Georgia football will face Alabama in the Southeastern Conference Championship. This will be the 73rd time these two schools have played each other, and it is the 4th time Georgia and Alabama have played for the SEC crown. Regarding SEC powers, Georgia and Alabama must be among the two most storied programs in the conference’s history. Alabama has 964 wins all-time in its football history, and Georgia has 880 wins all-time in its football history.
Georgia and Alabama started playing each other in 1895. Georgia won that game 30-6. However, the interesting note about that game is that it was not played in Athens or Tuscaloosa but in Columbus, Georgia. This matchup in the early days of college football was played often and had stretches where both schools played annually.
From 1919 to 1929, this matchup was played annually, and from 1944 to 1965, the game was played annually. This match-up has been played in Columbus, Birmingham, Montgomery, Tuscaloosa, Athens, and Atlanta. This will be the ninth time Georgia and Alabama play in Atlanta.
The most famous game from a Georgia perspective is the last annual matchup between the two schools in 1965. Vince Dooely was in his second year as head coach for Georgia, and the Dawgs were up against Bear Bryant and the national champions, Alabama. It was also the first game at Sanford Stadium that was televised. Georgia won the game 18-17. Georgia won the game on a “flea-flicker” play. It’s a play that will live on in the Georgia football annals.
Many games stick out in Georgia fans’ minds regarding Georgia vs. Alabama. There was the 2002 game when Pat Dye said, “Georgia was not man enough to go into Bryant-Denny and beat Alabama.” I am almost positive Dye said that to give the Dawgs a bit of juice to beat Alabama, but others have their own opinions. Georgia won that game 27-25.
My personal favorite is from the 2007 match-up between the two schools. I dubbed it the Brittney Spears game. Georgia and Alabama played a hard-fought game that went into overtime. Alabama kicked a field goal to go up by three, and Matthew Stafford and the Dawgs were set to get the ball and try to win the game with a touchdown. In between Georgia taking the field on offense, the announcer of the game, Mike Patrick, asked an important question. “What is Britney doing with her life.”
Georgia won the game right after that question when the Dawgs ran one play. Stafford threw to Mikey Henderson in the endzone for a beautiful touchdown. Georgia won 27-23. But more importantly, the question of “what Britney is doing with her life” remains unanswered. Also, a shoutout to Georgia’s left guard in that game, Chris Davis. He did not do much on that play but did have great footwork.
The last time these two faced off was in 2022. We all know what happened on that cold January night up in Indianapolis. Georgia won its first national championship in 41 years against Alabama.
I was there that night, and I remember almost every moment of that game except Ringo’s run into the endzone. Once he picked the ball off, I started crying so hard I had to put my hat over my face and sit down. I thought Ringo was already tackled, and then the crowd got louder. When I looked up, I saw Dan Jackson getting blown up and Ringo running toward me into the endzone. I never saw him go across the endzone. Pure pandemonium. Greatest day of my life and probably yours too.
Hopefully, Georgia brings us one more memory of a lifetime after beating Alabama for the SEC Championship title and moving on to the CFP Playoffs. Georgia and Alabama are set to kick it off at 4:00 PM EST on CBS.