Another Jacksonville post

If you don’t have that subscription to The Athletic, well, that’s a shame, because you can’t read Seth Emerson’s excellent summary ($$) of where things stand with the Cocktail Party.

Some points worth mentioning:

  • Recruiting, which is Smart’s reason for leaving, is complicated.  Apparently the NCAA has one set of rules for games like Georgia-Florida, in which only the designated home team can give complimentary tickets to recruits, and another for games like the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, in which both teams can.  (Although in both cases, there can be no contact between recruits and the coaches.)  On top of that, Georgia and Florida, by agreement, don’t comp tickets.  You only get one guess as to why.
  • Speaking of which, the money is good — roughly $3 million more every two years.  “It’s financially advantageous to play in Jacksonville every year because you’ve got that consistent revenue,” McGarity said.  With a new contract offer looming, that’s likely to get even better.
  • Television, more to the point, CBS.  “When the SEC-CBS deal was signed in 2008, Georgia and Florida asked for a stipulation that their game would always be at 3:30 p.m., according to former Florida president Bernie Machen. SEC commissioner Mike Slive backed them on it.”  Partly that was done out of a concern from a fan-behavior standpoint about what might happen if there were more night games.  Presumably, that’s a concern that lessens in the event the series goes home-and-home.

I am still of the position that money is driving this particular train, if only because money is pretty much the engine for any significant decision in college athletics these days.  I can’t deny that I’ve heard more noticeable whispering that a decision has already been made to pull the plug on Jacksonville, but I’m skeptical that such a call would be made this early without first hearing what the city has to offer this go ’round.

One other thing:   if recruiting is such a big deal, and Mullen’s recruiting already lags in comparison with Smart’s, why give the Gators another home game every other year to compensate?

115 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football

115 responses to “Another Jacksonville post

  1. For everyone who thinks the Jacksonville Game hurts our recruiting, why then is it a benefit for recruiting to play a kickoff game in Atlanta? You can’t have it both ways.

    If the game moves to campus because of Kirby Smart (he’s the only person actively advocating for the move), how long after he gets his way do you give him to deliver the natty you so desperately desire that you are willing to throw out 80+ years of tradition?

    For those who think the game should move, please tell me why you think playing in Hogtown every other year is a better solution than the one we have now especially since we haven’t lost to an east opponent in 2 years now.

    Finally, tell me why

    Like

    • you are so comfortable telling South Georgia “it sucks to be you” regarding the Florida game.

      Like

      • Psst…..it’s not UGA’s mission to appease South Georgia.

        That’s coming from someone born and raised in Savannah with parents on Colonel’s Island.

        Liked by 1 person

        • My comment is from someone who was born and raised in Southwest Georgia and doesn’t go to the game. I think there are a lot of people in South Georgia who keep their season tickets and Hartman donations just for access to tickets to the Florida game.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Brandon

          Savannah isn’t South Georgia, it’s Savannah, i.e., it’s own little world.

          Like

        • Russ

          Well, it certainly is the University’s mission to appease the entire state. That’s why we have satellite campuses around the state and research stations from Tifton to Blairsville. How the football team fits into the University’s mission is a different question, of course, but I’d argue if it should be a good representative of the University, and if it can help bring people of the state together, all the better.

          Like

  2. Macallanlover

    Recruiting is such a weak argument for going home and home, as if there aren’t close to a hundred weekend opportunities to get recruits to Athens already from the time they are sophomores/juniors in HS. Many of the recruits are already on campus a dozen or more times before the signing dates. One more weekend, every other year, is going to make a difference? It isn’t like FU doesn’t get the same advantage, or that we are behind them in recruiting. If Kirby needs another big game weekend every other year, get vocal about adding a 9th conference game, that would benefit both fans and recruits.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Otto

      Agreed, UGA should press to let the “home” team give out complimentary tickets. The game will sell itself. Where else can a kid go that has a game guaranteed to be on national TV at 330?

      Like

      • Gaskilldawg

        The issue with that is the complimentary tickets would come from the home team’s allotment. All of each team’s tickets go to their students and to donors of over, iirc, the $20,000.00 level. Neither school has a desire to take tickets away from its students and absolutely does not want to tell it’s big donors that they will no longer get the Florida game tickets that they were getting.

        Like

        • Otto

          Disagree, Florida doesn’t want UGA to have access to give the tickets. The tickets given to recruits are not the seats the wealthy donors get. UGA had no problem relocating season ticket holders for the new end zone seating area for recruits.

          Like

          • Someone is going to lose access to tickets if the schools start bringing recruits to the WLOCP. It’s likely those last 250-500 Hartman Fund donors who get in under the wire for tickets or some portion of the student ticket allotment.

            There aren’t a whole lot of zero sum economic outcomes in the real world, but this would definitely be one of them.

            Like

            • Otto

              UGA was placed recruits in metal stands in the end zone of Sanford stadium until the bridge end of stadium was remodeled. The new recruiting seating area is 500 seats in Sanford. As I understand it, neutral site games are unofficial visits, which limits contact between recruits and coaches. If you give 60 kids 4 tickets that is 240 seats. It would be interesting to know limits, and how the stadium can expand.

              When did B-M become concerned with upping limits on donors to get tickets to off campus games?

              Like

              • Gaskilldawg

                I did not make my 9:58 am post clear. I am not talking about taking tickets away from donors to give recruits tickets in Sanford. I am talking about comping recruits tickets in TIAA Field in Jacksonville.
                TIAA Field already expands its capacity by about 18,000 seats for the Georgia Florida game. I do not see any available space to “expand” seating in TIAA Field for recuits. Tickets at TIAA Field are zero sum. Giving comp tickets to recruits and families at TIAA Field can only happen by taking an equal number of tickets away from fans who have been used to getting them.

