On the BCS, SEC and Dawg of the Millennium (so far)

First off, congratulations to the Alabama Crimson Tide for a terrific BCS national championship win over a resilient Texas team. Since it wasn’t Florida, I was actually rooting for the SEC team this time around. It says a lot that it was an off year for the conference, and yet the coaches’ trophy still remains in the SEC.

Amid all the conflicting rumors involving the UGA defensive coordinator position, Kirby Smart and the Texas Tech head coaching job, I’ll just say this: If Mark Richt somehow does manage to land Smart and he brings that aggressive, attacking Saban brand of defense to the Dogs, there’ll be a lot of happy fans in the Bulldog Nation.

Oh, and one more thought: It looked like it actually physically pained Nick Saban to try and smile as he hoisted that crystal football after the game. Mr. Charisma, he’s not. But you can’t argue with the results.

Now, back to the business at hand. After all the best-of-the-decade lists that have been trotted out over the past week, it seems a good time to assess which Georgia Bulldog stands above all others from the past 10 years.

David Pollack is one of UGA's most decorated players ever. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

David Pollack is one of UGA's most decorated players ever. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

The first name that comes to mind, of course, is fan favorite David Pollack, who joined Herschel Walker as UGA’s only three-time All-America first-team selections. After seemingly coming out of nowhere with that great takeaway at South Carolina in 2002, the irrepressible player often compared to the Energizer Bunny went on to win the Ted Hendricks Award twice as the nation’s top defensive end, the Rotary Lombardi Award (nation’s top lineman), Chuck Bednarik Award (nation’s top defensive player) and the Lott Trophy (nation’s top impact defensive player), and was voted the SEC Defensive Player of the Year a couple of times. And he holds the UGA record for quarterback sacks with 36.

David Greene won 42 games in four years. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

David Greene won 42 games in four years. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

You can’t have this discussion, however, without mentioning the other half of the Two Davids combo, quarterback David Greene, who first grabbed fans’ attention as a redshirt freshman with his cool on-field leadership culminating with the famed “hobnail boot” play in the 2001 win at Knoxville. Greene led the Dogs to their first SEC championship in 20 years and back to the conference title game another time, and was named SEC Offensive Rookie of the Year, SEC Freshman of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year, SEC Championship Game MVP, was an All-SEC first-teamer once and second-teamer twice, set an SEC record with 214 consecutive pass attempts without an interception, and until this year held the NCAA record as the winningest QB of all time with 42 victories. He holds a number of team records, including most career pass completions and most career passing yardage.

Knowshon Moreno had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Knowshon Moreno had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Then there’s the only Georgia running back who’s drawn serious comparisons with the legendary No. 34, Knowshon Moreno. The spin-move specialist known for bouncing up and running back to the huddle racked up 188 yards and three touchdowns against Florida in 2007. In his two brief seasons playing for the Bulldogs, Moreno ran for 2,734 yards in just 26 career games, scored 30 rushing touchdowns and two more receiving and was named a Freshman All-America player his first year and first-team All-America after the 2008 season. If he hadn’t left early for the pros, he probably would have given Herschel a run for a number of the school rushing records.

Who's the best Georgia player of the past 10 years?

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Who else might merit consideration? Hard-hitting safety Thomas Davis earned All-America honors his junior year before leaving for the NFL. Strong-armed quarterback Matthew Stafford had quite a few memorable games before leaving early as the No. 1 NFL draft pick. And in just two years, acrobatic receiver A.J. Green has been simply amazing. He was a Freshman All-America and if he hadn’t gotten hurt this year probably would have been a first-teamer.

So who’s the best Georgia player of the past 10 years? Vote among the three nominees in the poll and share any other names you think deserve consideration in the comments.

LADY DOGS’ STREAK CONTINUES

Congratulations to Andy Landers’ Lady Bulldogs, who now own the best start in school history at 15-0 after their come-from-behind overtime win over Kentucky, breaking a record set by the 1998-99 team that went on to the Final Four. The Lady Dogs are just five wins away from tying the school record for 20 consecutive victories set by the 1985-86 team. Georgia hosts Florida at 6 p.m. Sunday at Stegeman Coliseum in a game that will be televised on ESPNU.

