A pointless discussion, but what the hell

The newly revised shape of Georgia’s 2021 home football schedule begat this observation in my Twitter feed last night.

Let us skip the aesthetics of the Cocktail Party for a moment and focus on neutral site games as a general principle.  I would argue that the universe of parties directly interested in the composition of Georgia’s home schedule is comprised of the following:

  • Fans with season tickets
  • Fans without season tickets
  • Butts-Mehre

Yeah, if you’re in the first group, being asked to pony up a Hartman contribution in a year when you’ll have to travel to a NFL stadium to watch the Dawgs play in a one-shot season opener at an inflated price, whether you buy directly through the school or on the secondary market, blows, but it’s hardly like that’s the only indignity you’ve been asked to suffer through in the name of fandom over the past five years.

If you’re in the second group, why would you care?  TV is TV, after all.  Let’s face it — in that regard, going from San Jose State to Clemson is a huge step up.

As for group three, well, you know what matters there.

Screenshot_2020-02-19 Senator Blutarsky on Twitter Dawg_Stats JoshuaL44723836 Gators_Hater Hate to break it to y’all, but a[...]

Trust me, Kirby didn’t call Dabo after dinner one night last week and say, “let’s do this!”.  Nah, ESPN called ’em with an offer they couldn’t refuse.  (Did you really think McGarity was going to pay SJSU that $1.8 million out of his own pocket?)

But let it not be said that I don’t want to give everyone here a chance to vent.  Along those lines, here’s a reader poll.

Feel free to elaborate in the comments, as long as you realize nobody’s listening but us chickens.

***************************************************************************

UPDATE:  By the way, with this game, Clemson has also elected to play only six home games in 2021.

49 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

49 responses to “A pointless discussion, but what the hell

  1. dawgfan1995

    I’m in favor of the first two but not the refusal of one-off neutral site openers. Those games can often be fun to attend and are high-profile games for recruits and their families to see.

    Liked by 1 person

    • dawgtired

      I love those high-profile neutral games with an unusual opponent. Playing Clemson in Charlotte will be exciting.
      The WLOCP is too tradition rich to change.
      I’m not sure how invasive changing GT/Aub would be, but it seems like the easiest…IF, something HAS to be done.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Macallanlover

        Agree with most all of this, but I would offer gt a game every year in Athens, at the beginning of the season, take it or leave it. No reason to go to that little bandbox of a stadium, ever, and they are in no position to hold equal negotiating rights to UGA. The game is ill positioned on the schedule anyway among more significant contests and right before the SECCG. It has become an automatic “nooner”, and even then there is disinterest by all but UGA fans, many of whom are probably flipping the dial to more compelling match ups. If we have to play it, lets do it so UGA fans arr given first priority; there aren’t enough tech fans to even care if they are inconvenienced.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Tony Barnfart

          I’d like to see UGA/USCjr and Tech/Clemson alternate inter-conference opponents. On the years we get Clemson, we wouldn’t have to (or want to) play Thanksgiving weekend. On those years, Georgia and South Carolina could play for Thanksgiving with Clemson and Tech doing the same, so the swap game could be the opener or early september.

          Hey, Tech and South Carolina played 13 times between 1970 and 1990, it’s not like that would be a weird pairing. The two seem made for each other, frankly.

          Like

    • stoopnagle

      I’d be more excited about a neutral site game if it were in Las Vegas or, maybe, Houston; I’ve seen Atlanta and Charlotte… well, I have to look into it. It’s not a place that’s been on my radar.

      Like

  2. Al

    Flip that Auburn series. They owe us.

    Liked by 3 people

    • bcdawg97

      This. A million times this.

      Liked by 3 people

    • JCDawg83

      Agree, McGarity has bent over twice now to help Auburn. He gave them two home games in a row against us and he agreed to move them up in the season to make their schedule easier. I’ve been pretty sure McGarity was a UF plant for a while now but it seems like he may be a sleeper agent for Auburn as well. Tell Auburn we will agree to move their game up in the season in return for getting our home game back that we lost by them coming to Athens two years in a row.

      Until the season ticket holders make some noise about the neutral site games and stop sending in the money, those aren’t going away. I hate them but since I fall into the “fans without season tickets” group, I don’t really get to have much of a say.

      Liked by 1 person

    • dawgfan1995

      The problem with flipping the Auburn series is that McGarity would probably agree to two straight Auburn home games to flip it, because Auburn would tell him that’s the only way they will do it.

      Liked by 2 people

    • PTC DAWG

      Would make the SEC home-away schedule off…

      I also doubt GT cares, but they might could be bought, they are cash poor.

      Like

      • stoopnagle

        They aren’t so poor as to move one of their home games with us to MBS, although they will move Clemson and Notre Dame there.

