Let them eat cupcakes.

Mergz, from the comments:

… And kudos to Georgia for scheduling such fascinating games. It is really interesting to see matchups against both the Big 12 and Pac Ten with the different styles the conferences play.

You hear that Foley? Charleston [Southern] and FIU and whoever else you can get to fall off the short bus doesn’t cut it.

The response from the Florida athletic department to sentiments like that?  Talk to the hand.

… Unlike several other schools in the SEC, Florida doesn’t want to schedule any games against schools from BCS conferences that want a return trip – regardless of whether it’s a trip west or to a neighboring state.

“We’ll never say never, but it would have to be a unique situation for us to vary from our model that we have in place,” said Greg McGarity, UF’s senior associate athletic director for internal affairs.

The model that McGarity mentioned is this: play smaller Football Bowl Subdivision teams or Football Championship Subdivision teams in the early non-conference games and play a FCS school in the slot between the final SEC game and the Florida State game.

That means no games against schools such as Oklahoma or USC or Notre Dame on a home-and-home basis…

There may be a little crumb that – maybe – they’ll deign to consider – maybe.

“[Athletic director] Jeremy [Foley] would entertain ideas that may present themselves that might create a neutral-site game that would be unique matchup, Florida-Notre Dame, something like that, that wouldn’t require home-and-home,” McGarity said. “All those things are always on the table. … I think it really has to be unique [for UF to do it]. It’s got to be a school that the Gators very rarely, if ever, get to play that would really have a tremendous national presence. Thus far, we have not received any of those proposals.”

Now there’s a surprise.  Keep waiting, Mergz.

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35 Comments

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35 responses to “Let them eat cupcakes.

  1. Mayor of Dawgtown

    It sure seems to me that the Florida AD has done a pretty good job of managing the Gator schedule. Let’s see, 2 SEC Championships and 2 National Championships in the last 3 years. Don’t get me wrong, I hate the bastards, but the Gators are an example of how to schedule your games correctly to maximize chances of winning. You didn’t see them (and you won’t see them because their AD knows better) opening up at some other national power’s place and getting whacked first game by homer refs.

    • Prov

      Don’t you know this argument just won’t fly. It’s all about the road trips and the awesome experiences for the fans. And don’t forget the “Georgia does better when beginning the year against a tough opponent” argument. They are all certain to follow.

    • Pete Carroll

      You’re welcome on those national championships, Gators.

  2. What pisses me off is all these media jerks who praise us for our tough schedules sure as hell have a short memory when it comes time to submit their ranking ballots.

  3. Hogbody Spradlin

    Lemme get this straight. They’ll only play a school that has a big national presence, and only at a neutral site. I welcome any example to the contrary, but in my memory those games never happen. Big intersectional games have always been home and home. Why did Greg McGarity waste his breath?

    • Joe B.

      I believe the spokesman was angling to play in the GA Dome at some point in the near future.

      Everyone wants a piece of that for recruiting.

  4. Joe B.

    Well, we had to schedule these games when we did.

    UF has or has had Miami and FSU on their schedule. Those are still nationally recognized brands, who although have not been good for most of this decade, still give UF a bump when they play.

    Unfortunately for us, Gtu has sucked most of this decade, and they have no cachet nationally. If they were seen as a brand name, it would be a lot easier for us to play a I-AA opponent and still get credit for a “tough non-conference slate.”

  5. Will Q

    I may be totally off-base here, but I don’t blame Florida for taking this attitude. It works for them. It doesn’t matter whether they feast on cupcakes or not because they beat their rivals and the big teams in their conference more often than not. This is why such a strategy would not work for Georgia. Other fanbases can call us whiny if they wish, but the cold hard fact is that Florida (and LSU and, now, Alabama) get a pass on a variety of sins because of the national clout their names hold (Tennessee used to get the same pass, but it has faded recently, although it shows signs of a very illogical resurgence, based on results so far this season).

