“If we don’t fans are going to quit coming, and I can’t say I blame them.”

David Ching does a walk through of the non-conference schedules for every SEC team, and I’ve got to tell you, as much grief as we’ve given Florida over the years for not venturing out of state much, it’s really Alabama that deserves shit for its low profile in scheduling courage.

When Alabama visits Texas in 2022, it will be the first time since 2011 – when it visited Penn State – that the Crimson Tide has played a non-conference game at a campus site. Eleven years! Obviously Saban’s strategy of playing a marquee opener at a neutral site and three cupcakes at Bryant-Denny has been effective, but is it any wonder that attendance is slipping even at arguably the nation’s preeminent football program?

‘Bama is stepping up in the twenties (shamed by Kirby, perhaps?), but for a guy who’s notoriously whined about students not staying through all four quarters in Tuscaloosa, he sure has been serving up some mighty thin gruel in that regard.

By the way, in case you’re wondering…

Like Florida, South Carolina and Kentucky, Georgia plays an in-state rival every year – Georgia Tech – from the ACC. That being the case, those programs are generally the most likely to play two Power Five, non-SEC opponents. Florida did it three times in the 2010s, South Carolina did it four and Georgia did it six. That includes UGA home-and-homes with Notre Dame, Clemson and Colorado. The Bulldogs are slated to play neutral-site games in each of the next three years – versus Virginia in Atlanta (2020), Clemson in Charlotte (2021) and Oregon in Atlanta (2022) – but perhaps no program in the country has been as aggressive as UGA in scheduling future home-and-home series. The Bulldogs will play at least two Power Five, non-conference opponents in all 10 years of the 2020s, and they will play three in 2028, 2029, 2030 and 2031. Check out these future non-conference slates: in 2028, Georgia visits Texas and hosts Florida State and Georgia Tech; in 2029, the Bulldogs host Texas and visit Clemson and Georgia Tech; in 2030, Georgia hosts Clemson, Ohio State and Georgia Tech; and in 2013, the Bulldogs host Oklahoma and visit Ohio State and Georgia Tech. Wow.

Wow, indeed.

24 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

24 responses to ““If we don’t fans are going to quit coming, and I can’t say I blame them.”

  1. Good time to be a Georgia Bulldog, eh?

    Like

  2. MGW

    I have it’s so far in the future, but that’s awesome.

    That should be the nationwide standard for scheduling. Pointing fingers at individual programs, while often justified, misses the point entirely. The scheduling arms race in general is the problem.

    It is a classic prisoners dilemma motivated by the will to have a competitive advantage and keep your opponent from having one over yourself (rather than jail time):

    If nobody plays cupcakes, everyone stays on the same competitive level, and everyone prospers from having a more interesting home slate, and more interesting sport overall. But if I schedule cupcakes, and you don’t, I prosper from winning more regular season games, preserving my players’ stamina, getting more reps for backups, etc…. but you are severely disadvantaged because you have the opposite effect, and even more so when you play me, and your beautiful schedule doesn’t matter to your fans because you suck, relative to me (it is now a competitive hindrance rather than an interesting attraction). If we both schedule cupcakes, neither of us loses any competitive advantage, and that is more important to coaches, administrators, and most fans than having an interesting schedule. And so that’s the smart choice for every program because there is no co petit I’ve downside. And it’s the choice nearly all programs make.

    Ask 100 Georgia fans if they’d rather play Ohio State, Oklahoma, and tech in addition to the SEC slate, but lose the East to Florida who scheduled a bunch of cupcakes and didn’t travel Or get beaten up, and so played better in conference… or win the East and make the playoff after playing three cupcakes… 99/100 would chose the opportunity to play in Atlanta and have a shot at the playoff.

    Make no mistake, if we make it anywhere in the playoff in one of those amazingly scheduled years, we will have had one of the best teams of the last 100 years; it puts us at a huge disadvantage to schedule like that. I say it’s worth it, but that’s the reality.