                Like

  3. chopdawg

    Ga-Fla is one of the unique things about college football that separate it from pro football, where you do get cookie-cutter home-and-home games week after week.

    I go to Jacksonville most years, but even when I don’t, I look forward to GA-Fla in Jacksonville probably more than any other game.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Brandon

      It’s literally one of the most defining aspects of our program, as far as something unique. The first college football related dream of South Georgia kids is scoring a touchdown in that stadium in that game, not Sanford, as much as I love that place also.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Brandon

    I think there are recruiting advantages to playing in Jacksonville. One of the stated reasons Alabama and others, ourselves included like to play in the Atlanta kick-off game is exposure in that fertile recruiting area. I think the same is true in Jacksonville for North Florida and South Georgia. Champ Bailey, Malcolm Mitchell, Fred Gibson, Buck Belue and Lindsay Scott are just a handful of the names of Georgia kids who grew up much, much closer to that stadium in Jacksonville than the one in Athens. Auburn is geographically closer to most South Georgia kids, so are Gainesville and Tallahassee. I think moving that game is going to make UGA feel like less of a home team to N. Florida and S. Georgia kids, and to a lot of non-alums UGA will seem like just another distant school. It would be ironic and quintessentially Georgia to move the game for “recruiting” only to shortsightedly divest ourselves of a critical aspect of our recruiting footprint.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I live in South Georgia. I had MUCH rather attend a game in Athens than Jacksonville. With that being said, why change things when Uga has the upper hand now? And I’m definitely not going to that concrete block stadium in hog town for a game. As far as recruiting goes, the current situation gives us a footprint in North Florida. At least when we win, it makes UF look bad in their own back yard. As an analogy, imagine if this game were in Savanna and we lost say 7 of ten to the gators. How would that look to recruits if the local team got owned basically as long as they could remember and the opposing team’s fans flooded the area in their team colors every year? We’ve got UF down now, let’s keep kicking them.

    I think this is all postering for money but if Kirby seriously wants to do something to improve recruiting success, then he needs to beat Bama.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Win the seccg no matter who the opponent is….crootin’ will take care of itself…going to Gainesville every other year can’t be worse than being the “home team” in Jax every other year….Do the players really care where they tee up FU, Jax or a dawg pit

      Liked by 1 person

  6. PTC DAWG

    I strongly disagree with Kirby on this issue. As others have said, it’s a big hill to go to battle on.

    Liked by 2 people

    • RandallPinkFloyd

      Honestly, I think as long as Kirby keeps beating UF, people will get over where that ass is beaten.

      Like

  7. ApalachDawg

    I will say it again, Gainesville and Steve Spurrier Field at BHG Stadium is a turd wrapped in a turd + we’d only get 10k seats ever other year? why change anything whilst we are whoopin’ dat ass in Jax?
    Dont move this game, ever.
    Money talks and bullshit walks – time to pay up City of Jax.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Mick Jagger

    Last Friday at The Stones show in J’ville, traffic was much easier than Athens or Atlanta – and I presume, Gainesville.

    Like

  9. MDDawg

    “Money is pretty much the engine for any significant decision in these days.”

    Like

    • MDDawg

      Well I was trying to make a clever joke saying “any significant decision in insert noun here these days” but it didn’t work. Guess I’ll just stick to my day job.

      Like

  10. MGW

    Am I missing something? They don’t like being able to recruit only every other year in Jax, so they want to go home, so we can recruit every other year in Athens?

    Like

    • They don’t recruit at all in Jax, so home and home would give them one more date every other year than they have now.

      Also, logistically speaking, it’s a lot easier to host recruits in Athens than it is in Jax, not to mention you get to show off your facilities. That’s not to say it’s impossible to do so (especially with the support staff Smart commands), but it’s certainly a more daunting task.

      Like

      • “They don’t recruit at all in Jax …”

        For me, I consider that a feature rather than a bug of Jacksonville. I want the coaching staff fully focused on getting the team ready to destroy anything in that obnoxious orange & blue helmet rather than making sure some recruit & his family (that may or may not come to UGA) gets the full attention of the coaching staff.

        Like

      • MGW

        Aah. It’s the kickoff games that both team’s get to recruit at right? So why not just ask the SEC for some sort of waiver allowing the “home” team to recruit in Jax? It isn’t recruiting in Athens but it certainly helps. Got a feeling the conference wouldn’t mind if it helped preserve one of its biggest assets.

        Like

        • You think the suits in Birmingham that do Little Nicky’s bidding will relent on this? I don’t.

          Like

          • MGW

            Come on now. You think they care more about Nick Saban than they do about money?

            Like

            • The rank and file absolutely do. They are Bama/Barn grads and fans first and SEC employees second. $ankey isn’t going to be able to do this on his own. I don’t see the university presidents/ADs approving something like this that only benefits 2 schools.

              Like

          • spottieottie

            Arkansas and A&M seem to have their hearts set on playing in Jerryworld every year. I’m sure they’d like to see the SEC rule hit the dust.

            If OU and Texas can use their game in Dallas to host recruits, it makes no sense why UGA and UF can’t recruit in Jacksonville.

            Like

  11. Austin

    Home and Home!

    Like

  12. Paul

    I sure hope this is simply about money. If Kirby kills this game I will always hold it against him no matter how many championships he brings home. I can’t imagine that anyone who was alive and watching as Larry Munson screamed Lindsay Scott! Lindsay Scott! would ever forgive Kirby for moving the game. Granted, our generation is dying out. But at the moment, at least, one would assume we are some of the larger donors.

