My favorite year

Over at ESPN, Bill Connelly, Ivan Maisel and Mark Schlabach pick their favorite college football seasons.

Maisel wins with this:

Maisel: 2007. Good choice, but 2007, with all the chaos, was soooooo much better. The season began with Nick Saban arriving at Alabama and ended with LSU becoming the first two-loss team to win it all. In the 369 days between those two events, the sport went entertainingly haywire: Appalachian State beat Michigan, and Stanford, a 41-point underdog, beat USC. Thirteen top-five teams lost to an unranked opponent. Kansas went to the Orange Bowl, Illinois to the Rose and Hawaii to the Sugar. An FCS assistant coach named Chip Kelly took over the Oregon offense and introduced the up-tempo spread. Les Miles didn’t go to Michigan. And Mike Gundy turned 40.

How great was that season?  I’m a Georgia fan who watched his team fall short of the SECCG due to a regular season hiccup against South Carolina and I still wouldn’t trade the awesomeness of 2007 for anything.

As much as Maisel packs into that paragraph, he doesn’t capture every crazy moment.  He doesn’t reference West Virginia’s shocking loss to Pitt that cost them a shot at a natty.  And he doesn’t mention Darren McFadden, who had an insane 2007 season that should have netted him a Heisman.

These stats are something.

Screenshot_2020-06-11 Darren McFadden College Stats College Football at Sports-Reference com

Oh, I left out these stats.

Screenshot_2020-06-11 Darren McFadden College Stats College Football at Sports-Reference com(1)

A 268.5 passer rating.  Jeebus.

He played in my favorite game of the season, which is saying a lot, considering what happened in Michigan’s opener.

How great was 2007?  It’s the only season in the last 25 years of my life that justified an eight-team playoff in my mind, and not just because there were that many teams deserving of a shot.  It would have meant the season would have been extended two more weeks.  Some seasons, there’s no such thing as too much fun.



Filed under College Football

54 responses to “My favorite year

  1. josh hancher

    Don’t know if you guys are fans of Saturdays Down South. But Chris Marler has been doing time good off season work. They did a pod on DMc


    • Sides

      I had the privilege of seeing Dmac play up close twice as SC’s cross division rival. He is the best player I have ever seen play live. Absolutely unstoppable.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I hate to bring up a sore subject, but that game when he set the conference rushing record, after he scored on a long TD run, the camera panned to SC’s Boyd on the sideline. He had a look of disbelief on his face, and the announcer deadpanned something like, “he’s thinking, that ain’t right”. (It’s at the 6:12 mark on your clip.)


  2. UGH, it was fun stomping the Rainbow Warriors but I could have done without the Illini getting boat raced by SC in the Rose Bowl!


  3. Then again watching us kill Auburn watching Illini-Buckeye score on my birthday and was awesome!


  4. 2007 was great. It was easily my favorite year of my lifetime (born in ’83) up until 2017. I actually think ’17 is my favorite now, and I don’t think it’s just recency bias. From the “revenge tour” to the epic “all time great” Rose Bowl, I think it was magical (… I know, I know that’s been over-used!).

    At the very least it’s a draw. I easily had as much fun watching Sony, Nick and Roquan as I did watching the likes of Stafford, Moreno and Massaquoi.

    Also, doesn’t actually competing for and winning the SECCG (against a hated annual rival who had beaten us soundly earlier in the year) put ’17 over the top?


  5. Russ

    Humanity Advanced was fun to watch. But I still hate Herbie for his made up rule the last week of the season.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. 2007 was fun except for watching the media go into full spin mode to keep us out of the championship game.

    2017 was a blast as a fan. It’s hard to top that personally for me although I still can’t watch 2nd and 26.

    Still it’s hard to top 1980 for a 12 year old to watch his team win games and a championship all different ways … Get outplayed in Knoxville just to save the game with a fumble on the 2 yard line. Blow out the Aggies and see the freshman show his sprinter speed for the first time. Beat the eventual Heisman winner (give me a break) with another late defensive stand. Run Lindsay! To cap it with another improbable win in New Orleans. Until we win another national title, 1980 stands alone.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

    I hate 2007 because it, not 2012 was our best chance to win a National Title. All we had to do was beat a terrible South Carolina team at home, and we completely Richt’d it. Win that game, and the blowout to Tennessee doesn’t matter. Win that game, and we’re in the SEC Title Game against an LSU team that we were better than. Of course, we could’ve Richt’d that game I guess, but by that point, with Moreno getting the lion’s share of the carries over Thomas Brown and the d-line pass rushing better than ever, I have to believe we win that game and then beat the hell out of another overrated Suckeyes team.

