Schedules: Now n Later
Han Vance on Georgia football:
Aug. 31 at Vanderbilt (1-0, 1-0 SEC)
Sept. 7 vs Murray State (2-0, 1-0)
Sept. 14 vs Arkansas State (3-0, 1-0)
Sept. 21 vs Notre Dame (4-0, 1-0)
Sept. 28 BYE (4-0, 1-0 SEC)
Oct. 5 at Tennessee (5-0, 2-0)
Oct. 12 vs South Carolina (5-1, 2-1)
Oct. 19 vs Kentucky (6-1, 3-1)
Oct. 26 BYE (6-1, 3-1 SEC)
Nov. 2 Florida (7-1, 4-1)
Nov. 9 vs Missouri (8-1, 5-1)
Nov. 16 at Auburn (9-1, 6-1) -SEC EAST CHAMPS!
Nov. 23 vs Texas A&M 3:30 p.m. -Athens (CBS)
Nov. 30 at Georgia Tech Noon -ATL (ABC)
Dec. 7 SEC Championship 4:00 p.m. -ATL (CBS)
Dec. 28 College Football Playoff ~ Peach Bowl-ATL or Fiesta Bowl-PHX (ESPN)
Jan. 13 CFP Final ~ National Championship -NOLA (ESPN)
Week 1: Virginia (-Atlanta)
Week 2: E. Tennessee State
Week 3: @ Alabama
Week 4; Louisiana-Monroe
Week 5: Vanderbilt
Week 6: Auburn
Week 7: @ Missouri
Week 8: BYE
Week 9: Florida (CBS 3:30)
Week 10: @ S. Carolina
Week 11: Tennessee
Week 12: @ Kentucky
Week 13: Georgia Tech
Future Schedules Offer Revelatory Peek:
Tradition flies out the window in 2020 with Tennessee, South Carolina and Kentucky to the back of the Georgia football schedule and Auburn the new middle. The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry remains intact with an extra home game on the Auburn side still not repaid. In what Kirby perceives to be of program benefit, Georgia won’t have at Auburn and at Tech to close out regular season campaigns every other year, as we once did. Speaks to the significance of all of the four major Georgia rivalries: Florida, Tech, Auburn, Tennessee, with South Carolina and Clemson, respectively also and still, rivals of sorts.
The Georgia-Alabama rivalry may be the fastest-growing in the old sport of college football, but LSU and Georgia rekindling SEC championship flames also makes that a top league top-tier rivalry of sorts. There have been three such meetings in the SECCG. LSU won the first clash on their way to a (spilt) national title, under Saban. Georgia upset them for Richt’s final SEC crown. The third was a game dominated by Georgia’s defense throughout the first half, which turned into an LSU blowout win in the second. LSU went on to make (and lose) the natty, to a Bama they’d beaten in a perfect regular season.
Sadly, no name brand national opponent outside our conference is set to visit Athens until 2026, after CANINES vs CATHOLICS of 2019. Seven years is way too long of an itch for this to happen again, which further shows how slowly college football changes even when it wants to, and even then it is only old basketball school UCLA paying back a 2025 trip to the Rose Bowl – a sure road Redout (school is in tony Westwood but they play home games way out in venerable, mostly-empty venue, in lovely Pasadena).
Without Notre Dame on the schedule, if everything else was the same, Georgia would not currently be in line to make the CFP. Beating LSU – who has the top offense but an unusually suspect defense – will clinch the CFP for UGA. Georgia could have made it without winning the SEC, if the Carolina tragedy had not occurred, but I see no path if the Dawgs lose to Texas A&M. Tech in Atlanta looks like a win.
Besides playing at Georgia Tech under the Midtown Atlanta skyline, Georgia has not fared that well in my hometown of Atlanta. Winning a higher percentage of games actually played in downtown, in a dome, would greatly enhance the growing national reputation of the football program. (No, Midtown is NOT “Downtown Atlanta.”)
When Georgia has played any name teams outside the SEC in the regular season “lately” it hasn’t been sheerly amazing. 1-0 UNC; 1-1 Boise State; 1-1 Clemson; 1-1 Colorado; 1-1 Oklahoma State; 2-0 Arizona State; 2-0 Notre Dame. Had Notre Dame – trailing by just six with the ball at the 40 late in Athens – say found a busted coverage on one side of the field, Dawgs would be just two games over .500 in such meetings. UNC, Arizona State and Colorado were to varying degrees relatively downtrodden football programs when Georgia got them. An emerging UCF (0-1) also beat Murray’s UGA in a Liberty Bowl meltdown, which I did not count because it was before their full ascension as a national brand.
A fortunate win at South Bend (20-19) remains the regular season signature moment. Although on the other hand, this year’s close win vs. ND may be needed to reach the CFP, ultimately.
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Notable future non-conference opponents: 2020 Virginia (in ATL); 2021 none; 2022 Oregon (in ATL); 2023 at Oklahoma; 2024 Clemson (in ATL); 2025 at UCLA; 2026 UCLA (Athens); 2027 at FSU; 2028 at Texas and FSU (Athens); 2029 Texas (Athens) and at Clemson; 2030 Clemson (Athens) and 2030 Ohio State (Athens); 2031 at Ohio State and Oklahoma (Athens); 2032 Clemson (Athens); 2033 at Clemson.
Side note: It’s hard for me to imagine Ol’ Georgia intentionally subbing a home game for the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party and traveling to play a name brand opponent out of the conference in the same year. Georgia-Florida game in Jacksonville is secured there through 2023, not beyond.
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