Penn State, Georgia State possible Tech opponents

When Georgia Tech athletic director Dan Radakovich contracted with BYU for a four-game series (later shortened to two), his intent was to provide season-ticket buyers with a name-brand opponent for the weaker even-year home schedule.

The school’s continuing efforts to schedule attractive opponents could bring Penn State to Bobby Dodd Stadium. Northwestern, Vanderbilt and Purdue are other teams that could be in the mix down the road.

“We’ve had conversations with all of them about trying to do something,” said Ryan Bamford, Tech’s associate athletic director for internal operations.

Nothing is substantive at this point and games would likely be for the end of the decade. Bamford’s greater priority is finding a fourth non-conference game, ideally a home-and-home with an FBS opponent, for 2013 and 2014. As is the case across the ACC, Tech is in the position of hunting for non-conference games because the league reverted to an eight-game league schedule Oct. 3 after adopting a nine-game league schedule in February.

The league expanded the schedule to accommodate the addition of Pittsburgh and Syracuse. The return to eight games was in response to Notre Dame’s contract with the ACC to play five conference opponents annually.

“There aren’t a lot of teams that have openings,” he said of the 2013-14 seasons. “Trying to find the right fit and marriage for us is important.”

The re-formatting of the ACC schedule could well accommodate Tech’s desire to play Clemson at home in even years to balance the schedule. Playing Clemson, Virginia Tech and Georgia at home in odd years has caused season-ticket sales to spike and drop in alternating years. Bamford said the league has told him that it will attempt to grant that wish, which would likely mean the Yellow Jackets would play at Clemson in 2013 for a second year in a row.

Bamford said that “having to go to Clemson twice (in a row) would stink, but when you look at the 12-year landscape, it looks like a pretty good deal.”

Bamford also said that he has had conversations with a team far closer geographically than BYU, or Clemson – Georgia State. With Georgia State moving up to the Sun Belt for the 2013 season, the Panthers could be a 2-for-1 opponent – two games at Tech and one game at the Georgia Dome. Discussions are at a preliminary stage.

“I think it would be a good thing for Tech and a good thing for Georgia State,” Bamford said.

Saturday, when the Jackets play BYU at Bobby Dodd Stadium, the attendance will be augmented by blue-clad Cougars fans from across the Southeast. At the start of the week, more than 12,000 single-game tickets had been sold for Saturday’s game. Besides the Miami game, which also sold in that range, the single-game ticket sales have ranged from 3,000 to 6,000, said Rick Thorpe, Tech’s associate athletic director for sales and fan experience.

Thorpe said he’s heard from sales reps who’ve sold to BYU fans. The ticket department also reached out to local Mormon churches to drive sales. The Cougars, who became an independent in 2011, have traveled to Boston College, Texas, Tulane, Florida State and Mississippi in recent seasons. They played a home-and-home with Tech in 2002-03.

“When they do come, it’s a big deal,” said Kurt Bartlett, a BYU grad in Spring Hill, Tenn. A season-ticket holder before moving from Utah five years ago, Bartlett and his wife will be taking his triplet 12-year-old boys to their first BYU game.

BYU fans will be arriving from Virginia, Texas and closer points within the Southeast.

“Seeing them in person, it just brings back part of your childhood,” said Tony Camara, a Greensboro, N.C., resident and BYU grad who grew up in Provo, Utah, and will root for the Cougars with about 30 friends and family members.

They are no doubt welcomed visitors for Radakovich, whose department’s ticket sales are $600,000 below budgeted figures.

Said Thorpe of BYU’s drawing power, “It’s definitely helped.”

In case you missed it…

Tech notes: Jackets prep for BYU hurry-up

Tech notes: Pocket containment key vs. BYU

Surgery probable for Tech’s Holton

Finch motivated by Tech streaks

Notes: Tech faces age-gap challenge vs. BYU

Notes: Johnson’s concerns about BYU

Notes: Field-goal unit needing repair

Tech-Maryland at 12:30 p.m.

Tech vs. highly ranked run defenses

With BYU next, no-huddle issues loom for Tech

Thanks for reading.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

167 comments Add your comment

1 4 GT

October 25th, 2012
9:57 pm

The stadium should be close to full then. That’s good! And 1st, BTW!


October 25th, 2012
10:02 pm

Welcome South Brother! Surely beats a trip to Lincoln!

Lets make it a permanent relationship!

#16 in the ACC—- Penn State University!


