Why moving the game could be good for Tech

Moving the game against Georgia could be a very good thing for Georgia Tech.

Why?

Consider this: Every other year Tech has home games against Clemson, Virginia Tech and Georgia, which I would guess are the three biggest revenue drivers. The next year, Tech will host Duke and Virginia, for example.

It’s not exactly balanced.

The complete schedule in 2010: Tech will host South Carolina State, Middle Tennessee State, N.C. State, Virginia, Duke and Miami.

In 2011, as it stands now: Tech will host Western Carolina, Kansas, Georgia, Maryland, Clemson, North Carolina and Virginia Tech.
If you were trying to sell a package of home tickets, which would be the easier sell?

Now, if Tech and Georgia agree to move the 2011 game from Bobby Dodd Stadium to the Georgia Dome, Tech will host Georgia in 2012.
Suddenly, the 2012 home schedule, which includes SE Louisiana, Middle Tennessee State, Boston College, Virginia, Duke and Miami becomes an easier sell.

Plus, throw in the money the team will earn from the game at the Dome, and this would seem like a pretty good deal from Tech’s angle. If, and only if, the game against Georgia in 2012 is at Bobby Dodd.
———–
Coach Paul Johnson was very happy with the team’s practice on Wednesday, going so far to say it may have been the best this fall. He attributed that to cooler temperatures and the comfort of being able to stay in a routine, something Tech couldn’t do through the season’s first month because of the Thursday games.
————
Cooper Taylor looked good and sounded good today. He hopes to be back in a few weeks. For more on his situation either check out the print story, or go to the story on ajc.com/sports.

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Oh, and I’ve started a fans page on facebook. Please check it out at http://www.facebook.com/pages/AJC-Ga-Tech/164582392136

71 comments Add your comment

GT Rich

October 7th, 2009
9:31 pm

Get well Coop!

AlabamaRamblinwreck

October 7th, 2009
9:32 pm

Leave the rivalry game alone.

Glad Cooper is going to be o.k.

I think CPJ will have the team ready for FSU, even though I am very concerned about our ability to stop FSU’s passing attack.

Go Jackets!!

jacket

October 7th, 2009
9:33 pm

It would definitely be an adjustment as a fan to see the Tech – UGA game in September, but overall, I like it. Doug, good perspective on the schedule change and its potential upside.

UGA is normally clicking on all cylinders in late November, because their talented young recruits have grown up during the year, and they have good overall depth. Makes it a little harder for Tech to win that game, because UGA normally has a depth advantage. Maybe Tech has an advantage in a September game. But I’m not saying move the game permanently by any means.

If Tech’s D can limit Ponder and not let him scramble, then we win 38- 21. Our offense has some serious momentum – mainly because Nesbit is making the right reads and throwing accurately.

jacketbacker

October 7th, 2009
9:36 pm

Please, leave the georgia game alone……..

TechDan

October 7th, 2009
9:44 pm

I like the idea of having GT and UGA alternate yearly in the Dome playing other teams on national TV.

GT Rich

October 7th, 2009
9:45 pm

I like the idea of moving the game at least the one time to even our home scheduling a bit. Added bonus — it keeps other schools from coming to town and trying to steal local recruits!!

Buzz Belle

October 7th, 2009
9:49 pm

Leave the game alone. Thanksgiving weekend won’t be the same without the in-state rivalry. Besides, football played inside isn’t football. I read Pnder’s passing rate is about 65%. I think Burnette will get him (or at least I hope so), and the Jackets play VT at 5-1. GO JACKETS & THWG.

Buzz Belle

October 7th, 2009
9:49 pm

Sorry – Ponder

Tokyo jacket

October 7th, 2009
9:50 pm

I’m okay with switching the game for two reasons: one, more money for Tech on a more regular basis; two, that means in 2011 there won’t be any carpet baggers playing in our city trying to take our recruits…it puts UGA vs GT on the national stage it deserves. A bonus reason is that UGA is generally ranked higher at the start of the season than at the end of the season. It’d be a better victory for us. Finally, if DRad thinks it’s a good idea, that’s because it is. That dude is a genius. If he said playing in New Mexico for a month was a good thing, I’d believe him.

Get well Coop…put first things first right now.

Doug Roberson

October 7th, 2009
9:51 pm

To be clear, this would be a one-time thing at the Dome. I’m not sure any party would want to do it any more than that.
The point of the Kickoff Classic is to bring in a regional audience at minimum, a national audience at best. Georgia-Georgia Tech might be one, but not the other. Of course, a lot depends upon where they are ranked coming out of the gate.