    Liked by 1 person

    • GruvenDawg

      I love the atmosphere of the game. I don’t want the traditional game moved from JAX but the reasons have been stated here before. We have an annual rivalry with Tech, a neutral site game with UF and we want to play the likes of Oklahoma, Texas, UCLA, etc in home and home games. That means we could end up with a 5 or 6 game home slate…Something has to give. Unfortunately it looks like Jacksonville.

      Like

      • I’ll be honest … I would rather lose the home/home OOC games than to give up the Cocktail Party if it’s an either/or proposition. If people want both, then drop the FCS game and add another P5 opponent.

        Like

        • GruvenDawg

          Samples with games not played in JAX.

          Weeks are not in order. Also the home and home rotation is crap because of the Auburn move. UT, UF, and Aub are all rotating on the same year. That means there are years when the home slate is atrocious. Perhaps the SEC and Auburn finally pays up in 2025 on the conference schedule rotation is redone.

          2022 – 7 home games (If Florida not played in JAX)
          9/3 Oregon – Atlanta
          vs Vandy
          vs Tennessee
          vs Auburn
          vs Florida
          @ Kentucky
          @ Missouri
          @ South Carolina
          @ MSU
          vs TBD
          vs TBD
          11/25 vs Georgia Tech

          2023 – 6 Home games
          9/9 @ Oklahoma
          @Vandy
          @ Tennessee
          @ Auburn
          @ Florida
          vs Kentucky
          vs Missouri
          vs South Carolina
          vs Ole Miss
          vs TBD
          vs TBD
          11/25 @ Georgia Tech

          2024 – 7 home games (If Florida not played in JAX)
          8/31 Clemson – Atlanta
          vs Vandy
          vs Tennessee
          vs Auburn
          vs Florida
          @ Kentucky
          @ Missouri
          @ South Carolina
          @ Texas A&M
          vs TBD
          vs TBD
          11/25 vs Georgia Tech

          Like

    • California dawg

      I don’t have many fond memories of Jax visits during my UGA tenure (05-09) but I’m firmly in the camp of keeping the game in Jacksonville, especially now that we have the upper hand. I imagine many of the youngsters feel the same.

      Also, we don’t want Florida fans infesting Athens every other year. Having to host sub-literate mouth breathers from UT and Auburn is bad enough.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Atticus

    For those of you that love Jax I would love to hear the reasons. The stadium absolutely sucks. The town sucks. Unless you come from Ponte Vedra or St Simons. The “tradition” isn’t the same because all of college football has changed with the changing game times and games played on several days, expanding conferences, kickoff games and the CFP. The South Georgia argument is not that big either. So you have to drive an extra few hours to Athens. Its simply about nostalgia and I get that. But we give up a home game every other year and for Athens that is HUGE. To me the best way to sell your program is to have kids on campus in your stadium, its the biggest asset you have.

    Like

    • I don’t love or go to Jax, but I think the game should stay there:

      “The “tradition” isn’t the same because all of college football has changed with the changing game times and games played on several days, expanding conferences, kickoff games and the CFP.”

      What does any of this have to do with the game in question? The tradition is absolutely the same. If you don’t think we’ll get hammered by the national CFB media for leaving Jacksonville, you are sorely mistaken. The pundits and Jort Nation will talk about how we left Jacksonville with our tails between our legs. I don’t want that to happen.

      “The South Georgia argument is not that big either.”

      You’re either joking about that or forgetting that a lot of those folks drive to Athens 3-5 hours 6-7 times per year already. It’s the one game South Georgia folks can drive to that morning and be home before midnight.

      “But we give up a home game every other year and for Athens that is HUGE.”

      Why is taking away the business from those hotels, golf courses, restaurants and bars on the Golden Isles that depend on that one weekend ok? Oh, yeah, that’s South Georgia. They’ll get over it.

      “To me the best way to sell your program is to have kids on campus in your stadium, its the biggest asset you have.”

      Then, why are we playing in Atlanta 3x if having kids on campus is the biggest asset you have? There is recruiting value associated with the Cocktail Party at the current venue just as there is playing Clemson in MBS.

      Like

      • Atticus

        “If you don’t think we’ll get hammered by the national CFB media for leaving Jacksonville, you are sorely mistaken. The pundits and Jort Nation will talk about how we left Jacksonville with our tails between our legs. I don’t want that to happen.”

        How would we get hammered by the national media or the Gators if we paste them the next two years? And why do I care what the Jorts think? LoL

        “Why is taking away the business from those hotels, golf courses, restaurants and bars on the Golden Isles that depend on that one weekend ok? Oh, yeah, that’s South Georgia. They’ll get over it.”

        Good point. I would agree with you.

        Like

        • We will get hammered in the media for ending the tradition whether we win or lose the next 2 games by 50. God forbid we lose a game (or 2) to the Gators in Jacksonville over the next 2 years, and the perception will be that we want out.

          No one has given an argument that holds water with me as to why Kirby seems to have decided this issue is the one he has decided to move all of his political chips into the center of the table on. It makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. It damn sure makes no sense for him to risk dividing the fan base on this issue.

          Like

    • PTC DAWG

      Amelia Island does not suck….

      The stadium doesn’t suck either, IMHO…

      Like

    • But we give up a home game every other year and for Athens that is HUGE.

      Why should I care about that?

      Liked by 1 person

    • chopdawg

      I don’t think the stadium sucks. Except for the long long lines to get into its 4 gates, I think the stadium is perfectly fine. My seat in Jax is a whole lot more comfortable than my seat in Sanford; and you can’t beat the view, looking out across the top deck at the sunset over the St. John’s River and the big, lit-up scoreboard that says DAWGS 42, Gators 0.

