On the road again

Gosh, where have I heard talk like this before?

… There are myriad reasons for the Big Ten’s downturn during the BCS era, but the location of the most significant bowl games, including the national championship, undoubtedly hurts the league, which has played several virtual road contests.

Since the BCS launched in 1998, the Big Ten has dropped two games to LSU in New Orleans, including the national title game after the 2007 season. The Big Ten also is 0-4 against USC at the Rose Bowl. While there are exceptions, like Penn State’s Orange Bowl win against Florida State, Big Ten teams generally become roadkill in these matchups.

The Big Ten’s destination dilemma is inherent within the current bowl/BCS system. The big bowl games always have been played in the south and west, and because of the “double-hosting” model, the same holds true for the national championship games. Most Big Ten fans understand the reasons behind this, and have willingly hopped on airplanes every December and traveled far and wide to see their teams play. It’s this willingness that has made Big Ten teams so attractive to BCS bowl committees.

But the future postseason structure will bring change. A four-team setup would create two semifinals, which might take place within the current bowl structure, but most likely will not. The semis could take place at on-campus sites belonging to the higher seeds, a plan Delany advocates, or at neutral sites like Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium and Detroit’s Ford Field. The Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis? Beats facing LSU in NOLA.

Oh, yeah – that sounds like half of our fan base talking about the Cocktail Party.  It’s about the destination, y’all!  It doesn’t sound as good coming from that direction, does it?

As a side note, you’re not a rational human being if you’re equating downtown Detroit and the French Quarter in late December.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Big Ten Football, Georgia Football

63 responses to “On the road again

  1. Mayor of Dawgtown

    UGA playing its primary in-conference rival as a road game each year has nothing to do with bowls, a neutral site or a playoff game taking place on the field of the team having the better record or higher ranking. That is called “home field advantage” which is earned. In fact, the entire NFL season is about having the best record so you can get “home field advantage.” The advantage part of it is a concept some on this blog fail to grasp for their own personal reasons (read:FUN TIME AT THE BEACH!!!). If anything, this validates the position of those who think that it is just plain stupid to play Florida in Jacksonville every year. We give Florida “home field advantage” every year voluntarily yet still expect to win the game and the same guys who support that are the first to bitch when the team loses down there.

    • How is what you complain about any different than his complaint about playing LSU in New Orleans?

      • Hobnail_Boot

        1. Because UGA willingly chooses to play UF in Jacksonville when it has another viable option (Athens/Gainesville).

        2. Every &@$#*¥ year.

        • You still have to take the next step in logic for that to mean anything – that the results are tied to location. Every &@$#*¥ year.

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            The results are not tied to location every &@$#*Y year. The home field thing is only an advantage, nothing more. The visitor can overcome the advantage with superior personnel and superior play. The point is why should a team give its main rival an advantage at all? The answer with regard to the WLOCP is: $$$$$. So much for sportsmanship, fair play, etc. It’s all about the money, at least as far as the UGA Administration and Athletic Department are concerned. The fans/ alums–now that’s a different story. With them (some, at least) it is more important to win the party than the game. Hence, “JAX or Bust.”

            • With them (some, at least) it is more important to win the party than the game. Hence, “JAX or Bust.”

              We’ve gone round this corner here before, but I’ve never actually asked you this question. What exactly makes that a bad thing to you? All pettiness aside, I’m honestly curious.

              I only ask because I’d like to think (I’m likely misguided) our fanbase tends to have its priorities more in line than those of the crimson persuasion with how importantly we rank college football in our lives and the fact that some people aren’t willing to give up the annual vacation/excursion with friends with a football game mixed in seems to validate that principle to me.

              • Mayor of Dawgtown

                AD we have smoked out the fundamental difference between us. I want to win the game–no matter what. That is my first priority. You (sorta, kinda) would like it if the Dawgs won the game–as long as your good time isn’t inconvenienced. That type of attitude trickles down to every decision about our football program. We don’t win championships because we are not committed to winning. You think that is OK. I don’t.