Stinger

October 7th, 2009
9:56 pm

I say play them twice. We’ll get 2 easy wins then.

Toe Meets Leather

October 7th, 2009
9:58 pm

A championship-winning football team will sell season tickets…not gimmicks like moving Clean Ol’ Fashioned Hate to September.

Toe Meets Leather – the sports art depiction of Sisson’s game-winning field goal against then-#1 Virginia in 1990 – is NOW AVAILABLE at http://www.stinGTees.com!

Buzz Belle

October 7th, 2009
9:58 pm

Geez – I just read the story on Cooper. I wondered why Johnson kept saying “privacy concerns” when asked about his condition. Wow – get well Cooper. If the game being moved is just one game, and it is not Tech taht gives up home advantage then I might say yes. I sitll don’t like games inside though. :)

Dannyboy

October 7th, 2009
10:11 pm

I’m all for tradition, but if it’s for the greater good of the GT program, then why not do GT/UGA 2011 in the Dome? First, we would balance our scheduling from a revenue stand point by moving UGA away from the years we play the “big names” at home. Second, it’s a one year deal so it’s not like it leaves the tradition behind. Third, it gives both schools national exposure (and yes, having UGA and Tech BOTH do well benefits the state and both programs). I don’t understand the hesitance by the Tech “old guard” since Tech would still pick up home field against UGA in 2012. In fact, I believe GT actually benefits more from this than UGA does.

bugsquacher

October 7th, 2009
10:22 pm

Get READY Bugs! The big dawg is going to eat! The date & time draws near…..

BS Patrol

October 7th, 2009
10:41 pm

At least ga woudn’t be warming up on some cupcake instead of starting out with a PSU or some other powerhouse like Tech usually does.

Alabama Jack

October 7th, 2009
10:41 pm

Buzz Belle – I think the reason for no comment on Cooper was that it was non football. In any event we hope and pray he fully recovers. He seems to be a fine young man.

If the season needs to be balanced revenues wise – take it up with the ACC brass to fix the problem but don’t mess with Tech-UGA.

I still think our scheduling a “vaunted SEC” opponent that Saturday combined with the Dome game that night (with or without UGA) would make a great package.

Regarding recruiting, doesn’t the SEC play its championship in the Dome every December. That is not going away, although it is unlikely the dawgs will be in it any time soon, so that is not a factor..

misterwax

October 7th, 2009
10:44 pm

the key to increasing attendance is to shedule teams that people want to see….Western Carolina is not one of them….replace WCU and SCStU with Auburn, ND, Tennessee, or USC from Columbia and things will sell out….tune up games are the problem. ADs have been doing this at many large schools for decades as a favor to smaller schools but it really does not sell tickets in the long run. Tech needs top competition. As an example Clemson used to sell out all the time as their fans travel and support their team….however, that has slowed down a lot. UNC used to sell well and so did NCSU, but times are tough…sell beer instead to raise money.

CW

October 7th, 2009
11:17 pm

I understand some of the reluctance to ever tinker with the Tech v. GA game, but I love the idea of trying this one time.

Also, Mark Bradley is absolutely right that the Iron Bowl has lost some juice by going to the campuses. Legion Field was positively the most electric atmosphere I’ve ever experienced at a college football game. Not sure the Dome in September will equal that, but you never know how good something might be until you try it.

And, can we please, please, please move the Tech v. GA basketball back to Atlanta? Damn, that series in the 80’s was dynamite. Again, not nearly as much fun on the campuses.

toh3llwithweorgia

October 7th, 2009
11:19 pm

See I don’t think the chick-fil-a kick-off or the city of Atlanta will let it happen. Think about it if both teams are from the state then no one is staying in hotels, eating at restaurants, seeing the attractions like the aquarium, world of coke, 6flags, etc. If two teams are say from North Carolina and Alabama or Florida, then the fans have no choice but to do those things, leave tradition alone, win ball games, and people will buy season tickets, or hmmm I don’t know get more interesting games.

Midnight Rambler

October 7th, 2009
11:56 pm

Who would the officials be in 2011 at the Ga. Dome? They would be SEC @ Bobby Dodd. Then who would officiate @ Bobby Dodd in 2012? SEC again? That might not be good.

I would be concerned about giving up home field in 2011. We would certainly be badly outnumbered by Dawg fans in the huge Ga. Dome giving them home field advantage. They put too many in Bobby Dodd as it is.

If refs from a neutral conference – Big 12, Pac10, etc. – did the Ga, Dome in 2011, then back to SEC at Tech in 2012, it might work.

I understand the logic of improving the unbalanced home schedule. I hated it when the stupid ACC first did that to us. They made us play VT 2 straight years at their home. It was poetic justice that we beat them.