    Such scheduling would simply not get Georgia to the national championship game. Just look at the difference between the first few weeks of our respective seasons at #1: We win two games against meager competition and squeak out a win against a rival, and we drop out of the top spot; Florida wins two games against meager competition and squeaks out a win against a rival, and although there are rumblings of “concerns,” they remain in the top spot. That is due in large part to the perception that they are an elite team and we are an almost-elite team.

    As I see it, Georgia has two paths to becoming truly “elite” (whatever that may mean): (1) play an impressive non-conference schedule and, of course, beat the teams on that schedule, or (2) beat Florida regularly (every other year would be nice, 3 out of 4 would be awesome, but BEAT them). Number 1 has worked out for us for the most part (recent hiccups aside), but we’ve got some work to do to accomplish number 2.

  6. Mayor of Dawgtown

    A well thought out schedule sets up the team for success the entire year. In pro football they play 4 practice games to evaluate talent and and work “bugs” out. In college football we don’t have practice games. So the top programs open up with a walkover team to see what they have under game conditions and implement whatever changes need to be made before starting the “real” season. The exception to that is the preseason bowl game played at a neutral site such as the Bama-Va Tech game which was played at the GA Dome. (Note that Bama went on to play walkover opponents after the Va Tech game.) A big time program should NEVER open up on the road at somebody else’s place. It opens the door to disaster. The other team can make its season by beating the big-time opponent and has all summer to get ready. Also, here is tremendous pressure on the refs if the game is close or the home team is winning to give the home team “a little help” when they need it. That is exactly what happened to UGA at Okie State. That loss is a direct result of poor planning by the Georgia AD. Instead of playing Okie State first game (if at all) they should have been in the Tenn Tech slot later in the season and the Dawgs should have been playing a Tenn Tech type team at home first game. Alternatively, the Okie State game should have been one of these preseason bowls. Which brings us to a point. Did you guys know that Jerry Jones offered Okie State $8.5 Million to move the game to the new Dallas Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, Texas? And Okie State turned it down. Why do you think they would do that? Remember the bad calls UGA got in the game? I figure in a straight up game the Dawgs win ugly 17-10, worst case 10-10 and into overtime. It is the job of the AD not to let things like that happen to his team.Do you ever see Jeremy Foley doing something like that? If some of you think we need better position coaching, I can respect that. But we need a better AD, more.

    • D.N. Nation

      Fire Damon! I love it! Is that what we’re on now? I guess you’re off the hook, Bobo.

      Concerning weak-ass, Foley-style scheduling…I gotta say, opening up the 2006 season with some baked goods really *really* helped that particular Georgia team. Not.

      You’re a good team or you aren’t. If Florida wants to go the Kansas State route, fine; win the friggin game in Jacksuckville and all of a sudden Our Way Of Doing Things will be the Correct One.

      • thinkingbulldog

        +1.

      • Will Q

        Amen, D.N. Would playing at a neutral site have made Joe Cox magically recover from the flu? Would Richard Samuel have suddenly step OVER chalk lines instead of tripping on them? Would Bobo have called a game that made sense?

        You can say all you want about what a “big-time” program would or wouldn’t do, but Georgia will NEVER have the national respect of USC or Florida by playing cupcakes. It didn’t get Auburn into the big game in 2004.

  7. MoggsDawg

    I heard that Florida originally had a tentative game set up with Utah instead of the Charleston Southern who-evers. It must NOT have been “a school that the Gators very rarely, if ever, get to play that would really have a tremendous national presence. Thus far, we have not received any of those proposals.” The psuedo-reason (I heard) was that the $1M to pay Utah was just too darn expensive. Like the $400K that they saved by hosting the Chuck-So U. must have really been put to good use. That $400K was worth about, hmmm, 50 some odd points, huh?

  8. GatorKGB

    While my co-blogger Mergz can turn a pretty phrase, I’m afraid that he’s wrong about the schedule. From a fan’s perspective, it would be nice. But, with an 8 game SEC schedule, f$u and the possibility of the SEC Championship game, the schedule is plenty tough. It’s the job of the athletic department to put us in a position to win championships, of which the BCS is very important.

    And, of course, UGA has financially benefitted from our scheduling model.

