Georgia Football: Best Program in Recent History* (video)

3 of 5

Nov 29, 2014; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs mascot UGA IX on the field before the game against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Sanford Stadium. Georgia Tech defeated Georgia 30-24 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

2007: The 2007 college football season was the wackiest of any sports season I’ve ever witnessed. It was the year of the Curse of #2. Seven different teams throughout the year would lose while ranked #2: USC, California, South Florida, Boston College, Oregon, Kansas, and West Virginia. West Virginia’s loss while #2 came in the final week of the year, and I’ll get back to it and Kansas’s loss in a little bit.

More from Dawn of the Dawg

But first, let me shift my attention to the wackiness directly related to Georgia’s season. The first of Georgia’s two losses that year came at home in an upset to South Carolina. This was another one of those classic games that Georgia always seems to lose but they should’ve won. The other loss was at Tennessee, and the Dawgs admittedly got it handed to them that week.

The 2007 campaign also included three victories that should forever be a piece of Georgia folklore. Those victories came against Alabama, Florida, and Auburn.

The Alabama win came in overtime in Bryant-Denny Stadium, and it contains possibly my favorite football memory, including the many games I’ve played in. I remember watching the game unfold in my grandparents’ living room. Alabama scored a field goal in their offensive possession of overtime, and rather than play it conservatively knowing the only needed a field goal to keep the game alive, the Dawgs turned to sophomore quarterback Matthew Stafford, who threw a perfect pass to Mikey Henderson in the corner of the endzone to seal the deal. God, it was perfect.

Also in 2007 was the famous “Gator Stomp”, the team-wide, on-field celebration after the Dawgs’ scored the opening touchdown against Florida, Georgia would go on to beat Tim Tebow’s Gators 42-30.

Lastly, the Auburn game was one to tell your grandkids for one special reason alone: the Blackout. For the first time ever, the Dawgs ran out of the tunnel wearing (in this writer’s opinion) beautiful black jerseys, to a black sea of Georgia fans. It was truly a magnificent site to see, and the Dawgs would go on to cream the Tigers 45-20.

Now, on to the national championship. I mentioned earlier the losses by #2 Kansas and#2 West Virginia. Kansas lost to Missouri in its last regular season game. That same week, #1 LSU lost to Arkansas. The next week, Georgia was ranked #4, Missouri #1, West Virginia #2, and LSU #7. Mizzou would lose to Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship, West Virginia would lose to Pittsburgh, Georgia didn’t play and LSU would beat Tennessee in the SEC ‘ship. Now, I’m no mathematician, but if 1 and 2 lose, 3 and 4 should become 1 and 2, right? Wrong. #3 Ohio State, who didn’t play in a championship game moved to #1, and LSU jumped up ALL THE WAY FROM #7, to take the #2 spot. I’m still angry about it.

Now I know had Georgia not lost to South Carolina or Tennessee in the first place they wouldn’t have been in that situation anyway, but I don’t care. You go to school and learn that math and science are never wrong, but there I was in 2007, being deceived. Had Georgia been ranked 2nd, I believe they would’ve beat Ohio State just as LSU did, winning their 2nd Hypothetical National Championship. Instead, Georgia would go on to blow Hawaii out of the water in the Sugar Bowl and earn three first-place votes in the final AP Poll, basically making them the People’s National Champion of 2007.

Next: The Most Heartbreaking of Hypothetical National Championships