Tech made a bad decision in 1991 to play Penn State in NJ in the Kick-Off Classic [or whatever it was called]. I attended it, and it was a home game for Penn State. Neither team was ready to play so early, and I felt the home field advantage – I’d say 90% of the roughly 80,000 there – helped Penn State to win, got Tech off to a bad start & they never played up to their potential. They were pre-season #4 with most starters returning from the National Championship team. Tech lost a heartbreaker to FSU after which they went up & we went down – for several years.

I tend to think the minuses outweigh the pluses on changing the rivalry game. There is also the rich tradition of it being the last game of the regular season during Thanksgiving WE. This would be lost.

jabster

October 8th, 2009
12:15 am

I think one of the best things we could do for COFH is move it off of Thanksgiving weekend. The problem is that so many Tech fans, even season-ticket holders, go home for Thanksgiving, and “home” is often not north Georgia. Thus the flecks of red throughout the season-ticket sections since the original ticket buyers are out of state for the weekend.

I prefer a home-and-home to the Dome, but if that’s what it takes to move it off of Thanksgiving weekend…I’m all for it.

And if both Tech and UGA continue to contend for their respective conference championships, neither team needs the distraction.

Metal Jacket

October 8th, 2009
1:09 am

The first game of the season can sometimes be ugly. I like tradition. Too many things are being changed for change sake. Let Tech play an SEC team and UGA an ACC team the first weekend. That will set the stage for the trash talking until Thanksgiving weekend. I would like to see Miami and Alabama play in the dome in the first game.

Dave

October 8th, 2009
2:02 am

Don’t mess with the Georgia game, it needs to be Thanksgiving weekend, it is the ultimate icing on the football season and the drama of the game would be greatly diminished if it was played on the 1st weekend of the season. If the AD wants to even out the scheduling he can arrange a similar deal with Clemson, VT, or whomever. I also hate the Dome, football should be played outside. Playing UGA at a neutral site could also be arranged for the last game of the season if necessary. Chick-Fil-A does not have to be involved in that and it simply lets them off the hook for catering to out of state programs year in and year out. Last note, a neutral site game could be much fun, the basketball games between the two at the Omni were incredible and the crowds for both sides were always super amped…..the crowd would be dominated by UGA fans (at best a 60/40 split) at a large venue like the Dome though, we are simply outnumbered by the Georgia folks, it is what it is.

-I think, therefore I am, a Tech fan.

DawgBitesBuzz

October 8th, 2009
2:40 am

They don’t play football inside….they play opera football. Keep the Tech-UGA game where it belongs: on the respective campuses.

DawgBitesBuzz

October 8th, 2009
2:41 am

“If football was meant to be played inside…they’d have called it baseball.” Pug Mitchell.

m

October 8th, 2009
2:42 am

It is a STUPID idea…almost as stupid as hiring chan gomer gailey.

DRAD…do not fall for this crap…do not do it.

Full Metal Jacket

October 8th, 2009
2:48 am

Thanksgiving weekend without the Tech vs. Ga game would make it only the second-most important holiday of the year. Save the best for last and keep the game in November/December. If we play it in September, what will there be to talk about all season? Most importantly, most teams are not at their best in Week One. If UGA wants to start playing their games in the Dome, that is fine with me, but play them after Thanksgiving and make sure their fans clean up after themselves.

Full Metal Jacket

October 8th, 2009
2:52 am

While I hope the Bowden Saga is a distraction, it will probably just strengthen the team’s resolve…FSU can still play very well if they are focused (see the rout of BYU) and after a half-season Tech’s D still hasn’t put together a solid 60-minute effort against a good team.

Full Metal Jacket

October 8th, 2009
2:57 am

CW is right on with his/her remarks on the GT-UGA basketball series…if they are only playing once a year put it in the ATL where the fans can mix it up and the game gets more regional attention. Football is a different matter, I think, where the closest thing to “neutral” site is Grant Field and everything else will be overwhelmed by the Dawgs and their fleas…uh, I mean fans.

SatchelBuzz

October 8th, 2009
7:12 am

BS—Bring it, any time, any place.

THWG!

btgt69

October 8th, 2009
7:17 am

Enter your comments here

Not only NO ! But Hell NO ! Leave it alone,

Paddy

October 8th, 2009
7:53 am

I agree with dawgbites. Leave the game played outdoors. Home and Home series. Somethings do not need to be fixed. This is one of those things!

Considering..

October 8th, 2009
7:53 am

2011 will be a major rebuilding year for the Jackets breaking in a new qb. UGA will have plenty of time to prepare for the option, just saying.

