What if, what if…

Tony Barnhart’s tribute to Erk Russell in today’s AJ-C as well as Rex Robinson’s post about his recruitment by Erk lead me to ponder fate, as we’re playing the alternate history game in our thread about the Cocktail Party.

So, just for kicks… what if Dooley had taken the Auburn AD job when it was offered to him just before the ’81 Sugar Bowl and Erk had been named his successor as head coach?  How do you think Georgia’s fortunes would have played out over the next decade and a half or so?


Filed under Georgia Football

5 responses to “What if, what if…

  1. Wow! In just a few sentences you made all Dawg fans smirk greedily and GSU fans shiver at the thought.

    I think Erk was the greatest football coach God ever created. That being said, I think his resume in Athens as HC would’ve fallen somewhere short of what he did in 8 years in Statesboro. That was a match made in heaven.

    God rest his soul…I miss that man greatly!


  2. 81Dog

    well, for one thing, Bill Lewis wouldnt have been able to slowly ruin Erk’s tradition of aggressive but intelligent defense. Maybe we beat Pitt in the next Sugar Bowl. Maybe we beat Penn St in the one after that. Maybe we beat AU in 83, or Alabama on Labor Day in 84 or 85 (I cant recall the year, but it still stings as bad now as it did then).


    • Derek

      It was 1985. Mike Shula to Al Bell. In 1984 Pulpwood ran all over the tide in Birmingham.

      Hard to blame a 13-7 loss on a DC, don’t ya think? Bo ripped off a 78 yarder when it was 7-6. He was a pretty good back ya know.

      I don’t like to think about Dooley going to Auburn at all. However, I have always hated Chuck Knapp for making Erk feel unwanted after Dooley retired and we ended up with Goff. Many people wrongly blame Vince, but in point of fact there was a hiring committee and Dooley made one recommendation: Erk. Much like UF did with Spurrier after firing Zook, they knew they had to offer it to Erk, but they did it in such a way that they knew he wouldn’t accept. Very, very sad.

      Obviously the course of UGA football would be very different. Paul Johnson was going to be named OC by Erk and would probably have taken over after Erk and might even still be the coach.

      If you ask me, I think that had we made the hire that we would have been much like the Nebraska teams from 1993-1995. The 1995 team was the best college football team I’ve ever seen. I think we would have been able to do much the same.


  3. MacAttack

    I have no idea but I am sure it wouldn’t be as GREAT as some think nor anyone near as BAD


  4. BigOldDawg

    Funny how time changes the stories.

    What I always heard was that the University of Georgia system would not count Russell’s time at Georgia Southern on his retirement fund.

    And that, plus some blabbermouths on the Athletic Board, caused Erk to back away.

    And, that Pat Sullivan, then on Auburn’s staff as QB coach would have been offensive coordinator.

    Erk was a one-off. Membership in the Hall of Fame would be nice, but not being there does not detract one iota from his contribution to football and life.