1. 2007 Florida: End zone celebration
Nobody knew exactly what was happening in the moments that followed Knowshon Moreno's first quarter plunge into the end zone against Florida in 2007.
The entire Georgia team spilled out on the field as officials threw every flag possible. Were the two teams about to fight? That didn't happen, but it became evident that Georgia had planned a mass celebration involving the entire team. This had never been done before, and it left Florida – and everyone for that matter – stunned.
The Bulldogs went on to win the game 42-30, but the score and game were overshadowed by the image of those players jumping up and down in the end zone. Oddly, freshman offensive lineman Trinton Sturdivant stood out for his rendition of some type of dance (nobody could confirm exactly what he was doing).
Mark Richt would later say his original intentions for the 11 players on the team to draw a penalty were misinterpreted by the players. Either way, the ploy worked – perhaps on a larger scale than Richt wanted.
2. 2008 Alabama: First half meltdown
Perhaps the most anticipated game in the Mark Richt Era, Georgia and Alabama were set to do battle in an early season matchup between two Top 10 teams. The Bulldogs began the season ranked No. 1, but had slipped to fifth in the polls after lackluster play. Alabama entered ranked No. 10, but was slightly under the radar after a down 2007 season.
ESPN College Game Day was on hand in Athens for the first time since 1998, and the atmosphere in Athens was a real as it gets. The Bulldogs planned to wear black and a late start time gave both fan bases plenty of opportunity to build up liquid courage.
The game began – and was essentially over for Georgia before the end of the first quarter. A hands-to-the-facemask penalty on the Bulldogs negated a recovered fumble and freshman A.J. Green fumbled in the first half. Meanwhile Alabama could do nothing wrong.
The halftime score: 31-0. Fans in Sanford Stadium were devastated. Although Georgia mounted a furious comeback attempt in the second half, the Crimson Tide held on to win 41-30. The loss exposed Georgia as a team that wasn't deserving of the elite status preseason polls had granted. Alabama went on to lose to Florida in the SEC Title game, but would win two of the next three national championships from 2009-11.
3. 2007 Auburn: Run out in black uniforms
The rumors immediately sparked when Mark Richt asked fans to dress in black for the 2007 Auburn game.
Could the team also be wearing black? Surely not, was the initial feeling. After all, numerous teams – college and pro – had been having "blackouts" and "whiteouts" and "whatever-color-outs" for some time without jerseys coming into play.
Many bristled at the thought of the Bulldogs playing inside Sanford Stadium in anything other than the traditional red.
As the game approached the hype built and built and built. By the time Saturday rolled around it seemed more likely Georgia would wear black than red. But as fans poured into the stadium, most dressed in black, the players were warming up in red.
But Richt, looking for an emotional edge against a chief rival, had the black uniforms hanging in the locker room. When the players returned the room was a scene of madness. That paled in comparison to the crowd in Sanford when the players ran out to AC/DC's ‘Back in Black' in the brand new uniforms.
Georgia used the momentum to blast the Tigers 45-20. Matt Stafford had 237 yards passing and Knowshon Moreno and Thomas Brown combined for 180 yards rushing as the Bulldogs put up the most points Auburn allowed all year.
Gimmick or not, the black jerseys helped produce the desired outcome. And Sanford Stadium was as loud as it's ever been.
When D.J. Shockley limped off the field in the second quarter against Arkansas fans feared the worst.
The Bulldogs were undefeated. If Shockley couldn't play, there would be no SEC Title. That meant no shot at the national title.
As it turns out, the news was good and bad. Shockley would only have to miss one game after minor work on his knee. That bad news: That one game was against Florida.
Backup Joe Tereshinski took over for the game and actually caught a touchdown on a pass from tailback Thomas Brown. It wasn't enough, as Georgia fell 14-10. The loss was just another frustrating point in a lop-sided rivalry that had seen Florida dominate since 1990.
Shockley returned to lead Georgia to the SEC Title, but fans recalling the 2005 season will also wonder what might have been if D.J. could have played against the Gators.
5. 2005 SEC Championship: First half explosion
Georgia entered the 2005 SEC Championship as mild underdogs to No. 3 LSU. But the Bulldogs had a home field advantage in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta – and they had D.J. Shockley.
Shockley connected with Sean Bailey on two first half touchdown throws and ran for another. Georgia built a 21-7 first half lead as the stunned LSU faithful watched all hopes for a national title bid disappear.
Senior cornerback Tim Jennings returned an interception for a touchdown in the fourth quarter and Georgia won 34-14.
