Posted: 1:17 pm Monday, April 28th, 2014

SEC 8-game schedule provides impetus for UGA to improve non-conference slate 

By Chip Towers

ATHENS – In the end, Georgia got what it wanted.

So did Auburn. So did Florida. LSU, not so much.

But what about you, Bulldog fan? Did you get what you wanted?

With the SEC’s announcement Sunday that it planned to stick with an eight-game conference schedule and a 6-1-1 format, nothing changes for the Bulldogs. They get to keep Auburn as their permanent cross-division rival and they already have Georgia Tech as an annual out-of-conference foe from a power conference, so that criteria for the new scheduling model is satisfied. Georgia moves forward into playoff world without any significant changes.

Is that a good thing? If I’m a fan, I might have preferred to see my school play nine conference games rather than eight. There are scheduling challenges therein, such as having four conference home games rather than five every other year. But you only get four now as it is and I would think the added benefit of getting to see my school play every Western Division opponent over a four-year period would be substantial.

That’s not going to happen now, at least into the 2020’s. But here’s what’s not being talked about with regard to Georgia’s scheduling future: Its non-conference schedule likely will get even better.

UGA Athletic Director Greg McGarity is out of town on vacation this week and couldn’t be reached Monday. But I know from past conversations I’ve had with him he likes the general idea of playing more marquee non-conference games. The SEC stopped at mandating one “power conference” opponent per year, but I don’t see the Bulldogs stopping with Georgia Tech. They haven’t in the past, for the most part.

Georgia will play Clemson for a second year in a row to open this season. It played Boise State, Colorado and Oklahoma State in recent years. There already has been a lot of chatter about the Bulldogs and Notre Dame arranging a home-and-home series around 2018 or ’19. I’ve been hearing rumblings for a while about setting up something with Michigan or Oklahoma.

Now that the league is requiring an annual game against teams from the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 12, think of the dialogue and possibilities that will create. Some years will be better than others, as always, but this mandates major out-of-conference games, which mandates constant conversation. With the strength of schedule component to the playoffs and visibility of such early-season games as the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, peer pressure by itself should result in much better overall schedules.

Two also-rans and a bye should be sufficient for breath-catchers during the season. That’s one reason the SEC did not ban FCS opponents, which was considered. But hopefully non-conference slates such as the one Georgia will trot out in 2015 (Georgia Tech, Southern, Louisiana-Monroe, Georgia Southern) will be a thing of the past.

Your thoughts?

68 comments
DawgNole
DawgNole

Agree with you on 9-game SEC schedule, CT. Would love to have seen that happen. And like you, I hope OOC schedules will improve with time--something that's LONG overdue.

Can't go along with your assessment of McGarity, though. You'll recall that he couldn't back out of the UGA-Oregon series fast enough.

Borodawg
Borodawg

Only a Neo-Dawg would want to drop Tech.  It's not our fault that Tech hasn't been competitive.  They were for many years.  It's tradition and "Clean Ol' Fashioned Hate".  Tradition has its place.  Have to admit that the 'bragging rights' part has become near-irelevant.  


Of course, after hosing us down in the end zone in '85 I hate Awbun as much or worse.  Just plain ol' hate for me now.


Forcing SEC teams to schedule "big five" conference teams might be not so simple.  After all, they have to agree to play.  Did Slive ask any of them about this concept?

Railroadtracgang
Railroadtracgang

North Texas last year ended up being a winning bowl game team.

Borodawg
Borodawg

I like the eight game schedule.  We beat up on each other enough as it is. I'm willing to play Awbun every other year.  For most of the last few years the Dawgs have played two cupcakes, while most other SEC teams played three.


EG,,,this year...

Bama: Fla Atlantic, Souther Miss, W Carolina


Awbun:  San Jose St, La Tech, Samford


LSU:  Sam Houston, UL Monroe, N Mex St

bigmacondawg
bigmacondawg

Could exchange Tech for pretty much any other FBS school and improve our strength of schedule.  Would also create some excitement and doubt as to who would win.

KeepOnSmilingWetWillie
KeepOnSmilingWetWillie

Sad to report a swimmer for the U of A lost his life last night due to the storm in T-town.

The single death from the tornado in the west Alabama area Monday was Alabama swimmer, John Servati. He was a junior from Tupelo, MS. He died while saving his girlfriend from a collapsing retaining wall.

Bless this young man and his family.

SinceVince
SinceVince

Maybe we can now concentrate on beating teams like Vandy!

Delusionaldog
Delusionaldog

It's April and the dogs are talking "also-rans" and "breath-catchers".  Quite a change from National Championships.  

Delusionaldog
Delusionaldog

I hope 350 lays low today. Tornados usually hit trailer parks first. 

ThomasBrown
ThomasBrown

FSU of your ACC, played out-of-conference games :

BETHUNE-COOKMAN who lost to Coastal Carolina and Norfolk State
IDAHO who beat only 1 team, Temple
FLORIDA who beat not 1 team who even went to a bowl game
NEVADA who beat only UC Davis, Hawaii, Air Force, & San Jose State


SEC football team, UGA Bulldogs, 2014 to win the NC would have to beat # 2 Auburn, # 4 South Carolina away game, # 5 Missouri away game, # 8 Clemson, and hopes to play # 7 Alabama for SEC Championship, prior to the play-offs vs presumably what would be # 3 and # 1. Compare this to what FSU had to do to win the NC last season beating only # 2 Auburn and # 8 Clemson. When you do not play as many Top 10 teams, you do not have as many injuries nor losses.