Old Tech

October 8th, 2009
8:21 am

Leave the game alone.

Sugar Hill Dawg

October 8th, 2009
8:32 am

I think this is the first time I’ve visited this blog. I’m used to seeing anti – UGA Tech posts on the UGA blog – nice to see some level headed Tech commentary for a change. I hate it for the Jackets they play such a weak home schedule every other year, but that sounds like a self inflicted wound to me. True – the conference office dictates when and where conference games are played (hence our annual Florida – Auburn – Tech finish for most of my life), but Tech controls when and where they play non – ACC games. Try scheduling some BCS games (SEC, Big 10, Big 12, etc.) home and home and that should take care of the issue. As a UGA alum, I’m not too happy with our season so far, but I am pleased we’re playing big boy football every week. We could easily be 5 – 0 (or, 0 – 5) right now – makes the season exciting. I think moving the game to a neutral site (Georgia Dome, Lowdnes High, where ever) would be a huge mistake. My senior year (1974), Tech dominated us in Athens (in a pouring rain). After the game, I ran into some buddies of mine who attended Tech – talk about a trash talk beat down! That is what makes this series special – Clean, Old Fashioned Hate! Bobby Dodd in November – I’ve had great memories of that venue (Andy Johnson over the top in the final seconds back in 1971, for example) – I’d hate to see that fall by the wayside.

William Casey

October 8th, 2009
8:37 am

I’ve been a GT fan since 1960 and have ALWAYS looked forward to the yearly clash at the END of the season. I agree that GT might fare better earlier in the season because of UGA’S inevitable depth advantage but that isn’t enough to warrant a change. The last game gives us a chance at redemption (I think of the 1969 6-0 game) but with Paul Johnson here that won’t be an issue. This is one instance in which tradition should be served.

Mister T

October 8th, 2009
9:06 am

Doug,
I knew you were a dawg fan all along. Up until now you have at least been neutral. This would be stupid for Tech to give up a home game with uga to go into a location and have to split the stadium with your rival.

uga wouldn’t do it next year on their host year, why would Tech do it?

That is foolish. Forget this topic.

THWg!

And to the AJC…doug is a reasonable beat writer/reporter, but would it kill the AJC to Give Tech a REAL Blog writer on the level of Beill at the junkyard blwg.?

DawginLex

October 8th, 2009
9:10 am

No!

m and I agree on something?

I need to go get an alka Seltzer

Ga Tech Old Timer

October 8th, 2009
9:18 am

It doesn’t need fixing if it’s not broken. Why do so many laugh in the face of tradition? Watching the Ga – Ga Tech freshmen play on Thanksgiving day at Grant Field for the benefit of the Shriner Hospital was a tradition in my family for most all the years they played. When the game was canceled because freshmen were eligible to play varsity ball, all the good times of that tradition came to an end but great memories remain. To now read about the possibilities of moving a home game of this magnitude and tradition from Tech’s stadium to the dome or anywhere else causes a lot of concern for myself and others who have followed and supported the program for many more years than most who either write this column or blog here. For some strange reason, no one seems to want to consider my suggestion several months back when this topic first came up. My idea then was this: The situation of the dome showcasing teams other than Georgia or Tech on the first game of the year can be resolved by having both – in alternating years – play a quality out of conference opponent there other than each other. The opponent would typically come from a conference that doesn’t normally recruit a lot of players from this area like the PAC 10 or BIG 10. Interest would be high – national exposure for both Ga and Tech would be almost guaranteed and, rather than everyone being from this area and lessening the pot of money for Atlanta, folks would be coming in from out of town.
Finally, to move the Tech – Georgia game doesn’t bother Georgia one bit because it’s an away game for them any way you look at it. In fact they would probably love the fact that Tech doesn’t have “home field” advantage any longer even though the game would still be played in Atlanta. Let’s put the “shoe on the other foot” for a minute. How do you think Georgia would feel about moving their home game with Tech to the dome and letting Tech’s home game with them remain at Grant Field? Let’s give some serious thought to our traditions and figure out how to get extra money for the program from other sources.

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October 8th, 2009
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the real Old Gold

October 8th, 2009
9:27 am

I agree with “TechDan.” Let GT open in 2011 with an SEC team (perhaps even one that’s already scheduled such as Vandy. Then let UGA take the next years in the opener with an ACC team (the old Clemson rivalry was always a favorite of mine) and this way the rivalry stays the same, and Georgia teams always headline the opening weekend in the spotlight. Simple as that.

AlabamaRamblinwreck

October 8th, 2009
9:43 am

Doug: Do you know how much money Bama and VT got this year for playing in this game? I would like to know what the projected payoff is?