    When UF plays in the BCS NC, the conference gets two BCS bowl paydays to divide amongst the ever greedy member institutions (even if there is a reduced payout for the 2nd payday).

    The preliminary games are necessary to work out kinks.

    Just eliminate the 12th game and leave it at two patsies per year, as things stand we have 9, 10 or 11 challenging games per year.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Everything GatorKGB said about the Gator’s schedule applies to UGA as well. We’ve got an SEC East schedule, plus Tech and we are about to start playing Clemson again. Start the year with at least 1 walkover opponent to”get the kinks out.” Do you want the Dawgs to win championships or not?

  9. Raleigh

    Funny how the remarks change when a single loss occurs. Move Okie State to later in the season? Weren’t the same folks complaining last year that going to ASU hurt us the following week against Bama?

    I agree with Will Q – the difference will come if we can start beating Florida with some regularity. I’m not going to indict the schedule because we lost a game.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      You misconstrue my meaning. If it was first on the schedule it should have been in Arlington, Texas. If Okie State won’t move it there that is an obvious tipoff that something rotten was going to happen in Stillwater.

      • Hackerdog

        Not necessarily. The UGA game was the debut of OSU’s new Pickens stadium. Since Pickens put up a sum that would make Obama cringe to renovate the stadium, what the hell do they care about a measly $8.5 million? They got more PR from an opening week game against UGA at home than a week 3 matchup against Rice that nobody cares about.

      • Will Q

        Or maybe they wanted us to play them at home since they manned up and played us at home.

  10. Hobnail_Boot

    Our AD thinks the way to “become a national brand” is by playing @ Eugene, Boulder, Tempe, Stillwater, etc. while his counterpart at UF recognizes that the best way to do it is to win championships.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Have you guys looked at the Dawgs’ remaining schedule for this year. We play Kentucky (at home) and Tech (there) back to back and each of them has the week before off. Go to Wikipedia and look up the definition of “trap game.”I count 4 on this year’s schedule (Okie State, Arkansas, Kentucky and Tech). Richt is 1-1 so far in the traps. I don’t see Foley or any other AD for a top team putting their team in a position like that. It’s easy to say some kid shouldn’t have dropped a ball or the position coach had a bad plan. It is harder to look past the obvious and see that the team was put in a bad position by scheduling. So the opposing team’s receiver makes the catch (maybe) because he got an extra week of prep and the other team wins–or our DB misses a crucial tackle because he was fatigued and we lose. There are often reasons behind the obvious why things happen. Face it– our AD is doing a bad job. If you screwed up at work and missed something that was maybe not obvious, but if you had been paying attention was apparent, and you got your employer publicly embarrassed, what do you think would happen to you? I’m just saying hold Damon Evans to the same standard we all have to live with.

  11. Florida after Tebow

    You know, when we get dumptrucked by teams like Bama and Georgia midway through the 2010+ seasons, you would be well advised to look at your comments on this thread and wonder if opening up the year with crappy teams is a solid idea.

    Florida = Pussies. Deal with it.

  12. I’m just wondering how many of you schedule gurus buy season tickets every year. ;)

  13. Bobby Fenton

    I’m glad a lot of attention has been paid to this this season because, as a Florida fan, I can’t stand these high school games and think they’re a waste of time. But it won’t change. I do have to say, it might be convenient for a lot of people to say, “UF is afraid to play anybody!”, but that’s not the case either. It’s about the dollars, always the f–king dollars.

    I will readily admit that my school is about as big of a oney whore as you’ll find out there. This we-must-have- 7 home-games-at-all-costs stuff is rubbish, as if playing 6 once in a while is going to bring down the budget. But THAT, is why they do it, not because of competitive fear.

    At least the article did state, correctly, that despite the easy two out of the gate, the overall schedule is right up there. A lot of people want to focus on one or two out of 12, but in most cases, our 12 is better than their school’s 12:

    “Besides, Meyer said, UF’s schedule is tough enough without adding more high-profile teams. According to the NCAA, he’s right – at least for the past three years. The NCAA ranked the Gators’ schedule the toughest in the country in 2006, and it ranked No. 3 in 2007 and No. 2 last season.”