      Like

    • tiredofidsearch

      I dont think you know much about Jacksonville….. (or did you mess up and reserve a room at the motel 6 on the west side of town ?)
      * better golf courses than most places (and I dont even play golf !)
      * a growing and thriving craft beer scene.
      * The beach
      * largest bulldog club in the country. I’d be willing to guess almost as many Georgia fans as florida fans.
      *great (and cheap) seafood.
      *with the horrible concessions and cesspool bathrooms at Sanford you are going to say the stadium sucks ???
      * a 4 day party and tailgate that Athens (or Atlanta) could never pull off.
      * watching the gators leave early and start down the gator trail of tears (hwy US 301) going back to Gainesville.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Derek

    My guess is Kirby is playing Jimmy Sexton here with Jax’s money but who knows?

    One thing for sure is that I’d like to see the pretzel knots if we back out because we may get 1 to 2 more recruits and give up 3 mil to do it and then someone asks, “well how much should we pay these guys if you’re willing to forego $X to get a recruit ‘in theory’?”

    We should maintain our venerated traditions and observances and sign a new deal with JAX, after we extort some more cash from them.

    No Gators in Athens or Atlanta or Georgia unless its a Peach Bowl.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Corch Irvin Meyers New USC Trojans Corch (2020)

      This is the “pro” Jacksonville argument to me that makes absolutely zero sense. While I disagree with the people clinging to an overrated tradition that serves no useful purpose anymore and hinders our ability to recruit on a level playing field with Bama and Clemson, this argument is bupkis.

      Kirby Smart doesn’t play stupid games like this. Our Admin would, because they’re all spineless milquetoast factotums that rarely say what they mean.

      Kirby Smart is telling you exactly how he feels, what he wants, what he needs, and what he believes is in the best interests of his football program. It’s best to take him at his word instead of twisting yourself into knots into believing he’s playing 3-Dimensional Chess here. He’s not.

      He wants to move this series to home and home. If you disagree, that’s okay. Just know your coach doesn’t agree with you. That’s what you need to be okay with, and I think that’s the crux of the issue for those clinging to this theory. They don’t want to be on opposite sides with Kirby because they realize how right he’s been about all of UGA’s shortcomings, and they don’t want him to be right about this. So they choose to believe he’s playing secret agent or some such nonsense.

      Like

      • Otto

        I don’t believe Kirby is above games but I do believe he does want the game moved. I am firmly against this and would rather see him leave than succeed in moving the game. Thankfully B-M values the money.

        Like

        • Corch Irvin Meyers New USC Trojans Corch (2020)

          And that’s fine. Just realize what that actually means, as I say below. This is a line you won’t cross, so much to the point that you’d rather Kirby leave Georgia to go somewhere (Bama?) where the admin and fans line up behind the coach, give him what he says he needs, and then gets out of his way.

          What this means is that you are perfectly fine with business as usual that’s brought us failure on the national stage 39 years running, instead of trying a different way that’s proven to bring national titles to schools that can actually compete for such things.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Corch Irvin Meyers New USC Trojans Corch (2020)

          Also, this is where we find out who has the real juice at Georgia. You believe McGarity is going to get his way, I believe it’s Kirby, because I believe the big boosters who tell McGarity what to do are ready to do things differently; they’re ready to line up behind Kirby, give him what he says he needs, and get out of the way.

          I’ll make another prediction: If McGarity wins on this, I do believe Kirby will leave for Bama when Saban retires. It doesn’t matter that Georgia is his alma mater; he won’t suffer fools who say they want to win titles, but who refuse to do everything it takes to win titles. So you’ll get what you want, Otto, and we’ll lose the best coach we could possibly have. But hey, at least you’ll get to keep pretending you’re in your 20’s 3 days a year in America’s armpit on what is a completely overrated trip to a crap city to watch a game in a crap stadium, where literally the only thing to do for 3 days is drink.

          At lest you’ll still have that.

          Like

          • You know, for a guy who once claimed that those who like the game in Jax “… are using emotional arguments and using emotional fears as justifications for those arguments”, you’re sounding a little emotional yourself here. 😉

            Like

            • Corch Irvin Meyers New USC Trojans Corch (2020)

              At this point, I am. You’re right. I just don’t get it. We’ve failed. For 39 years to climb the summit. We have the coach who can get us there, and instead of doing what Bama does, what Clemson started to do when Dan Radakovich got there, and lining up behind our coach, giving him what he says he needs, and getting out of the way, there’s still a large contingent who won’t do it. Who say they want the titles we all say we want, but want to keep doing it the same way that’s brought us failure over 39 years.

              I just don’t get it. I don’t see Kirby’s ask as unreasonable. This is a tradition that doesn’t do anything to help us win. It’s run its course, in that yes, it used to be for helping to recruit North Florida, and it was for the South Georgia fans, but since the advent of the national television contract, that’s worth so much less than what it was. And the way modern recruiting works now, it makes absolutely zero sense to keep your most important game of every single year away from your home stadium and facilities, unable to show off everything you have to recruits who could be swayed by that visit.

              I don’t get it, Senator. I’ve been to Jacksonville, and yeah, I don’t get why keeping that trip is worth the possibility, as small as it may be, in making up that inch that means winning or losing. Some traditions just run their course, and your team improves because you let them fall by the wayside. The Iron Bowl is the best example of this, and the Columbus location for Georgia-Auburn is another. So why do we hold so tight to this when it provides zero advantage to the team?

              Like

              • The problem with your argument is you are asserting that the Cocktail Party is what stands between Georgia and a natty. There are no guarantees in life, which means you’re asking people who are just as emotionally invested in their position as you are in yours to buy something that doesn’t really exist. That’s why I can’t help but roll my eyes a little when you accuse people like me of being selfish. (Or, for that matter, at the assumption Georgia will never win a national title as long as it travels to Jacksonville.)

