Lots of understandable excitement about the just-announced Georgia-Notre Dame series. The AJ-C has gotten some of the details in the contract the schools will sign and while I’m sure most will want to focus on things like buyouts and ticket allotments, here’s the part that struck me as the matter to be watched closely over the next few years:
However, there is a clause that would allow Notre Dame or Georgia to wiggle out of the game without penalty if either team is required by its respective conferences to play more league games. The Irish are currently obligated to play five ACC games a year under its new agreement with that association. The SEC recently decided to stick to eight conference games rather than nine for the foreseeable future.
Now, sure, that may be simply one of those “out of an abundance of caution” things lawyers do with contracts. But that it’s there means it’s something on McGarity’s mind. It’s pretty much a tell that the SEC isn’t totally sure how things will work out over the next few seasons with the new playoffs and with its television broadcast partners. So you wind up hedging a few bets.
But it’s also a subtle way of sending a message: see what’ll happen if you make us go to a nine-game conference schedule? Of course, as the now-canceled Oregon series reminds us, it doesn’t have to take the threat of a nine-game schedule for Georgia to cancel.