    2007 will forever go down as our best chance since 1982 to win it all and one of the worst losses in Richt’s history given just how bad Sakerlina was that year… FUCKING SPURRIER kept us from a title. I’m sure he just loves that.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I actually agree that 2007 may have been a better chance than 2012. But how can it be our “best chance” versus 2017? When we were literally a defensive stop away from winning it all? In OT?


      • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

        Because in 2012 and 2017 to win a National Title we had to beat a Bama program in the midst of a dynastic run unseen at any time of CFB’s history.

        In 2007, all we had to do was win a home game against a terrible team that won 2 SEC games the entire season, beat an LSU team more lucky than good, and an patently overrated Suckeyes team.

        It’s not about the moment, it’s about who you have to beat. 2007 was the best chance Georgia would have to win it all since 1982, because no one like early 2000’s Miami or Dynastic Alabama stood in our way.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

        And it should be said in 2007 we never got the chance to face a more lucky than good LSU team or a patently overrated Suckeyes team because Mark Richt couldn’t get his team prepared or up to beat a terrible Sakerlina team AT HOME that would only win two SEC games the entire season.

        That is worse than losing to Bama, even in the gut punch ways we lost to Bama. Bama is Bama. They make their own luck because they’re a fucking machine. Kirby can get us to that place.

        But losing to a God awful South Carolina team? At home? And that’s what keeps a team with all that NFL talent from winning a National Title? That’s a prime example of a Mark Richt kinda loss more than any other.

        Liked by 1 person

        • And it should be said in 2007 we never got the chance to face a more lucky than good LSU team…

          C’mon, man. LSU was the only team in the country that never lost a game in regulation that season. That’s a little better than lucky.

          I did a post at the time evaluating the resume of the contenders for the BCS game. I thought LSU’s was the best, albeit imperfect.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

            I’m not saying they were bad or unworthy, but dang, they are maybe the luckiest team in the history of college football. We were better, but our coach was a guy who seemed to carry an anti-rabbit’s foot in his pocket for 15 years.

            Liked by 1 person

      • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

        And it should also be said that the loss in 2007 to South Carolina is not comparable to the loss in 2019, mainly because as bad as our offense was all year last year, that loss didn’t keep us from getting a shot to get into the playoffs. LSU was just so much better than us, and anyone else, last year. Also, last year’s South Carolina team, even though they finished under .500, had horrible injury luck and could’ve gotten to 8 wins a mid-tier bowl game without the bad luck. That 2007 Sakerlina team was awful. And they beat us.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. siskey

    Quick story: In 2007 I was recalled to the Marines. I had to report to Camp Lejuene in October 2007. I was not super excited by this but my friends helped me out by getting me tickets to the games that season. I was able to go to Tuscaloosa and see the comeback against Bama after already attending the OSU, SC and Ole Miss games. My last game in person was the debacle in Knoxville where I left Neyland with about 12 minutes left in the 2d quarter.
    In a stroke of luck, the week we reported was the Vandy game. The next week we went to the field for familiarization of equipment, tactics, etc so I did not miss any games due to the bye week. I was then able to watch the Ga-Fla game on TV in the barracks common room and revel in Tebow and Meyer being so upset by the dancing done by the Dawgs.
    I was sad to see us get hosed by the powers that be when UT pulled out all those close games at the end of the year and was still hopeful that we would somehow get chosen to play if not in the National Championship then at least play against USC for a chance to be if not the de facto National Champs at least the “hipster” version of same.
    While in Iraq I was able to keep up with the preseason hype and even received the infamous Sports Illustrated edition. I was unsure about the hype but bought in somewhat given all that the team had coming back.
    I got back to the states and out of the Marines in late September in time to go to the Bama game. It was tough to have my two most recent games be UT in 2007 and Bama in 2008 and it made me think that the team did better when I was out of the country as I was away from 2002-2005 and then again in 07, with my absence from Athens coinciding with the teams’ great play beginning after the Tennessee game.
    It was a memorable season for me for sure and for certain, the case can be made that Georgia was the best team at the end of the year. Hopefully, the next time a season this crazy happens, Georgia can capitalize and not be left on the outside due to college football commentators.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. piper

    yes, the loss to south carolina was costly, but pretty sure we were still in line to play lsu in atlanta until tennessee beat uk in the last game of the season in 4 overtimes. if uk holds on, we would’ve gone to atlanta, and absolutely would’ve beaten lsu that year. we were rolling by the end of the season.