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      I don’t get that. UGA plays basically the same conference schedule as UF, plus Okie State away (a loss) plus Tech away (which won 9 games last year). How can anybody say the Gators play a harder schedule?

    • Hackerdog

      It’s not money. That myth was exploded this year. UF turned down Utah in favor of Charleston Southern. They saved an extra $500k in payout to the opponent, but lost several times that amount in television revenue that a UF/Utah game would have paid. UF basically spent $1 million to coast to a win.

      I don’t blame UF for scheduling automatic wins, but let’s call a spade a spade.

  14. I hadn’t anticpated my very own post when I set forth that comment.

    Just to be clear, last year’s schedule – which included Miami and Hawaii non-conference (we always play FSU) was far more to my liking than the group we play this season. And, lo-and-behold, we managed to “win it all” with a reasonably tough non-conference schedule.

    Akin to this topic is something that really infuriates me as a fan – the sly way in which another home game was scheduled in a couple of years ago. We have heard for years that there cannot be a playoff due to concern for the “student athletes” playing too many games, and then all of a sudden the NCAA allows an extra game. Florida, which for years had placed a bye week between our last SEC game and FSU, suddenly starts scheduling hopeless patsies in the week before facing the ‘Noles. We had been told repeatedly we wanted to save that week to prepare for FSU. But when the chance came to fill the stadium, the Gators grabbed it.

    Our season ticket prices went up accordingly (1 more home game to pay for). And what have we gotten, as fans, for the loss of the pre-FSU bye week? Well …

    2006 Western Carolina
    2007 FAU
    2008 Citadel
    and this year…FIU.

    Seriously?

    Listen I well understand the economics of another home game. It just might be a bit more palatable were we not treated to high-minded rhetoric about student athletes, and the need for a pre-FSU bye, beforehand.

  15. Macallanlover

    UGA has become the king of whiney fans. We only get 13 Saturdays to watch/play the greatest sport of them all, and many want to waste them with patheitc matchups no one wants to see, much less pay for. Kudos to Damon for this schedule, and I wish we would continue this in the future. These OOC games have NOTHING to do with winning the championship, and it is far more interesting than what UF is doing (along with many others.)

    If they aren’t whining about the OOC game schedule, they are crying about Jacksonville. Why would anyone want to give away one of the great traditions in CFB? I know I am getting old, but I really don’t understand this type thinking at all. One cupcake per year is enough, and thankfully the WLOOCP is continuing. Time to man up, play some football, and be thankful for the good times. They could do an Old Milwaukee commercial about this, “it don’t get no better than this.”

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      If playing a tuneup game at the beginning of the season is so bad why do all the top programs do it? I really don’t have a problem with playing Okie State first game if it was at a neutral site (Arlington, Tx). What bothers me is that it was so obviously a put up job with homer refs. This was done to lure a big name to Stillwater to have a “grand reopening ” of the Okie State stadium and losing was not and option for them. It wouldn’t have mattered if FL, Southern Cal, Auburn, Bama or Notre Dame showed up to play. Whoever it was was preordained to lose and you could see it coming a mile away. The refs would never let the victim out of town with a win. Damon Evans being a dumbass caused that. Setting your team up for a screw job is not “it don’t get no better than this.”

      • Macallanlover

        You can write into the contract that visiting team refs will be used, often they are. You could probably write in thet “neutral” conference refs would be used.

        I ahppen to agree the spot on the goal line was horrendous mistake (and the only one that could be viewed as a “homer” call). The hit by Reshad was the next most significant blown call but I cannot say that was “homerism”, just a very bad call that was only obvious in slow motion, replay. I do believe those two calls alone influenced the outcome, just not willing to say it was “preordained” that we would lose. There were other oppotunities to win that game (turnovers, Evans’ blown coverage, Samuels’ slip and CT’s fumble, etc.)

  16. keith

    mayor,
    we didn’t lose that OSU game because of the refs.

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