exciting play, certainly as our Football Coach and Athletics Director Vincent J. Dooley built Sanford Stadium himself. His 41 Years at UGA have clearly been defined as him being our Best Athletics Director.

3 of his Final 6 years as AD, UGA led the SEC in the Sears Directors' Cup as the Top Athletic Department in the # 1 Conference for the 22 Sports we compete in.

Vince neither wanted Jim Harrick and had narrowed the list down to the Coach at Notre Dame now, nor would go around the State Nepotism Law for Jimmy Harrick , Jr., nor would go around the Admissions Department at UGA for Tony Elasco Cole, when we already had a great Point Guard and didn't even need him.

Michael F. Adam$ gave Tony Cole the Presidential Admit, insisted that Vince hire Jim Harrick because they both worked at Pepperdine together where Adam$ was NOT the president of the 1,700 students there, and it was Adam$ who went around the Admissions Department for Tony Cole.

Have a fine day, and don't miss how Coach Richt Era continues with the recruiting Signees tomorrow morning.

How 'Bout Them Dawgs ?

Dawgnoxious said...

Damn Anon! You should have posted your name so you could get the props you have coming to you. Any commenter who can start in 1892, end in 2005, hit all the high points, dispense with Tech, and kick that sleazy sonofabitch Mike Adam$ in the ass as a finishing move deserves serious praise. Just damn.

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