                • I get that we’re fundamentally on different sides of the aisle. I don’t know that demeaning my position really strengthens yours, though.

                  I just value some things in life more than the result of a college football game. That isn’t right and it isn’t wrong. It’s just my perspective. It also doesn’t mean I like losing to Florida, but life doesn’t stop for me because of an unfavorable outcome in late October. Frankly, the “win at all costs” attitude is a major cultural problem in college football today (it probably always has been) that makes football coaches that most powerful people on campuses that claim to represent the pursuit of higher education and can cheapen degrees (as much as I’d love to see UGA win a national title, this concerns me far more) when scandals like the Harricks happen when the pursuit of higher education gets lost in that power struggle.

                  As the Senator has said below, there’s never been anything that empirically proves that playing in Jacksonville is a disadvantage. The only thing we can truly prove, based on head to head and overall results, is that Florida has typically been a much better football team over the last twenty years than Georgia. Facing that truth seems to be hard for some folks, though.

                • Rereading that, “demeaning” is probably too strong a word. However, as somebody who doesn’t go to Jacksonville every year, I don’t see how going to the game would “inconvenience my good time”. Going to the game is part of the good time for me. The beach, golf, and St. Simons are just added gravy.🙂

                  I suppose that’s where we truly do differ. Just my $0.02.

                  • Mayor of Dawgtown

                    You don’t have to go to a football game to enjoy the beach, golf and St. Simons. I go down there about 3-4 times a year. Go down there. Have fun. Just don’t make my college football team play its main rival in the SEC East at a disadvantage every year.

            • The point is that nobody has ever demonstrated that there’s an advantage to Florida in the location.

              • Mayor of Dawgtown

                OH COME ON!!! How many times over the last 21 years has UGA gotten beaten in JAX, even when the Dawgs had the better team? You always throw out that “prove it” strawman whenever you don’t have an answer yorself, Bluto. YOU prove that there is NO advantage–I challenge you to do so.

                • Until very recently, Richt’s teams have had a better record in opponents’ stadiums than at home. I don’t see how your assumption is factually valid, but I’m willing to listen.

                  • Mayor of Dawgtown

                    You are not counting the WLOCP as an away game in your calculations. Add in 8 losses to CMR’s away record and I think you’ll find his home record is better. Also, under the logic you espouse we ought to play every game as an away game.

                    • He’s got a winning record in opponents’ stadiums. He’s got a winning record in bowl games, which are neutral site games. He has a losing record in Jax. Explain why that’s different.

                    • Mayor of Dawgtown

                      Let’s cut the BS and get to the heart of the matter. Would you be willing to play Vandy in Chattanooga every year if the $$$ were so good that it made it a very attractive situation financially? Many would say “yes” to that. Why? Because we would make a lot of dough and beat them anyway. That was the situation we had with Florida in Jacksonville pre-1990. They were a program inferior to ours. For Pete’s sake, the Gators never even won a single legit SEC Championship until Spurrier got there as HC. We could play them there, collect the $$$ and beat them anyway. That all changed when Spurrier showed up as HC. Now we can’t do that anymore because the Florida program has been elevated. It’s that simple. The problem is our Athletic Department has become addicted to the JAX money and some of our fanbase care more about having a fun trip to the beach than about winning the game. Indeed, an entire genre has grown up around this WLOCP thing with UGA fans buying condos on Sea Island and Amelia Island and in Ponte Vedra. So these guys say that “it’s a great sporting event–please don’t move it” when really they are thinking “I got a lot invested in this plus I get to see all my college buddies each year” and don’t really care about the disadvantage it places on the team. I suspect we would have a losing record against Auburn if we played them in Birmingham every year. Why don’t we do that? Why don’t we play USCe in Charleston every year while we are at it? And LSU in the SuperDome every time we play them, too? And Bama at Legion Field? SHHHEEESH!

                    • I’m not sure why you think this is relevant, Mayor.