October 25th, 2012
10:50 pm

I love that Ga Tech is scheduling more powerful opponents than UGag now and will be closer to filling up Bobby Dodd. This team and this coaching staff deserves to play before a full house and have the support of every fan in the Hive!

Very glad to have the Mormons coming to town but I don’t like the potential concept of adding GSU to the schedule – if we lose to them we’ll NEVER hear the end of it from Bradley, Schultz & the other UGAg homers on this board.

We continue our bounce back this Saturday and I am looking forward to a sell-out crowd on The Flats!



October 25th, 2012
10:52 pm

Playing the ol Night School should be a pretty boring game

High School

October 25th, 2012
10:54 pm

Ohio state is crying cause vandy backed out of the for next year.

I actually don’t think it’d be that hard to beat them up there, but get them now, before Urban’s whole house of cards comes tumbling down…


October 25th, 2012
11:08 pm

good luck with that…..

With 825 wins in over 121 seasons of football, Ohio State ranks sixth among all programs in terms of total wins and is sixth all-time in win–loss records in the NCAA.[4] In 2009, ESPN ranked Ohio State as the third most prestigious college football program in history behind only Southern California, (USC), and Oklahoma.

With its present seating capacity of 102,329, Ohio Stadium is the fourth largest on-campus facility in the nation. Since the opening game against Ohio Wesleyan on Oct. 7, 1922, more than 36 million fans have streamed through the stadium’s

From 1951 to 1973, the Buckeyes led the nation in attendance 21 times, including the 14 consecutive years from 1958 to 1971. Since 1949, Ohio State has never been lower than fourth nationally in average home attendance.

having said that…. i would love to see gt play tosu on a regular basis. unfortunately…. so does everybody else in the country. $$$$$$$$$

GT Fan78

October 25th, 2012
11:10 pm

Why would Ga Tech need a 2 for 1 with Ga State? Tech would have more fans at the Dome than Ga State anyway. might as well do a home and home.


October 25th, 2012
11:10 pm

i have attended tosu and have been to most sec venues. attending an osu game is like going to an sec game without all the nasty part.

1 4 GT

October 25th, 2012
11:16 pm

OSU…..I refuse to acknowledge “the”….as arrogant as the “u”….good program….good school….but y’all ain’t all that important in the grand scheme of life….arrogance is very unbecoming


October 25th, 2012
11:37 pm

You might schedule Ga.Sou.,Valdosta St.,Albany St. and maybe Grayson H.S. Reallt upgrade.


October 25th, 2012
11:38 pm

speaking of arrogant 14gt … if i were YOU i wouldnt throw stones eh? you sure arent lacking for arrogance.

if you knew anything at all you would realize that there is a slew of osu’s. oklahoma oregan and others. the THE helps differentiate between them and ohio state and more importantly….

the THE has absolutely nothing to do with fb at all. NOTHING. the THE is in the charter of the school which came before fb was even invented.

i would bet dollars to donuts that you are pretty proud of the fact that gt is one of the top public schools in the country…. i bet you are pretty proud that gt has a unique name (one of only 4 schools ) yet you are so ARROGANT that you would belittle somebody else for something similar.

georgia tech university. gotta love it!


October 25th, 2012
11:40 pm

gt14 the THE in The osu has absoulutely nothing to do with fb . it is called that in its charter which came well before fb was even invented. kinda like institute. duh!

hey gt14

October 25th, 2012
11:55 pm

hate to break it to you but you dont know diddly.

the THE in tosu is similar to institute in georgia institute of technology. it has nothing to do with arrogance. if you would get off YOUR high horse maybe you would learn something.

the THE in tosu was incorporated into the charter of the school. that is how it is referred to. THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY. the charter was written well before fb was even invented.

much in the same manner that gt probably appears as GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY in it’s charter. maybe we tosu fans should start calling gt gtu eh?

osu did not even use the t in its name until there was some kind of squabble with OHIO UNIVERSITY around 1980 if i remember right. in the court settlement osu agreed to be referred to as tosu and ou now goes by OHIO. has nothing to do with fb or arrogance. this squabble was similar to the one gt has with teams that use buzz and the yellow jackets. all about trademarks etc.


October 25th, 2012
11:56 pm

If we’re gonna play another team from the state, it should be Southern. For one, they’re a tougher challenge than State, & the fact that they actually have fans, something that State certainly doesn’t have.

And the thought of playing them “One the road” is sickening. I’d much rather do a home & home with Southern, they’re an top notch program.

