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Post Could Stafford break Greene’s record?

Wednesday July 9, 2008

David Greene had plenty of accomplishments at Georgia, but his NCAA-record 42 wins as the starting quarterback is probably the most impressive. Sure, it’s ultimately a team accomplishment, but quarterbacks usually end up – deserved or not – with exaggerated credit for wins and blame for losses.

Getting to 42 wins is tough. First you have to be in a program strong enough and consistent enough to win over 10 games per season over your career. That eliminates most people right there. But most programs that strong rarely have to go into game one with a freshman at such a key position as quarterback. Tim Tebow didn’t start until his sophomore season. Peyton Manning started his freshman year at #3 on the depth chart until injuries cleared the path.

Greene’s record took not only the good fortune to be here during one of Georgia’s best runs in program history; it also took the unusual opportunity to start out of the gate and hold the job for four seasons. Let’s not forget that he also took plenty of beatings and stayed healthy. The combination produced a career for the record books.

When it took nearly half a season to establish Matthew Stafford as Georgia’s starter, Greene’s record appeared safe. But after a successful 2007 season and some promising years ahead, it’s now a somewhat realistic question: could Stafford break Greene’s career wins record?

The numbers tell us that it’s theoretically possible, but it would take consecutive seasons on the level of 1980 and 1981 to do it.

Greene’s record is 42 wins. Stafford currently has 17 as a starter. There are 28 possible games for Georgia over the next two seasons (including possible SEC Championship games and bowl games). To tie Greene’s record, Stafford would have to start in 25 more wins. That could be a perfect 14-0 season and another 11-2 year, a 12-2 season followed by a 13-1 campaign, or any other combination. The feat seems nearly impossible without winning SEC titles and major bowl games.

Of course back-to-back 14-0 seasons would put Stafford at 45 wins and shatter Greene’s record. And the rapture will come and take us all.

The catch is that an ultra-successful 2008 would likely make Stafford a prime NFL draft candidate. If Georgia wins 13 or 14 games in 2008 to put Stafford within striking distance of the record, does he stick around?

So what do you think? Your answer has a lot to do with how high you see Georgia’s ceiling over the next couple of years. With "only" ten wins per year, Stafford won’t even sniff the record. Does he even break 40 wins as a starter? Georgia would have to win more than 11 games in each of the next two seasons just to get Stafford to 40 wins. Does he come up just short of Greene? Or do the Dawgs have their most successful consecutive seasons ever and push Stafford to the 42-win mark?

5 Responses to 'Could Stafford break Greene’s record?'

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  • Back-to-back undefeated seasons would be the way I would like to see him break the record. But realistically I think he will come up a couple games shy. We haven’t been hit to hard by the draft the last couple of years so we’re due for some key players to leave early. I know we have a lot of depth at (almost) every position but losing 2 and 3 year starters still hurts. Not to mention a couple of key backups as well. However I hope I’m wrong.

  • eastbamadawg

    July 9th, 2008
    4:51 pm


    I’d be happy if he could get to 40 then the top 2 QB’s for all time wins would both be from UGA.

  • I’ll admit I jumped on the “Matthew Stafford should start every game” when he first strolled into Athens. I’m a huge Stafford fan and would love to see him stick around for a couple more years. IF he did in fact leave before senior year, this starts up the dance-off between freshmen QBs Mettenberger and Murray to take the starting job, future record breakers? They sure would have elder talent around them because we are pulling top recruits better than ever.

  • forgot to add “Bandwagon” to the first sentence, please excuse my poor sentence-structure.

  • Mackalicious – don’t forget about Logan