Give the people what they want.

In explaining that there’s no good reason to blame Notre Dame fans for accommodating the desire of our fan base to show up in South Bend, Michael Elkon makes an excellent point that college football’s decision makers ignore at their own risk.

Additionally, the reaction of Dawg fans to the chance to travel to South Bend is a reminder that there is huge, untapped demand among big college football fan bases to see their teams play other elite programs on the road and not at NFL stadiums.

One way to illustrate this point is to look at how the most popular programs have never visited one another. Here are the top 10 in attendance from 2016: Michigan, Ohio State, Texas A&M, Alabama, LSU, Tennessee, Penn State, Texas, Georgia, and Nebraska. There are 90 potential home-and-home combinations among those teams. In over a century of football, 33 of these matchups have never happened. That’s a bevy of road trips that big fan bases have never gotten to take.  [Emphasis added.]

Put Saturday’s game in some sterile environment like Jerry World and I guarantee you never would have heard stories about Georgia fans taking over Dallas.  Sure, there would have been plenty of folks from around here to make the trip, but the cachet of seeing one of college football’s storied environments would have been missing.

As the highlighted portion of Michael’s piece indicates, college football has this treasure trove of matchups it could mine.  What happened last weekend should be an indication that it should make a concerted effort to do so.  If even Greg McGarity could make something like that happen, any program should be able to do it.

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32 Comments

Filed under College Football, Georgia Football, Notre Dame's Faint Echoes

32 responses to “Give the people what they want.

  1. ugafidelis

    The world is much smaller than it was even 30 years ago. So more of these types of games could happen now. But I’d venture to say that atmosphere would have looked significantly different in September 1977, 67, 57 etc… etc…

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  2. waterloodawg

    Sounds great. Maybe we could schedule A & M.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Chopdawg

    If you subtract the in-conference matchups that HAVE happened from that list, I bet the percentage of matchups that HAVEN’T happened balloons to near 100%.

    How about home-and-home, UGA vs Penn St, Nebraska, Texas? I’d love to see it.

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  4. 92 grad

    If powers that be could make a list of all the great things of college sports the playoff championship should be between 7 and 10. Home and homes like Uga-ND would be top 2. Sadly, the people that become the powers that be can’t be that honest with themselves.

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  5. The other Doug

    The networks had to take notice.

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  6. gastr1

    I thought Damon Evans was really making an effort to create national-profile matchups like that– Arizona State, Oklahoma State, Colorado, Boise State. Do you recall that we once had Oregon and Ohio State scheduled too? All I recall, though, was him getting a world of crap about this from Mark Richt. Of course, McGarity himself had nothing to do with initiating the ND series (though at least he didn’t shut it down because it cost too much or something).

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  7. Hillbilly Dawg

    UGA -Texas at DKR ? Wow.
    Meechegan – UGA in Stanford?

    Get coach on the phone again McEars.

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    • FisheriesDawg

      “Meechegan – UGA in Stanford?”

      I’m not sure I wouldn’t rather play them in Ann Arbor than Palo Alto. If we’re going to Stanford, let’s play Stanford instead.

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  8. Russ

    Agree 100%. If this game was at the Done in Atlanta, no way would I travel for it. Put it in Jerry World and I might but only because it would be the closest opportunity to see my Dawgs. I love college stadiums. I could care less about pro stadiums and one-time neutral site games. Ga-Fl, Texas-OU have a tradition at a site, though the sterile Gator Bowl has lost some of the charm the old place had.

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    • Athens Dog

      I miss the old Gator Bowl……..much more charm. Despite no facilities. HA

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      • Russ

        I’ve never been to the Red River Shootout, but I’d like to go to the Cotton Bowl if they still play there. I may have moved to Jerry World, though.

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        • AusDawg85

          RRSO is still in the old Cotton Bowl and has a long term contract. Part of the State Fair so don’t see that changing anytime soon.

          Mmmmmm….fried Snicker Bars and turkey legs.

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  9. Macallanlover

    I recall Damon making a trip to several Big14 ADs to arrange home and home opportunities. Basically, he was given the cold shoulder, maybe the ohio series came out of that, but I think it was later. When the meme that UGA hadn’t played north of the Mason-Dixon Line in 50 years spread all over the sports shows last week, no one ever mentioned the hold up was those living north of the line. Nor that Michigan only accepted UGA in 1965 because they came with no return requirement. I get the Florida jokes about not playing away from the Swamp in an opener since the 80s, but UGA has played some good OOC games over the years, just not as many as I would want.

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    • AusDawg85

      Someone remind me of all the times northern P5 teams have visited Athens, Knoxvegas, Gainesville, Tallahassee, Birmingham, etc.??

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  10. As someone who has seen a lot of games in a lot of stadiums, it is very cool to visit these stadiums and see games there. Nebraska vs UW in Lincoln comes to mind, great atmosphere and great crowd. Boulder, Lincoln, Iowa City, Ann Arbor, hell even Lubbock, great places to go and watch a game.
    Bye the way for those that complained about travel and distance, consider you are WSU in Pullman. Traveling anywhere is a pain, hell even other teams getting there is tough. Once again suck it up and deal with up.

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  11. Home and Home games don’t make enough money for all of the parties with their hands in the college football pie. Not sure how much $ UGA made from it (if they made anything on the trip) but did Notre Dame end up making more money or less than their regular home game take? NBC didn’t have to pay any extra for the game since they broadcast all NBC home games. NBC might have made more from advertising since it was a prime time game against a high quality Power 5 opponent – but was it incrementally more than any other prime time ND broadcast?

    If a non-conference game was played at neutral site, the neutral site organizer is paying a fee to each school. The tickets are sold at a premium price. The organizers bring in extra sponsorship. There is usually a separate TV deal …

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  12. SouthGaDawg

    Didn’t we have a home and home scheduled with Oregon and McG cancelled it?

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  13. Bob

    Two simple words. Damn Right!

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  14. AceDawg

    I want to see the NCAA add one game to everyone’s schedule, block one particular weekend off, and randomly pick pairings through a drawing. Other than promising teams a 50% home and 50% away setup over the course of two or four years, the only other requirements would be that you don’t play a conference opponent and you don’t play somebody that is already on your schedule over the next four seasons. They could also pit only Power 5 vs. Power 5 and non-Power 5 vs. non-Power 5 to ensure attractive matchups. This would build IMMENSE excitement and drama each year the drawings occurred. They could be for one year out to help plan accordingly while also somewhat limiting the effort of teams to “schedule around” potentially tough matchups by dropping a good team on their schedule for a pushover.

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  15. Brandon

    That’s the thing though. The powers that be couldn’t give less of a shit about how many dawg fans traveled to ND or what the stadium/experience was like. All they care about is how many eyeballs were tuned in to NBC, and I doubt that would change much based on the venue. There also aren’t many AD’s out there with the balls to schedule home and home regular season games such as these.

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