Supersize that order, mutt

October 25th, 2012
11:58 pm

Why the hell would anybody want us to play Ga State. That’s stupid. Play somebody REAL.

hey gt14

October 26th, 2012
12:00 am

yes gt14 arrogance in the absence of knowledge IS very unbecoming!

Supersize that order, mutt

October 26th, 2012
12:01 am

@ hey gt14…..thanks for clearing that up about OSU not using the “t” all the time in its name until 1980. Frankly, I don’t remember ever hearing it referred to as TOSU, not that I think there’s anything wrong with it; I just never heard it before


October 26th, 2012
12:02 am

Stop scheduling cupcakes. We ain’t gonna win no MNC. Might as pack the stadium with some good opponents.

Supersize that order, mutt

October 26th, 2012
12:05 am

actually, we would be more likely to win an NC by playing good opponents every year. It would help recruiting, and playing big-time opponents all the time would toughen us up.

GT 2011

October 26th, 2012
12:09 am

@S’paw_99 Southern is coming to BDS in 2015.


October 26th, 2012
12:13 am

Super, you are dead right. Play a tough schedule will eventually help everything, recruiting, attendance, bring in more alum and non alum fans etc.

past our bedtime— c u Sat!


October 26th, 2012
12:26 am

Georgia State? Really? What a joke.

I’d rather play Valdosta State than play them.

Supersize that order, mutt

October 26th, 2012
12:28 am

@ fuzzybee…..look forward to seeing you again


October 26th, 2012
12:37 am

I thought with former Johnson asst, Monken going to Georgia Southern, that they would work out a game with them. I mean Georgia schedules them every 4 years. Georgia Southern would certainly be a bigger game for them then Georgia State!

Golden White

October 26th, 2012
1:23 am


And do not drop Clemson off our schedule. Continue to play them every year. Go find and
line up good out of conference programs for every year. The way I see it, beating a good
program is a good win. Losing to a good program is a good loss. That kind of loss does
not leave the bitter aftertaste that losing to an MTS does.
I think GT fans are comfortable enough in their skin to play with the big boys.
Get your cupcakes at the store.


October 26th, 2012
1:59 am

Funny.. i could of swore the link i clicked on to read this story said “GT looks to Upgrade schedule”… then on the next page it mentions Penn State and Ga State.. in the same sentence!?? Yea Ga State… that will get the fans excited. right


October 26th, 2012
2:22 am

I would like to see the match up with GSU.. Keep the money in State. Would be fun having a 50/50 crowd at the Dome..
Go Panthers, bleed blue

Stinger 1

October 26th, 2012
3:26 am

zgoldatl: a 50/50 crowd would be nice but I bet it would not be a big one.

ray gunkel

October 26th, 2012
4:58 am

Back in the 50’s and 60’s when both schools were in the SEC, Tulane was a great home and home esp for both fan bases…could be again!


October 26th, 2012
5:22 am

Need away to play Auburn, Tenn, Fla state,clemson or USC each year. That would put butts in the seats.
Most of the ACC fans do not travel well. And its all about the money!

Bitter Q/B

October 26th, 2012
5:42 am



Bitter Q/B

October 26th, 2012
5:43 am

@TRUE—–Your spot on

———play the ole —SEC RIVALS


October 26th, 2012
6:58 am

“bump up” the schedule with georgia state????? are you serious???? Good stuff they are smoking at tech.


October 26th, 2012
7:23 am

It would seem to me that games w/ GSU is better than games w/ W. Carollina, MTSU etc. GSU under new leadership will be a better team in time. Vandy got alot better, right?

GT 14… sort of stepped on your crank w/ that rant against tosu. lol


October 26th, 2012
7:27 am

Well, it took Ken 7 paragraphs, but he got to the point – revenue spikes in years we actually play someone who brings in a crowd. OK, a semi-crowd, but any crowd at Grant Filed is, well, a crowd.
Put a quality – read winning – product on the field and the people will come. And not just students and local alums – folks just proud to see good football and willing to pay to see it.
Annual disappointments and losses to the likes of the ‘patsies’ Tech schedules do not contribute to fannies in seats. We have little local or state alumni representation, pulling students from all over the world (in comparison to that little JR. college in Athens). When they graduate, they go home, find good employment world-wide (and in the case of many, out-of-this-world) and find it logistically hard to return on a continuing basis.
But then, they got what they paid for – a good education which provides a good grounding for future success.

Thanks, Supersize...

