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

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Dec 5, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; The Southeastern Conference logo is seen at midfield at the Georgia Dome. The Alabama Crimson Tide plays the Missouri Tigers in the SEC Championship on Saturday. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

2012: The 2012 Georgia football team was a great one, featuring Aaron Murray, Jarvis Jones, Brandon Boykin, Alec Ogletree, Bacarri Rambo, John Jenkins, Arthur Lynch, and the freshman sensation known as Gurshall. The Dawgs’ lone regular season loss came at South  Carolina in a game I don’t like to talk about. After that game though, the Dawgs hit their stride, winning 6-straight. The Dawgs were riding high as the 3rd-ranked team in the country heading into the SEC Championship Game against the 2nd-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide in what essentially a national semifinal game.

What ensued was an all-time classic of a game that I still cannot watch. Whenever it’s on TV my…allergies start acting up.

The game was intense and high-scoring, with the lead changing hands many times. Georgia got one last chance very late in the game with no timeouts left. The drive started at the 5, and after some beautiful quarterbacking from Aaron Murray, Georgia had the ball at the 8 yard line with 9 seconds left and the clock running.

What happened next is still a topic for argument amongst fans in DawgNation.

Many fans felt Murray should’ve spiked the ball to give the Dawgs time to think. I personally agree with the decision to run a play, as the Alabama defenders were gassed, and Malcolm Mitchell was open in the corner of the endzone.

Then it happened. Murray threw the ball for Mitchell, but it was deflected at the line and to Georgia receiver Chris Conley at the five yard line, who caught the ball in a natural reflex, then fell to the ground. Georgia couldn’t get one final play off, and the Dawgs were five yards away from a national title, as there is no doubt in my mind that they would’ve beaten Notre Dame had they played.

If that ball isn’t tipped it’s a touchdown. If that ball isn’t caught, Georgia gets another play. Either way, Georgia likely gets a national title, Mark Richt’s 3rd.

Next: Three That Could Have Been