When Georgia kicks off against Texas on New Year’s night, it’ll return the Dawgs to the game for the first time in 11 years. Over time, Georgia has not some highlights...and lowlights in New Orleans.
Here’s a ranking of Georgia’s berths in the Sugar Bowl.
1981: Georgia 17, Notre Dame 10
This ranking speaks for itself for one reason and one only. Little old Georgia took down mighty Notre Dame for the national title.
To quote Lewis Grizzard’s column:
“If it meant this much, I’m glad that Georgia won.
“It MEANT that much.”
2003: Georgia 26, Florida State 13
This one ranks here not just for the win by Richt over his mentor, but to be honest all leading up to the game. The euphoria leading up to the game, for a current generation of Georgia fans finally getting a taste of the glory of the early 80s that many had only read about, was an incredible wave of excitement. The win, which could have been bigger if we are honest, was icing on the cake.
1947: Georgia’s first showing in the Sugar Bowl was a good one with the Dawgs topping UNC 20-10. It’s hard to dislike a win in a program’s first appearance in a bowl game.
2008: Georgia 41, Hawaii 10
The win was great, so was silencing national pundits about a smaller school that they were falling all over (hey there, UCF). This one is a bit lower because this team lost out via ESPN’s ‘made up’ conference champion rules and did not play for a national title. If there was ever an empty bowl win on a big state for the Bulldogs, this one was it.
1977 : Pitt 27, Georgia 3
Ranking this one a bit higher seems odd, but the significance of Georgia’s first time in the Superdome, and what it meant as the fan base journeyed there, carries a bit of muster.
1969: Arkansas 16, Georgia 2
The berth was Georgia’s first in the Sugar Bowl in 22 years and first of five under Vince Dooley.
1982: Pitt 24, Georgia 20
It did not straight up cost Georgia national title, as the Dawgs needed help with a win in this one on account of a loss to Clemson that year, but it does not make the sting of a heartbreaking loss to the Panthers any easier.
1983: Penn State 27, Georgia 23
For multiple reasons the heartbreak of this game is one fans would rather forget. It’s easy to tell age of Georgia fans with Todd Blackledge is known by them not as a broadcaster, but the passer to connect on a late deep ball to top Georgia to deprive the Dawgs of a national title. As it turned out, the let down continued as it ended up being Herschel Walker’s last game.
2006: West Virginia 38, Georgia 35
Few bowl losses were as much of a punch in the face as this one. This game should have been a convincing statement of the program taking an even bigger step forward under Mark Richt, a coronation party for DJ Shockley in his hometown with the game being played in Atlanta. Unfortunately, it was the start of the misadventures of Willie Martinez as Georgia’s defensive coordinator, as his charges paid for being unmotivated.