    • Brandon M

      Tennessee was also losing to Vandy 24-9 entering the 4th quarter the week before and came back to win 25-24. UK had 1st and goal at the 1 at end of regulation. TD wins it. 2 tries. Couldn’t get in and had to settle for OT.
      Then in 2nd OT they pick off Ainge but get a short winning FG blocked. That’s the moment I KNEW as a program we were cursed. We were so much better than Tennessee and LSU by the end of that year, but shit the bed twice (like everyone else in the country) and couldn’t get the help we needed. I did have a blast in NO though. All of the Hawaii fans knew they were going to get dismantled and didn’t care. The ones I met were just there for the party.

      Liked by 2 people

      • ugafidelis

        Yep, I remember hoping without hope for a Vandy or UK win when I knew down deep that either was highly unlikely.


  10. Admiral Sackbar

    I forgot how deep Arkansas’ backfield would line up behind the LOS; I mean, in those singe back sets, McFadden and Felix were like 12-15 yards behind the quarterback.,

    Liked by 1 person

  11. TomReagan

    My favorite until 2017, as well. And no one will ever convince me that we wouldn’t have beaten anyone in the country at the end of that year. Those early season losses to Carolina and Tennessee — not just in 2007, but a few times during that stretch — really did Richt in.


    • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

      It’s why 2012, while it hurt, it didn’t crush me, not like 2017 did for example.

      Because of 2007, because of losing to that terrible Sakerlina team, that’s when I gave up all hope Richt could lead us to win a National Title. 2008 confirmed it that feeling.

      When we lost to Bama in 2012 at the last moment due in part to a terrible coaching non-decision (spike the fucking ball!!!), it was more a fulfillment of my expectation, not a crushing defeat.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. stoopnagle

    I’m pretty sure DMac is the best non-UGA player I’ve ever seen play BTH.


  13. 81Dog

    2007 was an interesting year for UGA fans, but for me, 2017 was wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy better. We got a lot further, and while the abrupt ending sucked, we could at least walk out of the MBS with our heads up. 2007’s two kidney stone losses keep it from being better. Heck, we had a better shot to win a NC in 2005 (gacked up FL with a sub QB, then sleep walked in the Sugar Bowl), or even 2002 (gacked up FL and were left outside looking in the NC)

    If someone else prefers something else, it’s all a matter of opinion, but for me, 2007 had some highlights but was far from being a great year, just a “could have been” year.


  14. RangerRuss

    2007? That year confirmed SOS on my list of those I want to snap kick in the testicles with the addition of Herbstreit and Joey Freshwater. The Dawgs spanking the gators did nothing to remove Meyer from the list. If I had been called back to service as Siskey was then W would’ve been added to the list of those being kicked twice.

    Liked by 2 people

    • siskey

      I was less than excited about it but W never came to my base. I did see Nugent and Toby Keith at Camp Falluja in 2004 but only briefly and was told later that “Nuge” wanted to go on patrol with us, he was denied for the safety of all involved.


      • RangerRuss

        ”The Nuge” on patrol, eh? In the jungle maybe. Shiiiiiiiit man, somebody gotta walk point.


      • Busta

        Toby Keith definitely made his rounds around the theatre! I feel somewhat like you do when you’re out of the country. The Dawgs always seem to do terrible when I’m not able to watch though. I’ll get to my phone/laptop and have a ton of “WTF” messages from family apparently after every terrible play or when the opposing team scores. For that, I’ve learned how to watch The Dawgs no matter where I’m at, sandbox included.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. PTC DAWG

    Any season with a loss to Carolina is not in my top 5…YMMV

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel this in my soul. Deeply.

