On December 26, 2000, Mark Richt was named the twenty-fifth head coach in Georgia's history.In his first four seasons Richt amassed a 42-10 record, winning two SEC Eastern Division titles and one SEC championship.In 1979 he also became athletic director, a position he held for the next twenty-five years.Dooley led the Bulldogs to six SEC championships, most memorably in three consecutive championships during the early 1980s.Nearly a month later, on February 20, UGA journeyed to Atlanta to play Auburn University's team, from Auburn, Alabama.
Tony Barnhart, ed., What It Means to Be a Bulldog: Vince Dooley, Mark Richt, and Georgia's Greatest Players (Chicago: Triumph, 2004).
Led by freshman sensation Herschel Walker, the Bulldogs went undefeated and beat Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl.
Virtually every poll ranked the Bulldogs first at the end of the season, and UGA won its first undisputed national championship among the major 1964 until 1988.
Following the Bulldogs' regular season and before the team was to venture to the Rose Bowl, a telegram from Athens signed by Richardson and with the return address of the SAE house was sent to renowned Hollywood actress Betty Grable Richardson's telegram stated: "I am a tackle on the University of Georgia Rose Bowl team.
I was recently chosen the most handsome man on the campus.
Sanford, ranks among college football's most famed venues; games in the stadium are commonly said to be played "between the hedges," a reference to the shrubbery that surrounds the playing field.