Scheduling a Mixed Bag

Scheduling a Mixed Bag

ATTN: ATHENS LEGACY Party 2019 ~ Saturday day bar throwdown 4/20 (10a-1p) at ALLGOOD Lounge in Downtown Athens on G-Day, FREE, 21 and up. After, go to the (2p) G-Day game for free at Sanford Stadium or watch on TV at bar.

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Spring 2019
Han Vance on Georgia football: Classic City and the birthplace of American college football in the South and American public higher education, with a great music scene. Atlanta is the undeniable world capital of college football and easily the epicenter of the South. Easy to get teams here.

They want to pay in the Benz, they wanted to play in the Georgia Dome. They think they want to play Between the Hedges – where our University of Georgia Bulldogs have not dropped a game in two years.

When you have put together back-to-back 11-1 regular seasons and been left out of the College Football Playoff in one of those campaigns, it sounds like a good idea. Now, don’t get it twisted here. I’m all for this. Call for this, regularly. My allegiance is to the fans and their entertainment value going up, the cultural implications of the sport which I favor over any other in the world. I want the playoff to expand, to a real – it’s still not even a legit tournament now – football playoffs. I wanted the playoffs. I want eight teams in. I want to see these marquee meetings. And I am adamantly against schools playing cupcakes often. Georgia has too many this year and had way too many last year.

But that Auburn is erratic, Tech down, Tennessee way down, Florida down, with a good year last year after plenty of mediocrity, it feels like the annual Georgia schedule is way more of a joke than it should be. Consider: that of SEC teams, only Georgia, Florida and Tennessee have won the SEC East and then the whole SEC. In the SEC West, only Auburn, LSU and Alabama have won the SEC West division on their way to an SEC league title. Unless Auburn is challenging Georgia – they blew the Dawgs out just two years ago, by the way – the West is not usually a scary threat until the SEC championship game in Atlanta, unless LSU or Bama happen to come up in rotation. The Ole Misses and Texas Aggies of the world simply aren’t there nationally, as they have not proven it on any bigger fields of glory. And unless Tennessee and Florida are vying for a legitimate SEC East title shot, the conference’s so-called lesser half is and should be all Georgia’s.

The SEC East did have a better record head-to-head than the SEC West last year, though. And Florida (top 10 ahead of Georgia in both polls) and Georgia were seen as a strong two-team challenger for Bama-LSU atop the league. LSU beat Georgia, Florida beat LSU, Bama blew LSU out, very badly, Bama edged Georgia in a game the Dogs blew.

Kentucky actually had a better pre-bowl resume than LSU or Florida, and then beat Penn State in the Capital One. All three won big bowls, none were close to making the CFP. Georgia flitted away a shot at real respectability in the Sugar, but the divisions were much closer than they have been last year, at least, and it could be reasonably argued that the East was actually the better half. After the top two in the West, it was a big drop-off to 2018 Miss State.

So, don’t count on it being easy to win the SEC East in years to come. Florida has a great shot at winning the division this year, in fact, and rarely plays out of state – never visits Athens, instead splitting up the GATOR BOWL! with the Dawgs at the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. I like JAX. It’s like a redneck Bay Area with all those neat bridges to everywhere, and the south Georgia folks need that game on the docket because a: they are rabid Georgia fans, of course and b: Athens is so far from Savannah, Brunswick, et al that it is a gift to them to stay closer to home. It gives us northerly fans a chance to go to the Sunshine State in autumn. But when you look at how Florida owns Tennessee, they basically only have to win that one huge game in Jacksonville, their state, to take the East back. They’ll lose at LSU, probably, won’t matter. Miami, who had the top defense in the nation last year but bad quarterbacks gets an Ohio State transfer passing and could get them early, wouldn’t matter. The Gators replace four-of-five offensive line starters, but the Georgia defensive front seven is currently making bad decisions and lacks a proven pass rusher or true stud NFL-type linebacker.

Now, the non-league. Tech is going to get better. It’s Atlanta. Before Mark Richt, the Tech-Georgia series was close to even.

Athletic directors and directors of football operations make schedules in college football – not head coaches. Please stop talking about what Kirby is doing with the schedules, which is nothing.

For a long minute there, Georgia was playing everybody. The Bulldogs went .500 in (two each) match-ups with Colorado, Clemson, Boise State, Okie State, Nebraska (in bowls) and swept Sparky. Georgia was a win in the desert from being dead even in all these pairing off contests. Dead even in football is dead.

Bowls were better but Georgia has been in plenty of small ones.

Georgia has not performed well in games in the Georgia Dome/Mercedes Benz. Doing well overall in Atlanta by beating Tech in their old stadium, the Benz must get busted open by the Dawgs, to get better.

Georgia barely won at Notre Dame 20-19 and gets ND in 2019. Get your CANINES vs CATHOLICS shirts I made up here at BIG HAIRY BLAWG.

Georgia and douchey dirt farmer power Oklahoma are in talks.

2020: Virginia (in ATL)

2022: Oregon (in ATL)

2023: MAYBE Oklahoma (somewhere neutral)

2024: Clemson (in ATL)

2025: at UCLA (I’m so there!)

2026: UCLA (Athens)

2027: at FSU (Sounds fun)

2028: FSU (Athens), at Texas (I was born in Austin)

2029: Texas (Athens), at Clemson (Death Valley)

2030: Clemson (Athens)

2032: Clemson (Athens)

2033: at Clemson

Two more minor points: Lots of ACC, including Tech. The Clemson-Georgia rivalry – owned by GEORGIA – is somewhat likely to occur before 2024, in the CFP. As soon as it does, maybe in five years, maybe sooner, that rivalry is back on bigtime.

Big 12 does not have 12 teams. A rematch of the Rose Bowl with OU would be so hype and could also be again sooner (whoops, GO DAWGS!), in the CFP. And Texas is a new rival, of sorts, with us needing to clip their stupid horns. I LOVE GEORGIA!

Twitter: @hanvance
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