      Like when Georgia South Carolina became a thing it was like ….why is this happening?. And then it fucking happened again last year. We had a chance at a perfect season and lost to an absolutely horrible abysmal piece of shit South Carolina team.

      Sure I would love a national championship but a perfect regular season when your schedule is weak is pretty freaking awesome to.

      I only get relief in realizing that kirby beat SOD so so bad that he made him quit football. That gives me amense satisfaction.

      Spurrier wasn’t even allowed to go out with fanfare and a high note. Which he honestly deserved. But his singular focus on Georgia , while it worked between the 2 opponents, it cost him a grander vision.

      It’s kind of like comic books in a way. Beautiful in its own craziness and chaos


  16. Dawg19

    I remember our game against Arkansas in 2005 when I first saw Darren McFadden (the game where Shockley got hurt). McFadden was a freshman. He hit a hole and blew through it for a long touchdown like nothing I had seen since Herschel. I was thinking, “Woah…what did I just see?!?”


    • Dawg19

      Here is is:


      • Dawg19

        “it is”


        • Dawg Vegas

          Was playing golf that morning and listened to Munson on the way home. The way he talked about that DMc run made me wonder why he was getting so over-the-top animated. Once I got home and watched the recording it all made sense. He was amazing, and in person I thought better than Bo Jackson (I was a student and saw him live at AU and at home). HW was better, but I don’t know if anyone else was (maybe TGIII and freshman Chubb)


      • TomReagan

        Man does that announcing duo bring back some memories. For all of their faults, I loved some JP Sports. They were one of the last vestiges of the local flavor, lower budget regional aspects of college football that gave the game so much of the character that has been lost. The polished, high production value of today just doesn’t have the same charm.


  17. Hobnail_Boot

    Uggggh. Fuck that season.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I love college football because it’s filled with so much drama and craziness and chaos. And the changes in football have been about control. I don’t want the NFL. I want it to be a mess, I want there to be controversy , I want to not have a clearly decided national champion because that just makes it so much fun.

    An absolutely systematic dialed in playoff system will get you the boring boring boring NFL.

    The dichotomy of college football.. the potential for an App state ( my sister and BIL scool!) to upset a blue blood Yankee team is exactly why we love the sport. That’s why 2007 was so insanely glorious.

    10 years ago or so …I don’t remember the exact date… Utah and Utah state had to replay the final play of the game 3 times. The band went on the field 3 times. It was the most fun I’ve ever seen in my life on tv football, when one team dramatically upset the other, I commented… my G*d the mattresses that will be burned tonight. I have never had more fun in sports than that Friday night that no one knows about or remembers.

    If your personal well being is based around championships… well that makes you an Alabama fan. And sure I think Georgia would be great to win one here or there, but nothing, nobody’s championships , will take away from my thorough enjoyment of college football being crazy.

    My favorite college football game as an adult was watching Vince Young single handedly putting on the best performance I’ve ever seen in my life. With my ex wife and I sitting there going… neither of these are our teams but this is truly absolutely incredible and amazing. And only sports and only college football can really give you that.

    The thing you have to understand is the powers in the media and the ESPN and also the powers in NCAA and also the people in charge, absolutely do not want that chaos. They want control. They want to find a playoff system so that they can treat us like the peasants they believe us to be, to fork over our dollars for our weekly entertainment. College football is based on craziness and chaos and made up rules and things that don’t matter IN 50 years but were just ultimately fun in the moment.

    The playoff system and the TV is about sterilizing our game and our fun so that they can go to stockholders and have predictive data to make predictive profit. But the fun is in the craziness and the unpredictability. They don’t want unpredictability.

    Last I’m reminded of Benjamin Sisko on deep space 9 discussing baseball and not knowing the outcome as why we enjoy it.

    When there’s only 5 to 10 teams that have a chance of winning, and then more likely only 3 or 4, it helps the TV and it helps the bookies, but it doesn’t increase our enjoyment.

    And it strips away with what makes college football the pleasure that it has been

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Ricky McDurden

    I’d buy a box set of the 2007 season with a disc for each week, including College Gameday segments. Everything about that year was top to bottom incredible (including the Thursday night games which no longer offer the same electricity)

    Liked by 1 person