October 26th, 2012
7:49 am

…for saying what I was thinking – why schedule GSU if you are trying to UPGRADE your schedule? And Goldenrod, playing them really makes Tech’s scheduling “more powerful” than UGA’s – LOL

And GT71 – we all know that Tech is not as large as UGA and that there are not as many alums as from UGA – and that is WHY Tech DOWNSIZED their stadium to 35K, then upsized it to its 55K capacity – so, even with you brillian analysis of “WHY” Tech’s crowd is smaller, it still does not explain WHY GT does not sell very well in a huge college market in a stadium that is suitable sizewise for its constituency.

And, do not forget that Tech is the SAME size as Clemson, and they do not have trouble getting at least 70K there for EACH of their home games…


October 26th, 2012
7:51 am

If you want to fill up seats add teams that fans care about seeing and just win….simple as that.


October 26th, 2012
8:01 am

Smart move, one of the advantages of the Atlanta market is there are a huge number of transplants living here. Look at the pro sports when a team from New York or Philly or Chicago comes to town. We about get drowned out by the visiting team, but unlike pro sports this gives Tech national press exposure. It gives Atlanta to prime time too. We have a different market than Georgia and most of the SEC, we are selling the large city, metro exposure, and the kids we recruit appreciate this.


October 26th, 2012
8:10 am

GT,wants to beef up their schedule with possible opponents, with Georgia State. YEAH RIGHT. You call that beefing up their schedule. WHAT EVER,, you NASTY, STINKING BEES. You just want, an easy win. Sal K, you can say that again, brother.Even Georgia Southern, would be a better opponent.

das kang

October 26th, 2012
8:12 am

Tech can’t block Auburn.

Moobs Johnson

October 26th, 2012
8:18 am

Why not play the real GSU – Georgia Southern?

Ken Sugiura

October 26th, 2012
8:30 am

while a non-conference schedule loaded with heavyweights would be entertaining and sell more tickets, one thing to consider is that it would probably take a physical toll and hurt tech’s chances of winning the acc.
tech is playing georgia southern in 2015.
i’d say this about playing georgia state – i would think it would create local interest and would probably draw better than other non-aq teams like mtsu or western carolina. (i know no one likes them, but i think they’ll always be on the schedule.)
as for why it would be a 2-for-1, it’d be because georgia state would likely agree to it and it would be an additional home game for tech.


October 26th, 2012
8:32 am

I like the idea of playing GSU, but the crowd for the game at the Georgia Dome will be embarrassing for both schools.


October 26th, 2012
8:33 am

Play better teams than BYU, Perdue, and Vandy!!! We would rather see us play three SEC teams out of conference than that crap. The GTAA is such a joke. Stop listening to the idiot coach. If you want to make money then play better teams. You give the fans a home line up of UGA, Clemson, Tennessee and Georgia southern and see what sales do. Playing kansas gets wins, playing better teams gets butts in seats.

5150 UOAD

October 26th, 2012
8:35 am

Want to play So Carolina like back in the 70-80’s. Love the trips to Knoxville too but the VOLS keep saying NO. Bama & Tech moved to the end of this decade. A trip To MIZZOU could be fun.
PEN ST will be in the ACC soon
Love the trip to South Bend.
ARMY isn’t a Powerhouse but that is a Game I hate they backed out of. Dad &. I were ready for that trip.

5150 UOAD

October 26th, 2012
8:36 am

If we play GaState they should PAY us just for the exposure.

Jacket Fan

October 26th, 2012
8:37 am

As I have said before, make all four non-conf. games vs. the SEC – we will recruit better and have better attendance. When we can beat the SEC teams, we will win the ACC easy, like taking candy from a baby. Look at how bad the ACC is this year (worse than usual, if you can believe it), and we still can not do anything with it. My recommendation is a no-brainer.

5150 UOAD

October 26th, 2012
8:38 am

We do have to do SOMETHING to even out the EVEN & ODD year schedule for damn sure.


October 26th, 2012
8:39 am

Ken – do you really think the ACC is that tough? Tech desperately needs to create excitement around the program.

5150 UOAD

October 26th, 2012
8:41 am

Jacket Fan we have tried.
The VOLS keep saying NO
Ole MISS backed out of the game a few years ago
USC would be great
We did Auburn, Vandy, and Miss St recently.
The SEC is SCARED. They say just playing the other SEC teams means they need the easy games too let the players get a break……ie have games were suspended players means the team still has NO CHANCE of losing.