I see the ACC has petitioned the NCAA to allow them to have FSU play Notre Dame for the ACC Championship Game opponent, when Notre Dame of course does not compete in the ACC in football, part of the selling of the souls by the ACC to allow such an arrangement in the 1st Place - making another absolute mockery of ACC football - reigning NC conference because Florida State beat the # 62 Strength of Schedule for FSU.

When you play the # 62 Strength of Schedule, including beating only # 2 Auburn and # 8 Clemson, you will not be losing players to injuries, nor accumulate losses, now will you ?

I, too, would support removing Georgie tek from our Schedule, and replace it with FSU home-and-home every year, instead so DawgNole could tell us every year, again, how he does not know whom it would be he even would root for to win.

RedandBlackDAWG
RedandBlackDAWG

I think it might be good to schedule some Big 10 non conference teams so that they could get over their dream early in the season. As far as the ACC goes, the law in the state of Georgia mandates that we play GT every year, so I guess in a way that satisfies the requirement as well.  It might be better if they were more competitive but the politicians have made the game their own personal thing and not a real sports contest. I would like to see UGA play Clemson on a regular basis or even FSU, although both have long standing commitments which makes that a little harder.

I am glad though that the Auburn game is now almost assured because a traditional rivalry as long as this has been going on is worth saving. The same can not be said about the GT game, the great majority of the time.

leefrommeeks
leefrommeeks

At Georgia Southern we expect to win no matter who we are playing. With in five to ten GS will  be beating the "big boys." 

grh0317
grh0317

I am afraid it won't help the dogs! Their quarterback is gone and

they will ride with a three year bench player, their defensive coordinator

left( as he knew they would even be worse than 2013. Look for a big

7 wins from the Thuga U.  Also, GT will win by 20 over the dogs in

Athens.. Dog gone it, it will stink..

centgaboy
centgaboy

be safe guys- nasty stuff coming for the next 2 days-more of the bad stuff

Gman84
Gman84

Should've gone to 9 games. Really dont care about Auburn that much, one way oe another....

DawgGoneIt
DawgGoneIt

Why don't we go ahead and move GT off the schedule please? It's a waste of time

DawgNole
DawgNole

@ThomasBrown  

Still whining about how FSU beat the best the SEC had to offer--after spotting them 18 pts, no less? You remember, don't you, coward?! It was that game in which you were too chickensh*t to pick a winner. Ran, ducked, and hid from me for 5 long weeks while Auburn healed up from all those devastating injuries they accumulated in that awesome SEC schedule.

You say FSU lost no players to injuries last season? Yeah, right.

Keep on posting lies, ThomAss. We know what you're about. Worthless piece of crap.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@ThomasBrown I never realized that you get injured more against SEC teams, they ain't cheating are they ThomAss? You had a chance last year to play FSU, your team couldn't cut it.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@ThomasBrown There's my favorite little hater, where you been ThomAss maybe greasing the steps at the nursing home. Hey here is a cheer for you, 2,4,5, and 8 the playoffs we will never make. GO DAWGS!

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@RedandBlackDAWG Schedule Nebraska, they would love to play again I'm sure, or maybe Michigan St. I think they are still daydreaming about that comeback win. And what the heck are you guy's going to hang that hat on without Tech, that's whats bringing in all those 5 stars ain't it? Oh i forgot you do win the least from time to time.

RedandBlackDAWG
RedandBlackDAWG

@grh0317 Did it hurt much when the debris hit your head, when the storms came rumbling through?  

RangeRover
RangeRover

Imagine how your life may have turned out had you sufficient oxygen at birth.

RangeRover
RangeRover

Likewise. We may talk smack about our sports teams and their respective cities and states but they pale in importance to the safety of our families and friends.

ToccoaDawg
ToccoaDawg

@Gman84 Why not just make it an even 10. Maybe the nay sayers would be happy then.

The_Real_KJ
The_Real_KJ

@Delusionaldog  Forde should stick to writing about basketball; his opinion about football is just as useless as the state he hails from.

TheOldGuy
TheOldGuy

@Delusionaldog Or any ACC school other than Clemson or FSU.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@Delusionaldog

An HBCU in Baton Rouge - they have a heck of  marching band.   I think it is news to them that they are on UGA's schedule

DawgGoneIt
DawgGoneIt

@Delusionaldog  On par with Tech; might be a little better

grh0317
grh0317

@DawgGoneIt    Yea you won big last year, right genius. 50% of Dog fans

were back in Athens at end of first half. What a joke your dogs are and lucky. 

GTMan1949
GTMan1949

 I am a GT grad and am in total agreement. Each season its a gimme win for UGa and I'm tired of the embarrassing losses, especially with PJ's blown 20-0 lead last season. As long as PJ is at Tech, we will never beat UGa again. O'Leary was never intimidated by Uga.

GTMan1949
GTMan1949

 With PJ as our coach, I'm in agreement.

grh0317
grh0317

@GTMan1949   CPJ is not intimidated by any dog either.

It's a shame you are.. You must be getting old,huh?

ToccoaDawg
ToccoaDawg

@GTMan1949   There is no reason for GT to have that coach. They need a coach who can help UGa keep in state players playing in the state. There is no excuse for the talent this state provides for GT not to be playing for the ACC Championship every year.