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The highs and lows of the 20 year SEC drought

For two decades Georgia was unable to do what it did last Saturday night. There have been so many articles written on the 20 year SEC drought that some games, good and bad, have been forgotten in that time.

In 1996, at the height of Florida's power, not only nationally but also in the SEC, it felt like it would never happen. In 1998, at the height of Tennessee's power, it felt like it would never happen. And most assuredly on September 9th, 2000, after South Carolina upset the Dawgs on national television, it felt like it would never happen.

For two decades Georgia was unable to do what it did last Saturday night. There have been so many articles written on the 20 year SEC drought that some games, good and bad, have been forgotten in that time.

Highs and Lows in the last 20 years of Georgia Football:

Low - 1983 Auburn - Georgia loses a gut wrenching game to the Tigers in Athens. The loss ends a streak of three straight SEC crowns.

High - 1984 Cotton Bowl - John Lastinger leads Georgia to a huge 10-9 victory over Texas. The Longhorns would have likely won the national title had they beaten the Dawgs in Dallas.

High - 1985 Florida - Georgia upsets #1 ranked Florida. It was the first time that Florida had ever been ranked number one in the country. Georgia's Henderson and Worley made sure that the Gators' stay at the top lasted only one week.

Low - 1985 - the Jan Kemp scandal rocks Georgia athletics; specifically the Football program.

Low - 1988 Kentucky - Dooley's last season is ruined by the Wildcats on the road. Had the Dawgs won the game, Dooley would have added one last SEC title to his resume.

Low - 1990 Georgia Tech - Tech destroys the Dawgs en route to sharing the national title with Colorado.

High - 1991 Clemson - Georgia knocks off the highly ranked Tigers in Athens. The win remained as Georgia's only home win over a Top 10 team for almost a decade.

High - 1992 Auburn - Georgia stops Auburn, which was knocking on the door, from scoring a touchdown as time ran out.

Low - 1994 Vanderbilt - the Commodores destroy Georgia with an option attack. The Homecoming crowd was furious with the pitiful display. This game was probably the beginning of the certain downfall to Ray Goff's tenure as head coach.

High - 1994 Auburn - Georgia "upsets" Auburn by tying them in Auburn. It was the first game that Auburn did not won in almost two seasons.

Low - 1994 to 1996- Georgia manages only the 1995 Peach Bowl in that time period. The mid-1990s are considered the lowest point of Georgia football since the mid-1970s.

Low - 1995 Florida - Florida runs up the score on the helpless Dawgs in Sanford Stadium. This game showed how far apart the two programs had become.

Low - 1996 South Carolina - one of the most disappointing games for Georgia because after the loss, it appeared that the Gamecocks had passed Georgia in the SEC food chain.

High - 1996 Auburn - The Dawgs win again in Auburn, this time in the first ever overtime game in the SEC. The Tigers needed to win the game in order to win the SEC West, but Georgia denies that.

Low - 1996 Ole Miss - One week after shocking the Tigers, Georgia loses to lowly Ole Miss, a team that is disabled by harsh NCAA sanctions. The back-to-back games seemed to sum up Donnan's inability to get consistency out of Georgia.

High - 1997 Florida - Dawgs pound the Gators and look like they have turned the corner in the SEC.

Low - 1997 Auburn - Just when it looked like Georgia was turning the corner, Auburn brings the Dawgs back to reality one game later. 

High - 1997 Georgia Tech - Mike Bobo finds Corey Allen in the corner of the endzone to beat Tech. The win gave Georgia 7 straight wins over it's instate rival.

High - 1998 LSU - Donnan and the Dawgs seem unstoppable. Quincy Carter looks like the real deal. It seems that SEC titles are sure to come in no time.

Low - 1998 Tennessee - one week later, the Vols totally dominate Georgia in Athens. This was supposed to be another coming out party for the Dawgs, instead, Georgia is soundly beaten at home.

Low - 1998 Florida - The Gators prove that Georgia has not passed them in the SEC's food chain. Florida's dominating 38-7 win leaves Donnan with a 1-5 mark against Tennessee and Florida. Donnan won win only one more game against the two in him time in Athens.

Low - 1999 Auburn - Much like the 1994 Vanderbilt game for Goff, this was about as low as it got under Jim Donnan. Donnan's teams were now looking much more like underachievers than championship contenders.

Low - 2000 South Carolina - An over hyped Georgia team is humbled after Quincy Carter throws five interceptions in one game. It never looked as bleak as the 2000 South Carolina game. Carolina had not won a game the season before and was 1-21 the two seasons before the 2000 upset.

High - 2000 Tennessee - Georgia takes care of business against the Vols and fans take the hedges and goalposts with them

Low - 2000 Georgia Tech - Tech wins three in a row over Georgia for the first time since the 1960s. Georgia President Michael Adams subsequently fires Jim Donnan.

High - 2001 Tennessee - Georgia wins in Knoxville for the first time since 1980. Mark Richt gets his first signature win.

Low - 2001 Auburn - Richt calls a running play with no time outs remaining. Auburn stops Jasper Sanks and wins the game as a result. Questioning of Richt's time management skills goes on for a whole year following the game.

High - 2002 Alabama and Tennessee - Georgia strings together, in back to back weeks, two huge wins, and establish themselves as the team to beat in the SEC.

Low - 2002 Florida - Richt can't solve Florida's spell over the Dawgs. Florida's win appears to slow Georgia's momentum for good; it also prevents Georgia from playing for the national title later in the season.

High - 2002 Georgia Tech and SEC Title - In a matter of one week's time, Georgia destroys archrival Georgia Tech and wins the SEC title over Arkansas. Georgia wins the two games by a combined score of 81-10.

Dean Legge can be reached here: dean@dawgpost.com


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