                      Let me take one last shot at this. The Cocktail Party is an 80-year tradition. It’s as much a part of what makes Georgia football unique as the Hedges or Uga. As somebody who regrets seeing college football shed valued traditions on what seems like a monthly basis, I am loathe to lose it, unless there’s a good, reality-based reason to do so. So far, you haven’t provided one.

                      It’s one thing to express your position as a personal preference. I can respect that. It’s quite another to accuse those of us who disagree with you of essentially being selfish bastards who value time at the beach over winning. Again, you haven’t made a case for that. Richt’s teams, like it or not, travel well, except when it comes to Jacksonville. That’s the reality which you need to overcome in your argument. When you do, I’ll be happy to continue the debate with you.

                    • sniffer

                      Pardon my ignorance, but how is a 50/50 ticket split a homefield advantage? If your point is that we travel further, ok, so be it. I don’t see an in-game advantage for either team.

                    • Mayor of Dawgtown

                      Fine sniffer. Let’s play LSU in the SuperDome with a 50-50 ticket split every time we play them. Are you for that?

                    • Mayor of Dawgtown

                      This is in answer to the Senator’s comment above. How long would it take for the Georgia-Florida game to become a “tradition” if it were played at the Georgia Dome, for example, every year? Or alternating annually between the Georgia Dome and JAX? I’m betting one year.

  2. Hogbody Spradlin

    Back in the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s when the Rust Belt was riding high, the Big 10 didn’t seem to have a problem going to sunnier climes for bowl games. What’s different now?

    • Joe

      The south found integration to be a pretty nifty concept for a football team. The south instantly became better. It took a while for the pundits to realize that, but it is here to stay now. 6 straight is the cherry on top.

  3. Hobnail_Boot

    Maybe I’m dense, but help me understand what this has to do with UGA/UF.

    If Ohio State agreed to play Penn State in Philadelphia every year in the name of “tradition”, I’d call them idiots.

  4. Silver Creek Dawg

    I’m sorry, but those of you who complain about the WLOCP sound like Florida fans who think that SEC football didn’t exist until 1990.

    Vince Dooley went 17-7-1 in Jacksonville. There’s NO reason we can’t win 50+% of the games down there.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      I don’t want to beat Florida 50% of the time down there. I want to beat Florida 100% of the time wherever it takes to hold the game to do that!

      • Silver Creek Dawg

        I would too, but I’m trying to be charitable…

      • Biggus Rickus

        That would take Florida forfeiting about half the time, because no matter how good UGA’s program becomes it isn’t going to win every game against Florida even if the games were played in Athens every year.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          It ain’t about actually expecting to win 100% of the time. It’s about trying to level the playing field instead of just accepting the situation where UGA loses that game 90% of the time. Play ’em on the moon for all I care. But anyone who thinks that playing Florida in JAX isn’t the same thing as playing Bama in Birmingham is deluding himself. The Gators aren’t stupid. They know it is an advantage playing in JAX. SOS even said so himself way back when. That is why they are so vocal with snide comments when moving the game comes up. They want to keep the advantage. I want UGA to have the advantage. We used to because we had a superior program. The Gators elevated theirs and so that is no longer the case. Now the venue operates to THEIR advantage. Move the venue to Atlanta. See how much the Gators like that.

  5. charlottedawg

    It sounds as lame coming from the big 10 as it does coming from Georgia in regards to the WLOCP. Whining about geography and travel, especially to a true neutrel site where the fans are split 50/50 is for second rate losers, sorry it just is. If you want to be a big time program embrace the anyone, anywhere, anytime attitude of FSU in the 90s or LSU in 2011. I can recall at least 2 specific instances LY where Les Miles spoke about his team relishing big games and big stages even if it meant a tough opponent on the road. Against WVU he even mentioned how being on the road was a non factor because his team was just so damn confident. We need THAT kind of swagger. That’s the kind of cockiness and attitude that made the pre Spurrier Gators CONVINCED that playing in JAX was a disadvantage to UF. Because we won so much the gators thought the place cursed.