        Like

    • The 984

      Flipping Auburn makes the math not work for the current 6-1-1 (4 home, 4 away) arrangement the SEC has. If we went to a different scheduling arrangement, such as pods or 6-1-2 or dumping two teams and going back to 5-1-2, then we could make it work again. But if the SEC’s goal is to have every team play 8 games, every team to play 4 home and 4 away (3 and 3 in division), and to have the schedules cleanly rotate so that other teams aren’t having to play random back to backs in another team’s stadium, then Auburn has to be on the same rotation as every other permanent inter-divisional rivalry.

      Flipping Tech would have been a lot more viable when Clemson, UGA, and Miami were on the same home and home rotation for them. Now that Clemson was switched due to the same reasons Auburn was switched, that option is less viable.

      Like

  3. ASEF

    Dirty little secret: Getting into and out of MBS, with social amenities on either side, is infinitely easier than getting in and out of (insert every big time college football program located in a small town here).

    Charlotte isn’t quite the same, since its metro is in its infancy, but it still scales favorably on that front.

    If you are a one or two games a year person, these games rock.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. AdaWg

    I can’t stand McGarity. So everything I thing about the administration is colored by that.

    I can’t blame B-M for taking the money for neutral site games. I would probably do the same thing in their shoes. I’m also fine with 6 home games as long as some of them each year are desirable opponents

    At least make the home games cheaper with that new found windfall and stop fleecing us for every penny you can, you bastards. I love UGA football but am tired of getting shat upon because I’m not a ‘big time’ donor.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. 79Dawg

    “Other” – require all P-5 games, no more cupcakes. Would also concur with “flipping Tech”, but that was not a stand-alone option; the Auburn game will not “flip” until the conference goes to 9 games (which was not an option but one I would accept as a “half-measure” to requiring all P-5 games).

    Like

    • Going all P5 won’t increase the number of home games; in fact, it’s more likely to reduce those, since you’ll have to schedule those as home-and-homes instead of all in Athens.

      Like

      • 79Dawg

        Your response seems to indicate the “problem” is the absolute number of home games (or lack thereof)…. That’s not what I think the “problem” is (and I don’t think you really do either) – the “problem” is the lack of compelling matchups, which home and homes with P-5s could create, even if the overall number of home games stays at 6 or is 5 in some years. Believe it or not, I am old enough to remember when we only had 5 home games some years – some might even say that fewer home games made the experience even more special, perhaps….

        Like

  6. Mick Jagger

    Open the season with Tech every year

    Like

  7. chopdawg

    Agreeing with 79Dawg above, and noting the Senator’s reply. Those were the good old days, when we could schedule an Oregon State or a Cal or a Texas A&M, Baylor, Oregon, Pittsburgh for an early-season home game, without having to reciprocate. Now we got UAB, Charleston Southern, San Jose State? A lot of season ticket holders wouldn’t have attended at least one of those three games anyway.

    At least the 2021 season ticket itself won’t cost as much, and we pick up a game with a high level of national attention.

    Like

  8. Bryan

    Get rid of FCS all together. It’s flag football

    Like

  9. Remember the Quincy

    Interesting choice of graphics on the reader poll…

    Like

  10. DawgPhan

    UGA, along with every other school, is going to sell everything of value to ESPN that isnt securely nailed to the floor. Pulling all the top games to neutral sites and leaving dregs of the schedule to be played in Athens seems like a short sighted move that isnt great for UGA.

    That said, as a former group 1 who is happily group 2, playing bad names makes for easier days at the game with my sons so this sounds great.

    Like

  11. Paul

    I agree and understand that the neural site openers are all about the money and will continue as long as the finances are favorable. This does not bother me. What many in the season tickets or no season tickets groups don’t seem understand is that that the Cocktail Party will continue for the same reason. But it’s not just about the payout for the game. A lot of well connected, high dollar donors live in south Georgia.

    Like

  12. Otto

    If politics, $$$ etc were no object flip Auburn and GT.

    Until then schedule neutral site, and away games on the years that they are at home. Further 1 P5 nonConf game, GT, 2 cupcakes and the current SEC slate.

    Scholarship limits make creating the depth to survive a full P5 schedule or even 2 P5 teams plus GT, a cupcake and the SEC with a healthy enough team at the end to play for a title, very difficult.

    I want the depth at the end so that UGA does better than the Falcons, and Braves example.

    Like

  13. MenloDawg

    We need one of Auburn and Tennessee at home each year, not both away in same year

    Like

  14. I’d much rather pay the extra costs to see Georgia play Clemson than to see them play SJSU in Sanford. I’m sure McGarity and company are banking on that from many. I don’t necessarily like that aspect of it and won’t be surprised if it happens much more.

    Like

    • Given the fact that these neutral site games are guaranteed payouts without the expenses associated with a bowl game, McGarity could care less how many tickets get purchased. The ticket sales are purely for the city hosting the game.

      Like

  15. Go Dawgs!

    There’s one other constituency that you didn’t mention in your universe of groups concerned about the makeup of Georgia’s schedule: Athens-area business owners. These neutral openers are great for TV and they’re great for fans wanting to see Georgia play an opponent with teeth as opposed to San Jose State, but they take an incredible amount of revenue out of the pockets of Athens’ restaurateurs, hotel owners, shop keepers, etc.

