Alabama football: Highlights of the Crimson Tide-Georgia series

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 01: Quarterback Aaron Murray
ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 01: Quarterback Aaron Murray /
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2002 Game:  Georgia 27 – Alabama 25

The former Auburn head coach and Alabama football assistant coach, Pat Dye played football at Georgia. Dye was a very good football coach. He also believed himself to be a clever communicator.

Alabama went into the 2002 game at 4-1 with the one loss on the road to No. 2 ranked Oklahoma. In 2001, Dennis Franchione’s first season, the Tide had gone 7-5. Georgia also had a second-year head coach, Mark Richt. Richt’s first season the Bulldogs were 8-4. Given the relative strength of the two teams, Georgia had nothing to fear against the Crimson Tide.

Dye, however, believed the Bulldogs needed an edge. Apparently, without consulting Richt, Dye said on the Paul Finebaum Show that he did not think Georgia was “man enough to beat Alabama.” Hyping the claim to its fullest extent, Dye used southern vernacular to compare what Georgia would face to a “behind the woodshed whooping.”

After the radio broadcast, Dye called Georgia coaches and said,

"“I’ve done all I can do. It’s up to y’all now.”"

Despite not being consulted on the ploy, Mark Richt embraced it. During practices leading up to the game, Richt exhorted his players to respond to their manhood being questioned. It worked.

Georgia beat Alabama 27-25 in Tuscaloosa and went on to a 13-1 record, an SEC championship and a Sugar Bowl victory.

Alabama football fans no doubt remember Dye’s most recent bold statement. A few months ago, Dye while lobbying for an Auburn move to the SEC East, said it would take Auburn 500 years to catch up to the Tide’s tradition.