                I’m a fan and that should count for something, even in this day and age.

                Like

            • Corch Irvin Meyers New USC Trojans Corch (2020)

              So yeah… I am a little exasperated at this point.

              We’ve all dug-in. All that’s left is the waiting, I guess.

              Behind it though is my very real worry that if Kirby doesn’t win this, he will eventually leave for Bama when Saban retires, because there, the admin and fans do line up behind the coach, give him what he needs, and gets out of his way, because the pursuit of national titles is the only thing that matters.

              For half of Dawg fans and the Admin, it’s “Yeah, we want to win a national title, but…” and I see that “but” as why we haven’t won in 39 years. I’m tired of the “but.” I just for once would like to see what it looks like for us to go all-in, and see what happens. I can’t guarantee we win a national title if we do, but just once I want to see what it looks like when UGA jumps in with both feet and commits 100%, not 99.9%, to winning it all.

              Like

          • tiredofidsearch

            That’s the funniest thing I have heard in a long time….
            Sure Kirby will leave because we didnt move the game.
            The inmates dont run the asylum……

            Like

          • PTC DAWG

            That’s some serious bloviation.

            Like

      • tiredofidsearch

        Just because he wants it doesnt mean its the right thing…..

        Like

      • chopdawg

        Corch, you’re making a lot of absolute statements in your posts that you can’t possibly prove.

        “Kirby Smart doesn’t play stupid games like this,” meaning negotiate with the city of Jacksonville to help get UGA a better deal? How do you know? I don’t think negotiating with Jax to get the best terms available is a stupid game at all, and why wouldn’t Kirby be working with McGarity & Morehead to make that happen?

        Georgia’s suffered through “39 years of failure”? I absolutely disagree with that, especially these last few years; unless you count every year we don’t win a national championship as failure, and if you feel that way I feel sorry for you, you’re going to “fail” a lot more often than you succeed no matter who you are.

        We have the “coach who can get us there,” meaning the National Championship? Time will tell about that, right? If he can “get us there,” he ought to be able to do that whether or not we play in Jax, if he’s that great a coach.

        Playing the Fla game in Jacksonville could be the “difference in getting that single extra blue chip recruit who can be the difference in winning and losing a national title?” I don’t see how you can be so sure about that. Winning national titles requires a whole lot of things to fall into place, like for instance the referees not missing an offsides call at a critical time in the 2018 national championship game (if they’d gotten that call right, we probably wouldn’t even be having this conversation).

        I think Kirby Smart is a fantastic coach, who I hope stays at UGA a long, long time. But he might go back to ‘Bama after Saban retires, regardless whether he wins a Natty at UGA. I’m going to enjoy UGA football as much as I can while he’s here; and one of the things I enjoy most about UGA football is the Florida game in Jacksonville.

        Like

  15. W Cobb Dawg

    If Kirby decides to leave Jax using recruiting as a rationale, he’d better back it up by landing the #1 recruiting class for at least the following 5 years.

    Like

    • Corch Irvin Meyers New USC Trojans Corch (2020)

      That’s unreasonable, and that’s the opposite of what Kirby said at media days, which gives credence to what I wrote below. It’s not about class rankings. It’s about recruiting on a level playing field with other national title competitors so you can use every advantage you have to be able to land a difference maker; a guy who can help you make up that inch between Bama and Clemson; a guy who can add that extra inch that’s the gap between winning and losing.

      If this is your reaction, you’re not getting it.

      Like

      • Russ

        Well, if he’s already landing the #2 class, then landing that “difference maker” certainly better improve the class ranking. That’s absolutely what Kirby has made this about.

        Like

        • Corch Irvin Meyers New USC Trojans Corch (2020)

          Then you didn’t listen to anything he said at SEC Media Days if you’re still talking about class rankings, Russ. Like I said.

          Like

          • Russ

            Kirby’s the one that said it affects recruiting because he can’t show off his new facilities. He just wants to backtrack. It’s about recruiting except it’s not about recruiting.

            (Here’s a hint – it’s about the money)

            Like

        • GruvenDawg

          It’s having 5 or 6 home games compared to 6 or 7 home games. That’s the extra game Kirby is talking about. Most SEC teams target 8 home games by loading up on the sisters of the poor and don’t have a OOC rivalry game like GT (USC/Clemson, UF/FSU UK/Louisville have the OOC rivalry).

          Clemson, Texas, and Oklahoma regularly started scheduling additional big OOC games and it has elevated their programs national perception with recruits. We are handcuffed by having the JAX game because we are going to end up struggling to have 7 home games while also scheduling home and homes with the likes of Texas, FSU, Oklahoma, Clemson, UCLA, etc.

          We want to play a nationally relevant schedule to appeal to recruits across the country while also trying to maintain 7 home games. It’s a challenge and JAX just means we are fighting with one hand tied behind our back.

          Like

          • You can make the same argument about playing that “nationally relevant schedule” that you can about Jacksonville. In the end, what you’re saying is that those games matter more.

            Like

            • GruvenDawg

              I love the feeling In the stadium at WLOCP. Momentum is a tangible thing and you can feel it. Jax is a special game and I don’t want to see it go. Personally I would rather give up GT than JAX but that won’t fly with the fan base either. (perhaps a good poll? Which would you rather give up? GT or Jax?)

              I think playing meaningful OOC games do matter. UGA has trended from recruiting the southeast to recruiting nationally. I think by having those big OOC home and homes with teams is what is going to help with some of the national recruits we are trying to bring in. Already Having 1 or 2 less home games than most conference members is also an issue when you only have so many times you can get a recruit on campus. Our coach thinks a national schedule on top of the SEC schedule is the way to appeal to the big time recruits. Come to UGA, play in huge OOC games all across the country yearly while playing in the best conference in the country.