    Of course, it’s not Butts-Mehre’s job to keep downtown Athens in business, but I feel bad for the people who rely on football season to keep their businesses in the black whenever I see UGA eliminate a home game like this. I don’t think we need to be like the rest of the SEC and get rid of Jacksonville and play 8 games at home against terrible opponents every other year just to make sure Hugh Acheson can make rent, but … playing Clemson without bringing them to Athens does suck for Athens.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Unless those business owners have Magill Society commitments, the AD and the chief revenue officer care as much about those people as they do about the fan experience.

      Like

    • 79Dawg

      Playing the world’s smallest violin for Athens-area hoteliers, who always show us how grateful they are for our business by … jacking up prices!

      Liked by 2 people

    • JCDawg83

      If your business’s survival is dependent on the marginal revenue increase from one home football game it would be a merciful death for your business to go under because of a neutral site game.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. FlyingPeakDawg

    All of the above. Neutral site games are the antithesis of what CFB is all about. Home and home is so much better…look at the National interest as well as local for our series with Notre Dame. The only modification is to rotate Jax to home-home-Jax. This is consistent with the above…h and h is truer to CFB and a rotation to Jax keeps a tradition alive without being a slave to it.

    Like

  17. josh hancher

    At some point, UGA paying to go to Neutral Kickoff, annually subsiding the Jacksonville Tourism Economy, and hopefully SEC Championship games AND Bowl Games will eat away at going to our fervent fan base taking over away games.

    Like

    • LOL, Josh.

      The series dates back to 1933. When do you think that’s going to happen?

      In any event, we won’t be the deciding factor. The check cut to B-M will.

      Liked by 2 people

      • josh hancher

        The neutral site allure of Jacksonville has lost its luster. Kirby hates losing that recruiting weekend. And, with opportunities for fans to go to MBS and Charlotte for kickoffs alone for the next 3 years + SEC championship game real possibility every season and a bowl game- the WLOCP will become easier to sacrifice per Kirby’s wishes.

        Iron Bowl got better moving it out of Legion Field.

        The game is great, but TIAA EverAllell stadium stinks.

        Deep South’s Olderst Rivalry changed from November – nothing is sacred.

        Like

        • josh hancher

          Last weekend in October is a pretty sweet time to be in Athens

          Like

        • The neutral site allure of Jacksonville has lost its luster.

          That would explain the crowds and the automatic 3:30 slot on CBS.

          Look, I get it’s not special for you any more, but, again, it doesn’t matter as long as the city pays out what it does.

          Like

  18. Morris Day

    Screw Auburn. Make’em make it right. That is all.

    Like

  19. stoopnagle

    I think getting the Tech/Auburn games evened out AND eschewing the neutral site one-offs would be my go-to solution. I know there’s some fatigue with the Jacksonville Game, but there are precious few traditions left in college football. I’d hate to see another one fall to the wayside in the name of the almighty dollar (realizing that it only persists because the money works out).

    Like

  20. 123fakest

    Play the Fech game at the Dome one time, then resume the schedule

    Like

  21. Mayor

    I would have voted for making the Ga-FU game home and home plus flipping GT or Auburn game (just those two) but that wasn’t an option.

    Like

  22. ATL Dawg

    The notion that moving the Georgia Tech game is going to help anything is amusing. The atmosphere for that home game is about as exciting as when we play Vanderbilt.

    And moving Auburn to odd years would make the horrendous 2021 home schedule suck a little less (but still be bad). However, the tradeoff for that is now the 2020 home schedule becomes the raging dumpster fire.

    Speaking of fire, I think they’re really playing with it when it comes to their season ticket demand. The next 5 years of home schedules that they’ve set up are incredibly boring and stale. And they’ve done it in the face of declining attendance trends.

    It’s a bold strategy Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off.

    Like

  23. CB

    If you’re a season ticket holder struggling to make rent I understand the gripe. Having bought season ticket packages from others, but never having been in the system myself I can see both sides. The way I see it I can not buy season tickets, and spend that money on the few games that are worth attending. Plus Charlotte is a pretty cool city. That said, home and home is always the better option.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Raleighwood Dawg

    I’d choose the first two options. Most times the neutral site kickoff games are great recruiting tools and fun to attend.

    Like

  25. Castleberry

    Here’s what I’d like. Flip Auburn – but in order to do that – we have to balance out # of SEC home games across the conference. The way we do that is to ALSO play in Nashville consecutive years. By doing this we have one trip to Tennessee every year (Vandy or UT). I don’t think the rest of the SEC would care abound Vandy getting the extra home game. We’d be back to Tennessee and Auburn in opposite years. And we would have a SINGLE nice trip to Tennessee each Fall.

    Like

    • Castleberry

      We could do this in 2025 by taking Auburn’s scheduled trip to Vandy. They’d play us in Athens in 2024 and 2025.

      Like