Georgia Claims 1992 as first SEC East Title

ATHENS, Ga. — For those in the Bulldog nation already celebrating the SEC East title as Georgia's first championship of any kind in 20 years, take another look.

In the team meeting room at the Butts-Mehr football building, one wall is devoted to a list of championship seasons — for the Southeastern Conference's Eastern Division, for the SEC and for national titles.

There is a new "2002'' posted on the wall under SEC East championships, but this is not the first year listed. Georgia also claims 1992 as a year it won the SEC East.

In '92, Georgia finished 10-2 overall and 6-2 in the SEC. It tied for first place in the East with Florida, but a 26-24 loss to the Gators kept Georgia from being the team picked to play in the SEC championship game.

Is '92 a championship year? Current players say they don't mind sharing the glory of their outright 2002 division title.

"I hope they let it stay up (on the wall),'' said senior receiver Terrence Edwards. "Any kind of way we can get it, we'll take them.'' Added Edwards:  "When people come in and see that, they'll know they did tie and they do deserve some credit. They didn't go to the (SEC championship) game but they deserve the credit that they were co-champions.''

Georgia athletics director Vince Dooley also says it is appropriate that the '92 season be remembered as a championship year.

"You can't deny they were co-champions,'' Dooley said. "The one that represents the conference, you might say is first among equals.''

The 1992 team featured quarterback Eric Zeier, running back Garrison Hearst, fullback Mack Strong of Columbus and receiver Andre Hastings on offense. The defense was led by a collection of NFL-bound linebackers including Randall Godfrey, Charlie Clemons and Mitch Davis.

The 1992 team also lost to Tennessee in the regular season and had to settle for beating Ohio State 21-14 in the Citrus Bowl.

Even so, says Dooley: "They certainly deserve the right to share the championship.''


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