              For arguments sake
              Texas/OU works because neither have a big OOC rivalry. One of the reasons UT/A&M will probably never become a yearly thing (besides the bad blood) is because the UT home games schedule would be challenging getting to 7 games while playing a big OOC opponent yearly with a 9 game conference schedule.

              Like

          • Russ

            Okay, Gruven. For argument’s sake, what harm is this “challenge” causing us? I would have assumed it was harming our recruiting, but I’m told it’s not about recruiting. So what is it harming? (I would’ve asked MattC but you seem more reasonable.)

            Like

            • GruvenDawg

              Long post. Sorry.

              On the west coast this week so not sure if you will see this. On my phone so forgive any formatting issues…Yeah Matt C is a little overboard on the Athletic comments.

              UGA is trying to extend its national recruiting reach. We want the best possible player each cycle at their position regardless of where they are in the country, not just the best possible player in GA at that position (ala Bama, Clemson, OSU, OU). Ultimately these kids are building a brand and the elite want to play with other “elites” and compete for championships while playing in marquee games in their career. JAX qualifies as a marquee game but it leaves a hole in the home schedule. Currently we are one of the top 5 programs that are the “hot” commodity and “it” place for big time recruits. Kirby wants to keep it that way.

              Every AD in The power 5 wants a minimum of 7 home games each year. UGA has a unique issue in that we have an OOC rivalry AND a neutral site game every year. The only other team similar to that in the SEC and I believe in all of football is UF with FSU. Kirby thinks that instead of never playing anyone else like UF does he wants to play high end competition like OU, UT, Clemson, UCLA, etc in home and homes. Ultimately that delivers a better home slate outside the SEC games, ala ND this year. It also REALLY appeals to big recruits that want to play in the SEC (defense). FSU used this model to great effectiveness when it was a 1 team league in the ACC.

              I don’t want the UF game out of JAX, but the other alternative is a six home game slate on the SEC rotation (3 home 4 away/ 4 home 3 away) with 2 rent a win teams)).That’s not going to bring in the big boy recruits and there is not an AD in the power 5 that would agree with 6 home games on a consistent basis. Most SEC teams have an 8 home game slate so UF in JAX can put us at -2 home games compared to other conference teams for showing recruits around campus and home game day environment.

              There is no win-win in this scenario. If UGA wants to play a nationally relevant schedule to appeal to recruits across the country either we drop UGA/UF in JAX or we drop GT from the schedule to maintain 6/7 home games. As the senator stated earlier right now we value a high end OOC home and home over JAX, and we value GT over UGA/UF in Jax. It sucks and I don’t know if an SEC 9 game schedule would solve it either. Honestly when the 2026 SEC schedule is announced we will see if a SEC team that wants to play a national schedule will work while maintaining a nationally competitive schedule.

              I am not sure this answers your question but I can see how Kirby is approaching the issue. From an AD advantage perspective dropping JAX or dropping GT are the only options

              Like

              • UGA is trying to extend its national recruiting reach. We want the best possible player each cycle at their position regardless of where they are in the country, not just the best possible player in GA at that position (ala Bama, Clemson, OSU, OU). Ultimately these kids are building a brand and the elite want to play with other “elites” and compete for championships while playing in marquee games in their career. JAX qualifies as a marquee game…

                More than that, the Cocktail Party gets a prime Saturday afternoon slot every year on a national broadcast network, at least in part due to its unique setting. Why would UGA want to risk screwing that up?

                Liked by 1 person

              • Russ

                Good reply, but I have to go with the Senator. The Cocktail Party gets as much exposure as any other national game we could play. And it’s pretty much guaranteed regardless of record.

                I keep hearing it’s about recruiting, except that it’s not about recruiting. The only thing I can think of this affecting IS recruiting (which Kirby said). Yet recruiting is at an all-time high. We can only go one spot higher. I’m just not sure losing one of CFB’s storied traditions is worth giving up on the off chance we could incrementally recruit a little better. We’ve already seen teams that recruited below us win it all, so I just don’t see it negatively affecting us.

                (BTW, I’m pretty sure MattC is posting his thoughts here as well.)

                Like

    • HiAltDawg

      “If Kirby decides to leave Jax using recruiting as a rationale, he’d better back it up by landing the #1 recruiting class for at least the following 5 years.”

      or what?

      Like

  16. Corch Irvin Meyers New USC Trojans Corch (2020)

    One argument that needs to disappear ASAP from the pro-Jacksonville peeps is the, “Kickoff Games are neutral site and Bama does them all the time and it doesn’t hurt their recruiting,” argument.

    Bama can and do provide tickets to recruits to those games; those who can make it on their own dime.
    These are not conference games. These are out of conference games. That’s nothing like giving up a precious home game on your in conference schedule every other year to always go to a neutral site instead. It’s not even in the same zip code as the same thing. Bama still brings recruits in for very single conference home game, including their biggest game of the year, the Iron Bowl, every other year. They can show off their facilities, their stadium, their fan passion, all for the most important game on their calendar every other year. Georgia cannot. We cannot showcase our most important game every year, and what it looks like in our stadium, to recruits. This is the un-level playing field Kirby is talking about when it comes to the advantages the Clemsons, Bamas, and Ohio States have over us. Clemson-FSU is not neutral site. Ohio State-Michigan is not neutral site. If we want to be the best, we need every advantage. And if you listened closely to Kirby’s remarks at SEC Media Days, which I don’t think many here did, he basically reiterrated the Al Pacino speech from Any Given Sunday: Football is a game of inches. The difference in getting that single extra blue chip recruit who can be the difference in winning and losing a national title is so small, that yes, hosting them for a recruiting weekend for the Georgia-Florida game in Athens could be the inch we need to landing that recruit. A guy like Quinnen Williams. A guy like Julio Jones. A guy like Deshaun Watson.