    Point is, unless it’s required by the NCAA, why the hell would any program who isn’t recruiting like we are schedule like this? Hell, it’s stupid as for us to do it even though I love it.

    It must be a rule if it’s going to catch on throughout the country; there is zero incentive for any individual program to do it unilaterally, even in the face of dwindling attendance because at the end of the day, winning and self preservation of coaches and administrators is what matters most.

    Like

    • MGW

      *HATE it’s so far in the future…

      Like

      • Doesn’t it drive you nuts when you do something like that? You bang out a great comment, craft a strong argument, use vivid analogies – you know, really put some work into it. And then…you look at your post with anticipation and realize you misspelled the critical word in your opening sentence. I’m commiserating – this shit happens to me all the time.

        Great post, nonetheless.

        Like

  3. Bigshot

    Unfortunately scheduling like that means no National Championships for UGA, unless there is a big change in how people view won-loss records.

    Like

    • dawgtired

      No faith? They need to worry about their chances. We good.

      Like

      • MGW

        I’m glad we’re doing it because win lose or draw, we’ll be watching good football. But it’s a serious disadvantage.

        For example, add two top 5 regular season games to either of Meyer’s Florida national championships (both of which had regular season losses already to NOT top 5 teams) and tell me they make the BCS. Do they squeak by FSU in 2006 if they played at Ohio State the week before instead of a 62-0 drubbing of West Carolina where the starters barely played? Do they beat that same Ohio State the week after a hard fought one point victory at South Carolina?

        Scheduling matters. Even the most dominant collection of players wears down over the course of a tough season; they are not magically renewed to 100% between every game regardless of opponent.

        Like

  4. Salty Dawg

    Bama plays cupcakes and we still can’t beat them! (insert eye roll)

    Like

  5. ApalachDawg aux Bruxelles

    Y’all seem to be forgetting that we are going to be the biggest, baddest, gnarliest motherfuckers on the porch and ain’t nobody going to want to mess with the Smart Dawg Empire of Athens.

    Like

  6. ATL Dawg

    Check out our sorry ass home schedules for the next 5 years. Wow.

    2020
    East Tennessee State
    Louisiana-Monroe
    Vanderbilt
    Auburn
    Tennessee
    Georgia Tech

    2021
    UAB
    Charleston Southern
    Kentucky
    Missouri
    South Carolina
    Arkansas

    2022
    Samford
    Kent State
    Vanderbilt
    Auburn
    Tennessee
    Georgia Tech

    2023
    UAB
    {TBD – group of 5 or FCS opponent)
    Kentucky
    Missouri
    South Carolina
    Ole Miss

    2024
    Tennessee Tech
    UMass
    Vanderbilt
    Auburn
    Tennessee
    Georgia Tech

    Liked by 1 person

    • MGW

      Hey, at least Auburn comes to town every couple years.

      Should we be rooting for UT, SC, and Tech to improve at least enough to make it interesting? I mean I’m enjoying beating the crap out of them, but I don’t necessarily need to see that up close and personal. Not every time. The excitement of watching a game comes from the fact that you might not win.

      Like

    • PTC DAWG

      I see GT, Tenn and AU regularly…

      Like

      • ATL Dawg

        I don’t know where you’ve been for the last 10-20 years but GT and Tenn are mediocre programs.

        I see Auburn coming to Athens 3 times and a big pile of shit for half a decade.

        Like

  7. Loading up the schedule on the back half of the decade points directly to Kirby’s thoughts that the playoff is going to 8 when the current agreement runs out. If we go 11-2/12-1 against those slates, we’re almost assured to get a wild card spot due to the schedule.

    More 3D chess for people who want to complain about scheduling.

    Like

  8. FisheriesDawg

    Here’s hoping we’re all out of quarantine in time for that 2028-2031 stretch.

    Like

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