Three Georgia stars were named to an All-American team on Thursday. This, however, was not a preseason team looking ahead. It was one looking back. Seventy-five years back.
The Football Writers Association of America distributed a ballot to all of its more than 1,400 members seeking opinions on the best players of the past 75 years at each position. The result can be found here.
Herschel Walker and Kevin Butler, teammates at Georgia in 1981 and 1982, were each on the first team. Champ Bailey was on the second team.
The presence of Walker on the list is no surprise. In three years at Georgia he re-wrote the SEC and national rushing record book, winning a national title in 1980 and the Heisman Trophy two years later.
Walker was joined on the FWAA first team by tailback Archie Griffin, the only player to win two Heismans.
Butler was a two-time All-American and four-time All-SEC pick. He kicked the two longest field goals in school history, 60 and 59 yards, and made 77 career field goals, 11 of them 50 yards or longer.
Bailey was known for his versaility, playing receiver, cornerback and returning punts and kicks. He was a consensus All-American in 1998 when he had 52 solo tackles, three interceptions, 744 receiving yards and five touchdowns.
While the SEC has been renowned for being the top conference in college football, the list indicates that it may be a more recent phenomenon: The Big Ten has the most players on the list, 19, followed by the ACC (15) and then the SEC (13).
Georgia was tied for the seventh-most players on the list. Nebraska had the most with six, Ohio State and Pittsburgh were tied for second with five each, and Alabama, Oklahoma and Texas each had four. The other schools with three players were Florida State, Michigan and Southern California.