    • Joe

      The 17 of 20 years getting a bye and we were playing game number 7, 8 or 9 in a row sure did help that attitude. Restfulness vs fatigue will do that!

      • collegeparkdawg

        Yes the BYE week was the biggest factor in my opinion.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          I agree that the bye week was the biggest advantage we gave Florida for many years–even bigger than the venue advantage.

  6. Always Someone Else's Fault

    Alabama beat LSU in New Orleans. LSU beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Both teams looked MUCH better on the road than they did at home.

    Heck, Arkansas has won some games in Baton Rouge. Stanford beat USC in the Rose Bowl as a 44 point underdog or something ridiculous like that.

    Why is every B1G talking point sheer nonsense? I think true road teams actually have a bit of an advantage in their ability to get away from the hubbub and close ranks on their flight and in their hotel. The downside to travel to a big game seems more prevalent in the following week (“trap games”) than the big game itself – not an issue with bowl games, last I checked.

    The B1G gets killed in bowl games because their teams are not as good. Simple as that.

    • paul

      Which means, of course, that Georgia gets killed in Jacksonville whenever their team is not as good. Just like Florida got killed in Jacksonville during the Dooley years because their team was not as good. Damn logic. Surely that can’t be the case can it? It has to be the location. Right? Surely we cannot expect Georgia fans on a Georgia blog to admit that we lose because the other team played better. I blame, oh, sorry, no I don’t.

      • What the hell is this logic? You’re telling me that the better team wins more often over a large enough sample size?

        I still stand by the argument that has been posted by the Senator and others around the Dawg-o-sphere that you could have played this damn game on the moon, home & home, Jacksonville, WHEREVER and Florida still would have dominated the sorry teams of Goff and Donnan. They simply were that much better for 20 years.

  7. Skeptic Dawg

    I blame Richt, just as I blamed Donnan and Goff. Our program has not been as good as FU over the past 20+ years, sans a few seasons during their run. Now, would I like to see the series moved to a home and home rotation? Heck yeah! But I would prefer to see Richt (or a future UGA head coach) build our program to a natonal power. We just are not there yet.

    • Cojones

      Thought you posted that you graduated in 2006! Richt’s been there since 2000. How the hell have you been blaming Donnan and Goff when you didn’t even go there until 2 years after Donnan’s removal? You must have been one astute football fan in grade school! Gee, gosh…. are you bad at spinning a web. The GOP will be ashamed of you.

  8. Mike

    When I clicked on this, I just knew Mayor would be one of the first commentators.

  9. Bob

    Bogus comparison. Completely bogus.

    Teams arrive at the bowl site a week in advance. They get acclimated to weather, travel etc. Now, tickets might not be split 50-50 like the WLOCP and that can be somewhat of a disadvantage, but there is no traveling during classes to the bowl site on a Friday and playing the next day before coming home.

    It never ceases to amaze me that some folks refuse to buy that Jacksonville is an advantage to Florida that we stupidly give them each year. Some years its cool in Athens and hot in Florida and we play in weather much like the little home of the Gators an hour away. They hop a bus for a short ride over to Jacksonville.

    Is it a HUGE advantage? Hell no its not. But it is an advantage and coupled with the years and years of them getting a bye, that advantage is exacerbated. And the fact that Dooley owned Florida is completely irrelevant. We were lots better than they were. Now we are at best equal and usually slightly worse. We are still giving them the advantage. If not, why do they scream bloody murder every time we bring up moving it to Athens or Atlanta?

    Sorry, I think the comparison between the bowl issue and this game does not exist.

    • Sanford222View

      “And the fact that Dooley owned Florida is completely irrelevant. We were lots better than they were.”

      So I guess the fact that Spurrier owned Georgia is completely irrelevant too because they were lots better than we were, right?

      Location is a weak excuse. Hell, UGA STILL leads the all-time series against UF by 8 games (Lizards say 7) even with their series dominance over the last two decades. Not to mention UGA even leads the all time series for the games that were played in Florida by 5 games.

