Georgia Tech’s game against Alabama could still be played if the schools can’t find satisfactory replacements, athletics director Dan Radakovich said on Tuesday.
Both schools agreed to postpone the home-and-home series, scheduled at Alabama in 2013 and Bobby Dodd Stadium in 2014. However, as is common with scheduling, scenarios could shift that could bring the game back on-line.
“If they didn’t have a game and we didn’t have a game, we’d play,” Radakovich said.
Radakovich debunked the numerous theories that have been pushed during the past few days. The postponement has nothing to do with any kind of super-conference possibilities and it has nothing to do with coach Paul Johnson’s displeasure with the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game played at the Georgia Dome at the beginning of the season, which he said has given those schools a recruiting advantage in Atlanta. Lastly, no, Tech isn’t afraid to play the Tide.
“We have the greatest respect for the University of Alabama and their football program,” Radakovich said. “Playing them would be a lot of fun.”
Radakovich said he contacted Alabama athletics director Mal Moore in December to discuss postponing the series because at the time he was considering some attractive alternatives that would help Tech’s recruiting efforts, as well as balance their schedule. He declined to say what those alternatives were.
When he and Moore talked again in late January, Alabama was already lining up games to fill Tech’s slot. Neither the Jackets nor the Tide have announced those games. Moore was in Arizona on Tuesday and couldn’t be reached for comment, but an official in Alabama’s athletics department confirmed the timeline of events.
It is not uncommon for non-conference games to either be canceled or moved around. Tech moved a home game against Vanderbilt, scheduled for this season, to 2016 to accommodate a home-and-home series with Kansas that will start this fall, for example. Army bought out its game with Tech three years ago.
The home game in 2014 against Alabama would have helped to balance out Tech’s schedule. During the past few years, Tech has hosted Virginia Tech, Clemson and Georgia – three of its biggest rivals and biggest revenue-generators — at home during odd-numbered years.
Radakovich said the alternatives being considered are home-and-home series that wouldn’t involve payouts for either team, other than normal expenses paid for travel.
The game was scheduled by former athletics director Dave Braine in 2004 to renew a rivalry that started in 1902 and ended in 1984 with the Tide owning a 28-21-3 advantage. Moore told the Tuscaloosa News last week that he hoped to resume the series.
“I’m sure we’ll get a game down the road with Alabama,” Radakovich said.