By Joe Vitale:
For the past month, we at UGA Football Live have been playing a fun game over on our Twitter account. The objective of the game was to determine “The Greatest UGA Player of All-Time”. Although it’s safe to say we all knew who would take home the W, it was very neat to watch as the fans voted on their favorite players all the way from the “round of 64” up until the “championship match-up”, which saw Heisman winner Herschel Walker face off against former UGA All-American Charley Trippi.
Here is an example of how the voting was conducted:
Greatest #UGA Player of All-Time. Round of 32
RT for Jarvis Jones, OLB
Fav for Kevin Butler, K pic.twitter.com/a6Du4oKuhT
— UGA Football Live (@UGAfootballLive) March 2, 2016
We picked 64 players dating back to 1910 and expanding all the way to 2016 with Nick Chubb. There were four No. 1 seeds, all who played running back in Athens: Herschel Walker, a 1980 national champion, 1982 Heisman Trophy winner, and considered by many as the greatest player of all-time; Frank Sinkwich, a 1942 National Champion and Heisman winner; Charley Trippi, called the greatest college football player of ever by legendary Alabama coach Bear Bryant, 1942 national champion and CFB and Pro Football Hall of Famer; and finally Todd Gurley, who for many of the younger fans is the best player they’ve ever witnessed in red & black.
Right off the bat there was one thing that everybody noticed: More recent players had a huge advantage over older players due to the younger ages of most of our Twitter followers. For instance, in round one, DB Jake Scott beat out TE Arthur Lynch, but only by one vote. For those unaware, Jake Scott is a former UGA All-American safety, SEC player of the year in 1968, two time Super Bowl MVP with the Miami Dolphins in which he was named MVP of Super Bowl VII, and a college football Hall of Famer. No disrespect to the sure-handed Arthur Lynch who had some nice years catching passes from Aaron Murray, but Jake Scott was a two-seed for a reason.
Observation No. 2: Carolina Panthers fans do not lose Twitter polls. As a result of their persistency, Panthers fans were able to propel former UGA safety Thomas Davis past Alec Ogletree, Hines Ward, David Pollack and eventually No. 1 seed Todd Gurley. Thomas Davis, the hard hitting safety who went on to be a first round draft pick for the Panthers, found himself in the final four, where Charley Trippi was able to squeak out a win.
For the younger fans at least, it is clear that former Georgia RB Knowshon Moreno is a fan favorite, as he made a nice run to the elite-eight where he was finally bested by Heisman winner Frank Sinkwich. En-route to the final four, he delivered a beat-down on one of the greatest UGA defenders of all-time, Terry Hoage. Hoage (a two-time All-America defensive back for the Bulldogs from 1980-83, a national champion, SEC defensive player of the year, record holder with 12 interceptions in a single season and HOF’er) was knocked out in round 2 by Moreno, which surprised many because Hoage was projected to find his way in the elite-eight.
Eventually it came down to Walker, Sinkwich, Trippi and Thomas Davis. On the left side, it was Heisman vs Heisman with Walker beating out Sinkwich, and on the right side it was Trippi vs Davis, where Trippi won by a hair.
The championship round, seen below, saw Herschel Walker take down Charley Trippi.
Greatest #UGA Player of All-Time.
RT for Herschel Walker, RB
Fav for Charley Trippi, HB pic.twitter.com/hOvhKKkWOJ
— UGA Football Live (@UGAfootballLive) March 20, 2016
Here you can find the final “Greatest UGA Player of All-Time” bracket. Hope everybody enjoyed!
— UGA Football Live (@UGAfootballLive) March 21, 2016
Featured photo: Paul Abell / UGA