    • And the fact that Dooley owned Florida is completely irrelevant. We were lots better than they were.

      Really? Lots better? All 25 years? Or even all 17 of the years Dooley won?

    • Uglydawg

      Bob, you described my thoughts. It has to be at least a slight advantage to Florida, but when the players get on the field for the kickoff, at that moment of high expectation and excitement, it doesn’t feel like an away game.

  10. I don’t know about you guys, but in the 4th quarter of last year’s WLOCP, that damn stadium was completely Georgia’s home field. There’s no greater sight than gators going home early.

  11. Comin' Down The Track

    I understand if the reason for wanting the game in Athens/Gainesville is, “I can’t never qualify to get no razzafratzen tickets to no dadgum WLOCP to save my life! Dang it! But if it was a home and home series… as a season ticket holder… why, I’d already have that ticket in my hand!”
    Trust me, the UGA/UF Athletic Departments wouldn’t allow this ticket to be included in the season ticket package for some reason or another. You’d still have to qualify donation-wise to get it.
    You see, both universities make more money in donations alone simply because this game is held elsewhere. Athletic Department economy trumps local economy in this equation.
    The game ain’t moving.
    Unlike Delaney’s preferred playoff format which he can sell to the NCAA as a savings on travel expenses and a siphoning of out-of-town money into to each AD’s local fiefdom.
    Since Athletic Department donations are not so heavily tied to bowl ticket eligibility nationwide (outside of the SEC (and in this case the WLOCP)), those donations are really not a factor here; but local economy trumps AD economy here anyway for the arguments in this playoff format camp.

    Man, I feel dirty after having typed that.

    • Cojones

      Yeah, but the Mayor had to be informed . It was a dirty job, but someone had to do it. At least it’s not a complete shock; albeit, it was the way the logic needle was inserted and allowed to slowly drip into his veins.

    • Uglydawg

      In 1973, I was fresh out of the USN and visiting my brother at Valdosta State. A few of us drove down to the WLOCP with the false perception that we could buy tickets from scalpers as soon as the National Anthem was played….Well, there were no scalpers. We stood outside the fence and listened to the crowd as we contemplated what to do. There was a gathering of about ten college aged guys standing off to my right, and suddenly they all rushed the fence at the same time and climbed it, dropped into the stadium and sprinted away. There was one policeman that made a half-hearted effort to stop them, but he failed. They made it! If only I had known, I would have went too! …But, then I saw “another way” in. One turnstile operator was accepting cash to let you people through. I folded a dollar bill into the size of a ticket and handed it to him as I went through the turnstile. I was in!…then my brother and our pal did the same, except they gave the guy a ten dollar bill each! But we didn’t have a seat. I swear this happened…I went to the field and stood on the UGA sidelines. About halftime, a policeman came and told me I would have to move….so I went to the Gator side and stood…Then back to the Georgia side. I was standing near the endzone when Florida’s QB blew their last chance to pull the game out. Georgia had hit him so hard on the former play, he wouldn’t run the ball when he could have seemingly strolled into the end zone. Georgia took over on downs and scored on a long play down the right sidelines to put it away.
      I’m not proud of getting in dishonestly, but this is the kind of stuff people’s memories of this game are made of. I bet everyone of those guys who climbed the fence still tell that tale. It’s a game worth going to!. I doubt this would have happened in Athens or Gainesville, but in Jax, anything can happen.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Happens all the time Ug. I did almost exactly the same thing as a teenager at Grant Field in the late ’60s.

  12. Go Dawgs!

    The bitching that the B1G does about location, whether it’s bowl games or the college baseball season, makes them all sound like a bunch of whiny children. I’m confused, was the Rose Bowl not in Pasadena back when the B1G was winning Rose Bowls? Was the Sugar Bowl not in New Orleans when Ohio State won* it a couple of years ago, or when Michigan/Penn State/tOSU, etc. could be counted on to win games there? The location isn’t the issue. Stone Age football is the issue. Your teams suck. Location IS a contributing factor to WHY your teams suck, though. Instead of moving the bowl sites, consider moving the University of Michigan to Florida, where it’s warm and blue chippers might want to play.