256 comments Add your comment

CLTDawg

January 8th, 2010
10:43 am

First, and it has to be Pollack, no one else is close in what he did for the university. Non stop motor and never took a play off. It is a shame that his pro career was shortened by the neck injury.

patrick

January 8th, 2010
10:43 am

patrick

January 8th, 2010
10:44 am

darn tied for first. 10:43am each. Do I get half credit?

RxDawg

January 8th, 2010
10:48 am

DJ has to get a nod

RxDawg

January 8th, 2010
10:49 am

Terrance Edwards too

JMar

January 8th, 2010
10:50 am

Completely off-topic, but how about Jim Leavitt (now former South Florida head coach) as defensive coordinator? He’s extremely talented, but would be almost certain to leave for another head coaching position sooner rather than later.

Prediction:

January 8th, 2010
10:53 am

Reggie Ball, he was very good for UGA.

superDawg

January 8th, 2010
10:55 am

Many great players have hunkered down between the hedges and credit is due to all of them.I like David Pollack and David Green they were the best of the decade.Looking forward to many great things to come.Rennie you are the man and hope you stay for one more year.It is time to put UF back a few years and you can do it.

DSGB

January 8th, 2010
10:55 am

Hands down #1 has got to be David Pollock. I would love to see UGA get another stud who can pump up the D as good as he could.

lastgrad

January 8th, 2010
10:56 am

David Pollack won games. He lead the Dawg defense like no one since.

DSGB

January 8th, 2010
10:57 am

Pollack, that is.

Gratefuldawghead

January 8th, 2010
10:59 am

Reggie Ball…LMAO Thats great thier Prediction! One of my favorite players besides the ones noted was Damien Gary! If it wasn’t for Gary’s return against Tenn thier would not be a Hob Nail Boot!

WonderDawg

January 8th, 2010
11:02 am

David Greene. Winningest QB in NCAA history til McCoy passed him this season. Just make make it Co-Best with both Davids!

AceDawg

January 8th, 2010
11:05 am

Pollack and Green probably deserve a tie, but I give Pollack the nod because it was our defense in the early 2000’s that was so awesome. Man did the defense wreak havoc and absolutely take some heads off. Hardest hitting D in the nation for a couple years back then, and Pollack was always ruining opponent’s days.

SOGADOG

January 8th, 2010
11:06 am

Take Moreno off the poll and add DJ Shockley. Shockley was loyal to the program and played out all of his eligibility. Moreno dashed off to the NFL early for the paycheck. Shockley won an SEC championship, (as did the two Davids). Moreno (and Stafford for that matter) did not win any championships and didnt hang around his senior season to make an effort at winning a championship. The two Davids and Shockley are SEC champions, Moreno and Stafford are paycheck players.

coachgb

January 8th, 2010
11:14 am

For all of those experts that want Kirby for DC so bad, did you notice how almost everytime the guys on TV mentioned the Texas defense, they talked about Muschamp, but when they said some about the Tide defense it was always about Saban’s defense. They finally mentioned poor Kirby late in the game a few times but still insisted on calling it the “Saban-Smart” defense. How do we know if ole Kirby has digested enough from King Saban to be ready to break things down on his own? I think its a mute point anyway. Texas Tech is not going to hire Smart as its new Head Coach but Kirby will know for sure that he has moved on to the radar screen for the future. He is not going to fool with success. He also knows that Bobo is being groomed for the HC job one day.

Pollack by far, since Walker in the 80’s, nobody even close!

jimmy

January 8th, 2010
11:25 am

i don’t care who was good please give us a d.c. an fix this fine mess we are in any body checked rival’s rating’s

Gravy Train

January 8th, 2010
11:34 am

Bobo for HC? Are you serious? Let him master the OC spot first, then maybe…
I for one hope CMR stays around long enough to set the record for wins at UGA. Maybe he can ignore the idiots who clamor for new coaches every season.

Otto

January 8th, 2010
11:36 am

IF Bobo is being groomed for the HC job, UGA is headed for darker days than the Goff years.

