We are back for another “what if” scenario to tie us over until fall camp starts. I have no idea when it starts, but it’s gotta be soon. I wanted to do one about “What if UGA hired Erk Russell to replace Vince Dooley instead of Ray Goff?” but I admittedly was too young then to really realize the ramifications of everything involved in that scenario. I will say Erk would’ve been more successful than Ray. Instead, I came up with…
What if David Greene played in 2000 when he was a true freshman?
I remember hearing a podcast with former UGA coach Jim Donnan saying how he almost burned David Greene’s redshirt in his final season as coach. Quincy Carter wasn’t exactly tearing it up that season past a certain point and Donnan would have been within his rights to try and see what the freshman could do toward the end of the season. And it would’ve meant Greene’s final season would’ve been 2003, rather than 2004. It means Greene likely wouldn’t have some of the numbers in the record books he does.
David Greene burning his redshirt in 2000 would have had two major impacts. For one, if he played in 2000, he’s probably more prepared for 2001 and doesn’t lose that game to South Carolina. Probably still loses to Florida and Auburn, but the season looks a little better at 9–3 instead of 8–4. Maybe the confidence helps him defeat Florida on 2002, or LSU in the SEC Championship Game in 2003.
However, the major change would mean DJ Shockley gets an extra year to play quarterback.
DJ Shockley is one of my all-time favorite players at UGA. In this day and age, a QB not being given the starting gig would’ve meant a transfer. Instead, DJ stayed and waited his turn. 2005 was really the only year he got to run the whole show. He did well, winning an SEC title. If he had played in the Florida game I’m convinced UGA would’ve won and slowed the Urban Meyer dynasty a little.
So what would’ve happened if he got to play in 2004? Hard to say. We were a really good team, but Auburn was the class of the SEC that year and we lost pretty handily to them. It’s 2005 that could’ve been different. With a little more in game experience, maybe DJ knows how to be healthy enough to compete in the Florida game. Maybe he has a little juice in the tank to defeat Auburn. If he does those two things, UGA is undefeated and making it hard for the BCS to decide who to put in the national title game.
I think you know where I’m going with this…
UGA is your 2005 College Football National Champions.