Shockley was named the game's MVP, finishing with 112 yards passing and three total touchdowns.
6. 2008 Florida: Urban Meyer calls multiple timeouts
Alabama exploited the Bulldogs' weaknesses in 2008. Florida pushed Georgia's collective face in those weaknesses and laughed.
Tim Tebow accounted for five touchdowns as the Gators rolled to a 49-10 victory. Coach Urban Meyer, eager for retribution for Georgia's end zone celebration the previous year, used all three of his timeouts late in the game so his players could revel in the moment for a little bit longer.
Meyer and Mark Richt met midfield after the game and exchanged a cold, emotionless handshake. Both denied any harsh feelings for one another, but the celebration in '07 and the timeouts in '08 took the rivalry to a new level.
The loss was the worst of Richt's career and ended his team's hopes for a national title. Making matters worse, Florida went on to win the national title after defeating Alabama in the SEC Championship.
7. 2009 Offseason: Matthew Stafford/Knowshon Moreno press conference
Matt Stafford and Knowshon Moreno turning pro was an inevitable decision, but still a significant blow to the program.
Stafford was the projected No. 1 pick and Moreno was considered the No. 1 running back for the 2009 NFL Draft.
A press conference was held Jan. 7 in the Butts-Mehre complex, with Stafford, Moreno and Mark Richt delivering the news in front of a large media contingent.
It was the end of an era. The Bulldogs were losing two of the most explosive players in the history of the program and had no SEC title appearances to show for it.
The subpar season wasn't surprising – replacing talent like that isn't easy.
8. 2006 Tennessee: Matthew Stafford takes over for good
Matthew Stafford threw only five passes against Tennessee in 2006. Those throws weren't all that important.
What mattered was the 51-33 loss to the Volunteers led to Stafford being named the starter for good.
Tennessee became the second team to ever put up 50 points on Georgia in Sanford Stadium – 27 points were scored in the fourth quarter alone.
The game was Joe Tereshinski's first action after an ankle injury earlier in the season cost him a couple of games. He was productive in the first half, but threw two interceptions and lost a fumble as Tennessee pulled away.
Matt Stafford was going to win the job for good at one point or another. The loss to Tennessee made Mark Richt's decision easier.
9. 2010 Offseason: A.J. Green runs afoul of the NCAA
The summer of 2010 was a disaster for the integrity of college football. News broke in July about a party in Miami – a mixer of sports agents and college players who would later tell on themselves using Twitter.
North Carolina was hit the hardest, losing over 10 players due to improper benefits provided by agents or persons representing sports agencies.
Alabama and South Carolina were also swept into the mess. And somehow A.J. Green's name came up.
TMZ reported Green was at the party in Miami. The NCAA investigated and proved Green was not there. But in doing so, something else was discovered.
A $1000 deposit in Green's bank account made prior to a spring break trip alarmed the NCAA. Where did that money come from, investigators asked? Green was honest. He had sold his Independence Bowl jersey to Chris Hawkins, a former North Carolina player who worked for an agent.
Green was approached by Hawkins through Facebook and saw a chance to make some extra cash – something the NCAA found to be against the rules.
The exchange led to a four-game suspension for Georgia's best player. The Bulldogs struggled without Green, opening the season 1-3 without him and losing to Colorado in his debut.
And it all started with an erroneous report that Green was in Miami.
Where does one being to tell the story of the 2011 Georgia-Vanderbilt game?
The game itself was filled with drama until the end. Vanderbilt blocked a punt with less than a minute to play and could have scored if not for a game-saving tackle by punter Drew Butler.
The Commodores had a chance to win as time expired, but an incomplete pass gave Georgia a 33-28 win.
That was exciting enough, but wasn't the end. Or the beginning, either. A transformer on the East end of the stadium blew out and knocked out four sets of lights in the second quarter.
What happened after the game overshadowed everything else. Feeling that Vanderbilt coach James Franklin was being disrespectful toward safety Shawn Williams, defensive coordinator Todd Grantham approached and unleashed.
Grantham put his finger directly in Franklin's face and loudly and aggressively made his displeasure known as players from both teams crowded around.
The feeling in the press box and for those watching on television was – "Is this really happening?" Down on the field, Mark Richt and assistant Rodney Garner were doing everything they could to keep an all out fight from breaking out.
No punches were thrown, but Grantham landed several verbal jabs. He didn't back down after the altercation either.
"I love my players," Grantham said later. "I like the way they compete, and I love the passion they play with, and I support my players."