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.
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.
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.
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.
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.