    Kirby wants that inch. I want to give Kirby that inch. If you don’t, that’s fine, just know it’s more of the same at Georgia: We’re not willing to line up behind the coach, give him what he says he needs, and get out of his way. We have 39 years of failure doing it the way we’ve been doing it. Why not do it another way? Why not line up behind the coach, give him what he says he needs, and get out of the way to see if he can give us the national championship we all profess to desperately want? How desperate are you? If you’re not willing to give up this game, are you truly desperate? I say no. And that’s okay. Just realize the line you’re not willing to cross for what it is: A line you’re not willing to cross.

    Like

    • Otto

      OU and Texas both have national titles in the past 39 years with the same restrictions from the NCAA but their ADs allow the home team to give out tickets for the game. OU until recently had the most AP Natties of any programs. UF won multiple titles with the same restrictions as UGA. The past 39 years is not due to Jax it is due to poor coaching hires and facilities that were behind rivals.

      The WLOCP is an advantage the coaches can take advantage in show casing a rivalry game that only has 1 other like it.

      Like

      • Corch Irvin Meyers New USC Trojans Corch (2020)

        They can’t showcase anything involving the WLOCP. Recruits don’t care about this game like you think they do. They care about where they’re going to live, practice, train, and play for 3-4 years. Not a neutral site game they can’t even visit as recruits.

        And what Kirby is talking about is the inches between winning and losing. Had Georgia been able to sign Williams, you don’t think we, not Bama, would’ve been able to win in 2017 and 2018? We can’t showcase our actual most important game of every year BECAUSE of where it’s played. Who knows what difference its made in being able to land the one or two guys who could make that difference. Who don’t fall for a 2nd and 26 freshman QB head fake. Who can run down a back up QB with fresh legs. You can have the best coach, the best facilities, the best everything. If you’re missing that one guy who can make up that inch, you’re never going to get there.

        All Kirby wants is an even playing field for recruiting, which he doesn’t have, because of this game. You’d rather keep your trip. That’s okay, but stop denying what that means.

        Like

        • They can’t showcase anything involving the WLOCP. Recruits don’t care about this game like you think they do. They care about where they’re going to live, practice, train, and play for 3-4 years. Not a neutral site game they can’t even visit as recruits.

          Assuming for the sake of argument you’re right, how do you square it with your earlier point that UGA “… cannot showcase our most important game every year, and what it looks like in our stadium, to recruits”?

          I personally think the best case argument for Kirby’s position is about showing off the facilities one more time over a two-year time frame. Problem is that applies equally to the neutral site and non-conference home-and-homes UGA is now scheduling. Seems to me the message being sent is that those games are more important than where UGA-UF is played.

          Like

          • Corch Irvin Meyers New USC Trojans Corch (2020)

            I think it underscores the important of bringing that game on campus. There’s a huge difference having them come to spend the week and see us play Florida than Austin Peay. It’s a distinct disadvantage that Bama and Clemson don’t have.

            Like

            • If it’s about showing off the facilities and if the recruits don’t see the game the same way we do, I question how huge that difference really is. Or how that argument is any different when it’s UGA playing Virginia at MBS.

              Like

            • Otto

              Bama gives up showing their campus off to recruits for 1 week most years, their in state rival is in the SEC, and they fill their remaining schedule up with cupcakes.

              Like

              • Corch Irvin Meyers New USC Trojans Corch (2020)

                You really need to stop making this comparison that is literally not the same thing. Alabama plays an OOC game at a neutral site where they are allowed to provide tickets to recruits.

                They are not playing the Iron Bowl at a neutral site. That is the only game that would be the correct comparison you think you’re making here. They aren’t even playing an in-conference rivalry game like Tennessee at a neutral site.

                Out of conference is not even close to being the same thing as in-conference, Otto.

                Like

                • Otto

                  The NCAA allows teams to give recruits to neutral site game when it is their home. It is UGA and UF ADs which keep that from happening/

                  Funny you ignore the RRS and skip facilities and poor hiring for your 39 years argument. I have posted multiple time in here about the every other year part of hosting recruits.

                  Like

        • Otto

          I disagree, it is mind blowing how far behind UGA was and Pruitt was correct in his pursuit of the IPF and other facilities. UGA is just now catching up. As I posted above UGA was using metal bleachers to host recruits. Moving the game is very unlikely to sway the recruit. especially when they went to a school that was spending more on facilities for years before UGA started catching up.

          Further an unofficial does not count against official visits so, UGA can give a recruit tickets to Jax and host them in Athens OU/Texas recruits seem impressed by the RRS. If they are at the RRS or WLOCP, they can’t be at a rival’s game too.

          If the UF game moves to home/home it falls to being on par with UT and Auburn and Mullen may move it below them.

          Like

        • chopdawg

          So you’re saying that Georgia would’ve signed Quinnen Williams if only we hadn’t played the Florida game in Jacksonville? How do you know this?

          Like

          • Corch Irvin Meyers New USC Trojans Corch (2020)

            Some people are so ridiculously literal that it’s no wonder your idiot kids are out there screaming about plates from Macy’s that say “mom jeans” on them to help with portion control like it’s the end of the freaking world.

            Like

    • I don’t desperately want a national championship. My feelings about the University of Georgia in general or Georgia football specifically aren’t all tied up in that still mythical national championship. If that means I’m not as good of a fan, you can be you.

      OTOH, if Kirby gets his way, I guarantee that will be the standard I will measure him against immediately. He is making the case that’s the inch he needs. I would be finding a bunch of other inches to gain to push the program over the hump. If he gets that inch or crosses that line that is really damn important to a lot of people, he should be measured by that. The clock starts ticking.