Otto

January 8th, 2010
11:37 am

Bobo could be a HC maybe at.. Kennesaw St. It’d be a blessing for UGA.

senoiadawgs

January 8th, 2010
11:41 am

Hands down Pollack!!!! Next would have to be Green, Davis, Moreno, Stafford then AJ. Someone mentioned T. Edwards. Really, when you drop just as many as you catch that doesn’t count. I can only imagine how good he and Gibson could have been if they had AJ’s hands.

rsdawg

January 8th, 2010
11:42 am

I’m with you gravy, I like Bobo but HC, really?

superDawg

January 8th, 2010
11:44 am

KS in negotiations as we speak get ready.

Kenny Powers

January 8th, 2010
11:44 am

I am the greatest bulletproof tiger uga player EVER!!!!!

GatorNation

January 8th, 2010
11:48 am

Hey Bill KIng…we don’t need you to root for us in the big game. In fact we would rather you not as we prefer to be associated with winners…

Tom

January 8th, 2010
12:01 pm

I can’t believe Moreno was included in this group! What a sell out! He abandoned Georgia AND held out for money.

Pollack was by far the standout. Too bad he’s a thug now.

Weird Sal

January 8th, 2010
12:02 pm

will the david pollack and david greene talk ever stop? broken-neck pollack had a lousy senior season. georgia football: mediocre bowl wins, costly pro-style offense, terrible coaching for the last twenty years, and most importantly, the worst journalist coverage possible. this is garbage mr. junkyard.

you are talking about a huge victory against south carolina in 2002, while teams like bama, lsu, and florida are winning titles…

Dorsey Hill

January 8th, 2010
12:02 pm

If “best” is to suggest the “most productive” player its Pollack hands down. If “best” is to suggest “most talented” or “most gifted” its AJ Green. He will be the best pro UGA has produced since Hines Ward. Mr. Ward will be one of the very, very few first ballot NFL Hall of Famers that UGA has produced. AJ maybe the next.

The Watergirl

January 8th, 2010
12:05 pm

Richt will not be coaching but for another 4 yrs maybe 5. Make Kirby coach in waiting and give him whatever he wants, but get him here

ugagrad05

January 8th, 2010
12:09 pm

Terrence Edwards couldnt catch a pass if his life depended on it. His drops broke our back in 2002. I wonder what would have been if we had DJ in for 2-3 years. So close!

Spike

January 8th, 2010
12:17 pm

Pollack, Greene, Mo Mass.

Dawg Fud

January 8th, 2010
12:18 pm

agreed with gratefuldawghead…damien gary was always a favorite. not saying he should be on this list but definitely a favorite player. hands like glue and just an all-around terrific person. very grounded and solid individual.

Dawg Fud

January 8th, 2010
12:18 pm

to be honest, i am apt to put MoMass ahead of knowshon.

definitely MoMass on the list.

Spike

January 8th, 2010
12:19 pm

One more.. Boss Bailey.

Don Gill

January 8th, 2010
12:21 pm

Why not David Pollack for DC?

Geez

January 8th, 2010
12:22 pm

I’m more interested in who WILL be moreso than who WAS!

chipperdawg

January 8th, 2010
12:23 pm

David Greene, hands down. Kid did nothing but win. And he was a Dawg thru and thru, tried and true. Pollack would be my second.

DawginLex

January 8th, 2010
12:23 pm

Greene
Pollack
B Bailey
Haynes
Michael Johnson

GSUGA

January 8th, 2010
12:25 pm

Bobo for HC will be disasterous. Don’t blame Stafford or Moreno when many fans praised their abilities and projected they were good enough to go early in the draft as JRs and even complained that Moreno was red shirted his freshman year. It was like wow we have someone who will go first round as a junior. Please!!!!!

gdawginkalamazoo

January 8th, 2010
12:27 pm

If not Greene by himself then a tie with Pollack. Damn good dawgs they are.