    Jeez, is this how we sound when we bitch about the Cocktail Party?

    • Jeez, is this how we sound when we bitch about the Cocktail Party?

      Uh huh.😦

    • TomReagan

      “Jeez, is this how we sound when we bitch about the Cocktail Party?”

      Yes, like a bunch of p*****s.

      I can understand that some want the game moved because they’d like to see it played in the Dome, because they’d like to see us beat the Gators at home, or because they’d like to go to the Swamp and beat them there. I don’t agree with them, but I can understand how someone could have those opinions and how they would be open to sharing them.

      But I have a hard time understanding how any Georgia fan can advocate moving this game because it is ‘unfair’ to play it in Jacksonville without feeling like a total p***y.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        TR, you make one valid point. I would LOVE to beat the Gators in the Swamp. That said, the Swamp ain’t such a big advantage anymore. See 2010 and 2011 UF home schedule results.

        • RobA

          Hilarious. So the gators haven’t actually sucked the last two years , the swamp just lost it’s mojo. That makes sense. At least you’re consistent.

  13. Rebar

    The site don’t matter, the playing is all that matters! How is the Mayor gonna feel if we run off 10 wins in Jacksonville over the next 15 years?

  14. Bob

    I wonder if Florida would consider playing LSU in Neutral New Orleans every year. Sure they would. 😉

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Or would Florida consider playing Georgia in Neutral Atlanta every year with a 50-50 ticket split. I’m sure that the Atlanta Chamber could whip up a few $$ to sweeten the pot. Might even outbid JAX if given the chance.:)

  15. Will Trane

    Neutral fields are flelds of losers. Win and does anyone care if it was not on the home field?
    The Dome has not been a good place for the Dawgs lately, same for Jacksonville. During the Dooley era fans and alums loved it. No doubt Spurrier changed that along with Florida’s teams. He brought in what they had never had…solid coaching and players. He is doing the same thing in Columbia.
    Jacksonville is a good site to play for both teams. The tickets are virtually 50-50. True the Dawgs travel further, but it is not like goint to Colorado or Stillwater.
    As a south Georgia alum I want it to stay in Jacksonville. The dirve from Valdosta is not that bad. So south Georgia alums would never been keen to giving this up.
    Plus I do not think the late, greatest of all Dawgs, Larry Munson would want to give it up. After the greatest call in Dawg football history was there.
    As i said the other day…it is not the field, but the players and coaches on the field. It is coaching.

    • Governor Milledge

      That’s the other thing that often goes unmentioned: Georgia is a big-a** state. Heck, from Brunswick, it’s a closer drive to Columbia, SC than it is to Athens (3 vs 5 hrs). The sun doesn’t rise and fall solely in Atlanta, however much some of the born-and-bred Gwinnettians would like to think. There is a UGA fan base outside of the 680 the FAN listening area.

      Plus, recruiting. This year, we have Bryce Ramsey (Camden County) and a potential commit with his O-line teammate. Theus is from Jacksonville. Innumerable recruits have come and will come from the Valdosta area. The state of Florida and its track stars will continue to be a recruiting hotbed.

      So from just these aspects, recruiting-wise and fan-base wise, it makes perfect sense to have a game in Jax. The extra revenue is just icing on the cake.

      Mayor, just because others embrace going to Brogen’s and having a damned good time at the golf course doesn’t mean we are less serious about the game. We’ve just also learned how to fit in other parts of our lives that tend to be stretched in the Fall.

      • Mayor, just because others embrace going to Brogen’s and having a damned good time at the golf course doesn’t mean we are less serious about the game. We’ve just also learned how to fit in other parts of our lives that tend to be stretched in the Fall.


  16. Just crush FU to powder every year!!!!! That should be the attitude of all including the players and coaches, no excuses.