      Like

      • Bright Idea

        I agree and the clock may already be ticking. Kirby getting his way on Jax may boil down to how this season (19) turns out since a decision is not likely to come until the calendar turns to 2020.

        Like

        • I don’t think the clock is ticking. No one in their right mind last year thought that team was ready to be a playoff team. The fact they got so tantalizingly close with such a young roster speaks volumes for the job Kirby did last year.

          My point is that if Kirby pushes all in on the Florida game and gets his way, I can imagine whatever percentage of the fan base who wants the game to remain in Jacksonville (minimum of 50% by all accounts – I think it’s closer to 65-70%) will start their “natty or lather, rinse & repeat” clocks. At a minimum, he alienates at least 1/2 of the fan base who will only be satisfied if he wins a title practically immediately.

          If Dom Sanders doesn’t get caught looking in the backfield on 2nd and 26, are we even having this discussion?

          Like

          • There’s more to it than that. The earliest UGA can abandon Jax is 2022. What’s the reaction if UGA wins a natty before that season?

            Like

            • I’m not sure that changes anything. Kirby loses the argument that Jacksonville is a negative to his way of doing things if Georgia wins a title between 2019-21. If UGA moves forward with leaving Jacksonville (assuming the city negotiates in good faith), he’s still going to alienate a part of the fan base (he will have made a large withdrawal from his account after winning a title). It comes back to me as to why this hill is the one he’s willing to die on.

              The other 3 schools involved in big time neutral site games have won titles since 1980, and our opponent in this game has won 3 of them. Jacksonville has nothing to do with the lack of a national title in Athens since 1980, period.

              Like

  17. Chickamona

    Interesting idea buried in that article of a four year rotation of Jax-Athens-Jax-Gainesville. I assume it would have to work this way to keep odd-even years balanced. This would give every kid a chance to play in Jax, while also bringing the game to campuses, which I think would be awesome as a season ticket holder. I’ve done Jacksonville many times, but also recall how electric Athens was for that game in 1995 and that was even with absolutely no one on either side thinking we had a chance and sure enough we got waxed. Any years the Gators come to Athens would be huge, but still special because rarer than other rivals. I have no interest in it going to Atlanta. Save MBS for SEC Champ and Playoff/NY6 games.

    But I think the idea of a four-year rotation is really interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Corch Irvin Meyers New USC Trojans Corch (2020)

      I suck at math and projections, but I don’t think a 4 year rotation would work given how games fit into decades. A 4 year rotation wouldn’t fit into a decade’s worth of scheduling, making it unbalanced as to who gets more or less home games in that decade.

      I think you’d have to do 5 year rotations: i.e. Athens-Gainsville-Athens-Gainesville-Jacksonville, repeat for the next five years.

      I’m probably 100% wrong.

      Like

    • Chickamona

      I suppose that it would need to be Jax-Jax-Athens-Gainesville for balance over a 4 year cycle. But let’s say just for illustrative purposes, this started in 2020, Athens would host in 2022, 2026 and 2030. Still an interesting compromise.

      Like

    • Jacksonville will never go for that without concessions on payouts. I can’t imagine McGarity or Stricklin would be too keen on that. It’s either going to be the status quo or the game is going to campus.

      I agree that Atlanta is never going to be a player even for a rotation of the game.

      I have a different perception of being there in 1995. I don’t remember anything about the atmosphere being electric. All I remember (and maybe that’s because of the bourbon) is that I went to Athens with a sense of foreboding … the only redeeming quality about that day was that was the final nail in the coffin of the Ray Goff era.

      Like

      • PTC DAWG

        I was at the 95 game. Doering is still open.

        Like

        • Ugh – if I remember correctly, Florida missed the PAT after their first TD. I think the announcers said something to the effect that might have an impact on the outcome of the game. One of the dumbest comments I’ve ever heard by a TV commentator.

          Like

        • chopdawg

          I was at the ’94 game. I’m still soaking wet from the rain.

          Like

      • Chickamona

        Yeah, I think it faded pretty quickly once the game started and perhaps it’s all relative to how weak the mid-90s were for us, but the lead up to the game stood out as exciting considering we were a heavy underdog with no real chance at all. My point being, I think Florida coming to Athens any year would be a really big deal regardless of how good/bad the teams are.

        Like

  18. Jacksonville and all the surrounding jurisdictions need to come up with the money to keep this outstanding and long standing tradition. I demand to keep the joy of being over-charged for my October/November vacation. I want my October/November drinking,lying(about how cool we use to be) and seafood eating long weekend . I need this vacation and the group I have been going with for years will in all likelihood just go to St. Simmons or Amelia Island if it goes home and home and watch the game at a bar. Croch Irvin your premise of stopping the J’ville game will lead to a natty suffers from the logical fallacy of falsifiable…….it can not proven or disproved .I want what I want and I demand to have my Alma mater respect my wishes and understand they turn a deaf ear to a majority of their fans at their own risk. Literally, the only specific plays I can remember our current coach making as a player were his interceptions in the 97 “Finally” game. Does he want to take those type memories away from future fans? Jeez this is a stupid controversy and moving the game will be an unforced error of monumental proportions.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. here is another reason to keep the game in J’ville …..https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aA2f6AXcFK4 I’m just sayin

    Like

  20. stoopnagle

    6th visit was in 2014. I’ve never seen us win in person in Jax. I never will because I vowed to never go back. I would like to just go hang out on St Simons that weekend once but if I don’t get to, c’est le vie.

    I would prefer to never have Florida visit Athens ever ever ever. But that’s just my level of dislike for those mf.

    Liked by 1 person