Dawg Fud

January 8th, 2010
12:28 pm

because Pollack has never coached a down D-1 of football in his life.

i hope you were being facetious with that suggestion

39 year dawg fan

January 8th, 2010
12:30 pm

I loved watching all of them but am afraid the Dawgs glory years are over at least for the forseeable future.

head coach seems more concerned with his image that winning big time

qb situation is headed for divisive future within the team

no proven sec D staff. i think R Garner would struggle in a 3rd grade spelling bee

everybody is exited about finishing the season by beating a ACC team. A Damn ACC team

Dale

January 8th, 2010
12:41 pm

Pollack.

And that was funny about Saban trying to smile. The Simpsons did a joke along those lines with Mr. Burns (”I’m going to be sore in the morning”)

D(r)ooley

January 8th, 2010
12:46 pm

“Since it wasn’t Florida, I was actually rooting for the SEC team this time around.”

2006 – Florida Gators – BCS Champions
2008 – Florida Gators – BCS Champions

Read it and weep………………..41-17

Uptown Lounge

January 8th, 2010
12:46 pm

Don’t forget about Gordon Ely-Kelso!

BAMA STAN

January 8th, 2010
12:52 pm

13 NATIONAL TITLES -22 SEC TITLES!!!

WIERD SAL – the significance of Pollack is huge.
He was doubled and tripled his senior year – negating his numbers – but opening up opportunity other members on his team.

Regarding SC – you have to remember that SC plays it’s best game against UGA every year – and SC plays well early in the season.
Even Bama, LSU, Florida, etc. survive games ….. or lose games from upstart programs like Miss State, Kentucky, Ole Miss or Arkansas and yes Vandy. Ask LSU about the wars they have had against KY. This, when LSU was on top of the football world.

UGA had a very good decade – but peaked in 2005. Has ot been relevent since as far as chamionship caliber – but has fielded some very good teams since then.

Have to list Pollack as the best of the best for this decade.

As for 2010 – UGA should be very good offensively – but has some holes to fill on defense.

The SEC EAST will be very interesting to watch:
SC should be improved
TN may take a step back – but who knows about this team?
Florida may lose a step – but should be highly ranked as they are loaded with athletes waiting their turn.
Kentucky – will be the spoiler – and maybe get that win over Tennessee in 2010!
UGA – could be very good on offense – but defense will be a huge question mark.

I think Florida will come out on top – but the rest will beat up on each other – UGA could wind up #2 in SEC East – heck maybe pull the upset in JAX!

Thanks for all the support for BAMA last night from all you bloggers. Good win for BAMA – good win for the SEC!!!

ROLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL TIDE!!!!!!

Top Dawg

January 8th, 2010
12:55 pm

Who cares? Let’s talk about the DC. I am getting the feeling that this program is stuck in the mud with the possibility of moving on to quicksand. I am SICK of celebrating UF’s and UA’s victories and trying to grab some of that glory just because we belong in the same conference. It is time to bring winning on a national scale to Athens. Period.

JDooley

January 8th, 2010
1:02 pm

I for one would pick David Greene #1. As far as the Mike Bobo talk being HC one day. I think that would be great, but only after he has been groomed for several years by Richt. I honestly hope Richt stays around long enough to be a legend like Dooley.

Dawgtilldeath

January 8th, 2010
1:06 pm

The Davids put the DAWGS back on the map. I am a defensive guy so Pollack would be the one for me. As much as those players did for UGA, I have always pulled for an underdog that busts their hump to get there but very rarley recieves recognition unless they commit a penalty. Two top dawgs for me that would make anyone proud are: Burt Jones and Andrew Williams. Both played during “mop up duty ” on defense but made tons of special teams that put us in places of field advantages that we would all give our left arms for today. They are two top dawgs in my opinion. Unselfish and un sung! Two of my all time favorites.

Buddy El

January 8th, 2010
1:08 pm

If you mean strictly college game performances David Greene is the man. I say that because he was the KEY figure in all Georgias victories that he palyed in. As a QB that, in my opinion, carries more weight than a single defensive standout which David Pollack was. I love both Davids and fully believe they had one hell of a lot to do with CMR’s success early on. A David Greene gives you a chance to win EVERY game.