On Wednesday, I listed The Five Best Team Performances in Games I Attended.
Now, having had some of my instinctive reactions confirmed by the comments left by fellow Bulldog webloggers, I present The Five Best Team Performances Overall.
One of the five best team performances overall. I love it when a plan comes together.
These are they:
November 7, 1942: Georgia 75, Florida 0---Notwithstanding Steve Spurrier's best efforts in the 1990s, this remains by far the biggest blowout in the history of the rivalry. In fact, the Bulldogs have won games by larger margins on just five occasions, against Alabama Presbyterian in 1913 (108-0), Locust Grove in 1910 (101-0), Mercer in 1941 (81-0), Gordon in 1910 (79-0), and The Citadel in 1958 (76-0). When you beat a major conference rival like they're Alabama Presbyterian or The Citadel, you've turned in a total team effort in a big way.
It's a little known fact that, when the interstate highway system was built, University of Georgia alumnus and U.S. senator Richard B. Russell had the highway running through the Peach State into the Sunshine State named "Interstate 75" in honor of the final score of the 1942 Georgia-Florida game.
September 5, 1981: Georgia 44, Tennessee 0---The defending national champion Bulldogs weren't supposed to sneak up on anyone in 1981 the way they did the year before. Six of Georgia's dozen victories in 1980 were by margins of a touchdown or less, so the 'Dawgs began Buck Belue's senior season ranked 10th by the Associated Press, who assigned the Red and Black a pretty poor poll position, considering their title pedigree from the preceding season. Against a Volunteer team that would win eight of its last 10 games and begin a string of seven straight postseason appearances, the Bulldogs took charge early, scoring more than 42 points against a conference opponent for the first time since 1976.
December 5, 1981: Georgia 44, Georgia Tech 7---Vince Dooley coached at Georgia for 288 games and this may well be the only one in which he might fairly have been accused of running up the score. As reported by Bill Cromartie in Clean Old-Fashioned Hate, the stage was set for an ugly game from the get-go. The Yellow Jackets came into the contest at 1-9, while the Bulldogs arrived at 9-1, having lost only to eventual national champion Clemson. On the day of the game, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution published a photograph of Chi Phi fraternity members from The Flats holding up copies of The Technique bearing the headline, "To Hell With UGA." Just before kickoff at Grant Field, the Georgia Tech team, wearing blue jerseys at home for the first time in 34 years, ran onto the field through a banner reading, "To Hell With Georgia---Cesspool of the South." The Yellow Jackets having talked the talk, the Bulldogs proceeded to walk the walk. On the Red and Black's first play from scrimmage, Buck Belue faked the handoff to Herschel Walker and threw an 80-yard touchdown pass to Lindsay Scott. The 'Dawgs led 34-0 at halftime, so, as usual, Coach Dooley began substituting liberally late in the game . . . until the starters, tired of hearing the Georgia Tech players and fans run their mouths, convinced their coach to put the first string back on the field. Vince relented and allowed the Goal Line Stalker back into the lineup so he could score his fourth touchdown of the day. Belue later remarked, "On the final drive they were spitting on us. . . . We wanted to cram the ball down their throats, and we did. . . . It's the first time I've seen Herschel's eyes light up like that."
Not the only noteworthy touchdown pass from Buck to Lindsay.
November 9, 1985: Georgia 24, Florida 3---The 'Dawgs were in the midst of a down cycle. After having begun the decade as the sport's most dominant team (43-4-1 from 1980 to 1983), Georgia slumped in the mid-'80s, posting a 22-11-3 record from 1984 to 1986. The 1985 Bulldogs opened the season with a Labor Day loss to a Mike Shula-led 'Bama squad, tied Vanderbilt at mid-year, and stumbled to an 0-2-1 finish against Auburn, Georgia Tech, and Arizona in the Sun Bowl. For one afternoon in Jacksonville, though, the magic was back as the Red and Black took on a Gator team ranked No. 1 for the first time in the program's history. Georgia held Florida to a field goal, snapped the Orange and Blue's 18-game unbeaten streak, and denied the Big Lizards a second straight week as the top team in the polls.
December 3, 2005: Georgia 34, Louisiana State 14---The Bayou Bengals were favored and beginning to hit their stride. The Bulldogs needed a little help just to get to the Dome after narrow losses to Florida and Auburn. For the second year in a row, a game between Georgia and L.S.U. that was expected to be close turned into a Red and Black rout from the outset. In the immediate aftermath of this game, I declared, "The '80s are over. I don't want to hear any more talk about the glory days. The glory days are now." I stand by that statement.
Those are my top five. What are yours?