If this is a one-time only event, and we get our home game back immediately in 2012, I guess I could live with this, although I agree that tradition should mean something.

Go Jackets!!

GTSteve

October 8th, 2009
9:52 am

No reason to move the game, even though in the past I have thought Tech would have had a better chance to beat UGA if they played earlier in the season.

Tech has got to get pressure on FSU QB this weekend or it will be a long night.

Please Mark Bradley pick the Noles, that always works

VegasGT

October 8th, 2009
10:01 am

Looks like there are two issues here. 1. Moving the game to the beginning of the year at the Dome. 2. Playing the game at the end of the year at the Dome.

I understand the reasoning for revenue smoothing which is entirely to GT’s advantage and doesn’t mean a hill of beans to the UGA folk. I also believe that a game in the dome will be more like a UGA home game than a GT home game given the fan attendance. That being said, use ACC officials to help even out a bit of the attendance issue, not saying that it would, but it’s just a compromise.

In either case it is a one time thing and I am neither for nor against it if it is option #2. I really do not want to see them playing this in Atlanta at the beginning of the year. This would not be good for the city and tourism as the Kickoff Classic has turned into a pre-season (or beginning of season) bowl game.

What I would like to see is more along the lines of a first week matchup between the ACC and the SEC. We are in each other’s back yards anyway. I don’t know what the specifics could be, but something like the ACC/Big 10 Basketball series would be interesting. You could line them up with the best ACC vs the best SEC and down the line with each team making some adjustments up or down so that teams would alternate home/away each year. It’s just a thought and I think it would be fun. The schedules would look kind of funny because it would just say “SEC (orACC) opponent home (or away) with the actual team to be filled in in February.

need2fish

October 8th, 2009
10:09 am

Don’t think moving the game to the dome one time will hurt the series and it sounds like it even’s out the home schedule if the next year its at Grant Field.

Doug Roberson

October 8th, 2009
10:15 am

If memory serves, the payoff the Alabama was significant, seven figures or so. I’m trying to find out an exact figure.

I’m all for tradition, as well. When I spoke to Radakovich for the print story, that was one of the first questions I asked. Paraphrasing what he said, this move, should it happen, would be a one-time thing.

Here’s the bad part for Tech about this move, aside from tradition: you’ll find that the teams Tech plays at the beginning of the season will likely defend the option with much better success than will teams in the middle and end of the schedule. Why? Because they will have had so much time to prepare.
Throw in that moving the game would result in Georgia playing Georgia Tech either on back-ti-back games, or 2 out of 3, and that could be a bad recipe for Tech.

So, the plusses: good money from the game itself, better balance of money on the regular schedule, national tv game, no other ACC team playing in the game and potentially hurting recruiting.

the minuses: loss of tradition (for just one year), Georgia gets more time to devote to playing the option.

hedge puller

October 8th, 2009
10:24 am

Tech does not need to move their home game to the dome. Tech is headed in the right direction under Johnson and winning will solve any attendance issues. Winning teams always draw big crowds.
I know Tech is short on cash, but rather than take away our home field advantage for more dollars, why not eliminate some of the non revenue sports staff?
Don’t trade Tech’s home field advantage for a few bucks or even a lotta bucks. There are more than one definition of “a sellout”.
Let Georgia move their home game to the dome if they want a game in the dome.

Supersize that order, mutt

October 8th, 2009
10:46 am

DO NOT reschedule the UGAG to the dome at the start of the 2011 (or any other) season. Give each school on alternate years a top-notch opponent who will fill their half of the dome and bring people to Atlanta. Does it HAVE to be an ACC – SEC matchup? The game has now gained enough prestige for a Texas or Oklahoma or Notre Dame to show up with a boat-load of fans. Furthermore, if D-Rad is concerned about the non-interesting 2011 home schedule, then don’t schedule schools like SC State and MTSU. Why the hell do we keep scheduling low-grade, no-interest opponents, and the bottom feeders of the SEC. Win or lose, I would a helluva lot rather see us play the likes of Alabama, Tennessee, Notre Dame or a team from the Big Ten, Big Twelve, or PAC. We have played such teams home-and-home in the past; there’s no reason why we can’t now. Not only would they fill up the stadium, they would probably increase the sale of season tickets so there would never be a partially filled stadium. For all his business acumen, D-Rad is missing the boat on this.

Not Disappointed

October 8th, 2009
11:01 am

Yeah, I agree with hedge puller. If Georgia wants to move there game it’s okay with me, but not Georgia Tech. I like the traditional leftovers and College Football Saturday.

Ramblin Wreck!