Dogs fans want top teams in Athens

While scheduler Arthur Johnson confirmed to the Athens Banner-Herald that UGA has been approached about playing a nonconference game in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome in 2010, it’s apparently still not a done deal. Johnson said the Dogs, who travel to Colorado that season, still have two schedule spots to fill for 2010, “preferably at home.” Sounds like Georgia’s not going to jump on that dome offer unless it’s really sweet.

In the meantime, Johnson told the ABH, the New Mexico State Aggies have accepted an eye-opening payday of $925,000 to come to Athens for a Nov. 5 game in 2011, between the Florida and Auburn games. That’s the most UGA has ever bribed, er, paid a visiting team, but that’s apparently what schedule fodder costs these days. This will be the Aggies’ fourth trip to Athens, with the Dogs having posted big wins over them in 2002, 2000 and 1995. 

That will make for a less than compelling schedule in 2011, when the Dogs’ nonconference slate also will include Louisville and Coastal Carolina in addition to the Trade School, and the rotating SEC schedule has us playing the two Mississippi schools that year. 

So far, UGA’s effort in recent seasons to branch out from mostly playing designated losers with directional names in bolstering its nonconference schedule has produced middling results, with the likes of Boise State, Colorado, Okie State, Arizona State and, a few years down the road, Clemson. But in talking with Dog fans, I hear a definite yearning for the program to kick it up a notch and schedule a top name, preferably to a home-and-home deal, not a one-off in Atlanta.

The team mentioned most often by fans? Easy. Texas (where it’s still 10 to 9). Apparently a lot of the Bulldog Nation would like to see the Dogs matched up with the Longhorns and wouldn’t mind a trip to Austin at all. Other names that come up frequently in such conversations include Michigan (the Dogs were last in Ann Arbor for Vince Dooley’s major upset in 1965) and Oklahoma. USC’s Trojans, not so much. What with the distance involved, that seems like a better bowl match. 

Speaking of bowl games, Collegefootballnews.com has come up with a fanciful “way too early” set of predictions for the coming season’s BCS bowl matchups, which you can read here

And while on the subject of the BCS, I’m not a fan of that very flawed system of picking a national college football champion, but I know one thing for sure: Getting Congress involved isn’t a good idea. You probably read about last week’s hearing held by a House subcommittee in which a Republican congressman from Texas threatened the BCS with legislation preventing it from calling its title game a “national” championship unless it starts moving toward a playoff system. 

Like most fans, of course, I’d prefer a playoff to the current mess involving polls and computer rankings, but the real problem with Congress getting involved is all the talk about how the BCS, controlled by the major conferences, isn’t a fair way to divvy up the spoils. This is prompted mostly by the Mountain West folks, still pouting over Utah not being in the most recent championship game. A Mountain West Conference rep called the current distribution of money “grossly inequitable.”

I’m sorry, but all college football conferences aren’t created equal, and while the best Mountain West team can occasionally whip a good SEC or Big 12 team, the level of play in the also-ran conferences isn’t up to what the big boys play. As the ACC’s John Swofford, current head of the BCS, told the Congressional panel, the current system “represents the marketplace.” 

Eventually, the marketplace (the TV audience) will make its preference for a playoff heard loudly enough that the college presidents and bowls (the forces against a playoff) will have to come up with something along those lines. It may take a while and it no doubt won’t be a perfect system, but it’s likely to be a lot better than anything that Congressional meddlers can come up with. 

Bulldog Bites: UGA’s men’s golf team is the No. 1 seed for the NCAA Regional that will be held next week in Sorrento, Fla. The Dogs and 13 other teams will compete at the Red Tail Golf Club May 14-16 for the chance to go to the NCAA Championship May 26-30 at the Inverness Golf Club in Toledo, Ohio. … While the Diamond Dogs were imploding last week, the softball team finished out its regular season with three wins and saw sophomore Taylor Schlopy named SEC player of the week and senior Christie Hamilton selected as pitcher of the week. The softball Bulldogs enter postseason play with a 39-9 record. … Mark Richt told the Banner-Herald that he’s content with keeping an indoor practice facility on the back burner while training, weight and recruiting facilities at the Butts-Mehre building are upgraded. … Collegefootballnews.com also has come up with a ranking of the best programs for producing running backs, and UGA comes in third behind USC and Auburn. Check it out here.

222 comments Add your comment

WTF???

May 5th, 2009
10:32 am

Oooohh.. I hope we can win at golf….

Right On Time

May 5th, 2009
10:47 am

NEW MEXICO STATE????? NEW MEXICO STATE?????

For a million bucks you can get…NEW MEXICO STATE.

Happy stinking Cinco De Mayo. Give me a break.

Why not just schedule GEORGIA STATE?!?! It gives them exposure and the pay could be cut in half.

I am so looking forward to Coastal Carolina and Louisville and then New Mexico State…yippee!! I will now double my check to the Hartman Fund.

ReptilesRule

May 5th, 2009
11:37 am

Since Florida and Georgia both play a neutral site game every year in Jax, it would be hard to schedule games away from your home stadium too often. We would love to have the Gators play here in Tampa every year, and even if it was New Mexico State, the place would be packed and would be a bowl type atmosphere. But, UF and UGA don’t keep spending millions of dollars constantly upgrading their stadiums so they can play more away games in a neutral site.

Cuz

May 5th, 2009
11:54 am

Louisville may put up a fight, it depends on the year how well that team does.

All that cash for New Mexico State? Well this schedule will be sure to please the ticket holders. I guess the Eastern Pennsylvannia State Fighting Amish were booked. Well their cheerleaders are not much to look at with those long dresses and bonnets. Although that mascot with the Abe Lincoln beard looks kinda cool.

Ed

May 5th, 2009
12:11 pm

New Mexico State, Coastal Carolina…sheez.

As for the BCS, I don’t care if they keep it the way it is, as long as we acknowledge that there really isn’t such a thing as a D-1 national champ.

You can’t have a national championship that involves a vote and a computer, and if anyone was a national champ last year, it was Utah, who went undefeated, won their conference, and dominated their BCS conf. opponent in a major bowl.

Schools like Utah, Boise State, and TCU, despite proving in recent years that they can beat schools like Alabama, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Texas Tech, are shut out before the opening kickoff of the season. It’s time we recognize this system for the political farce that it is. I’ll say the same thing when the stars align and Georgia “wins” one, as well.

I suggest this: For mythical national championship purposes, divide D-1 into two subdivisions: BCS schools compete against each other under the current format for the BCS national title (which makes sense, since that is what’s happening now, anyway)

The remaining teams (MWC, MAC, WAC, and the like) can compete for another national title, say, the AP title. Everyone can still compete against each other, teams like Utah and Boise State can still play in major bowls, but at the end, crown the BCS champ and the top non-BCS school based on the AP poll, or something like that. Under this sytem, Florida and Utah would have been co-national champs last year. Can anyone look at last year’s results and conclude that would have been an unfair outcome? Anyone who watched Florida play ‘Bama and then Utah play ‘Bama might question whether Florida would even beat Utah head-to-head. I’d sure like to hear an Alabama player’s opinion on which opponent was better.

If you want to make it really interesting, play one extra game – a true national championship game between the BCS winner and non-BCS winner. I think a Florida-Utah matchup would have drawn a lot of interest, and it would be hard to argue against the legitimacy of the winner.

It’s time for the greatest sport in the world – college football – to stop making a joke of itself.

Tom

May 5th, 2009
12:19 pm

I simply don’t understand scheduling teams from outside the U.S.

RealDawg

May 5th, 2009
12:47 pm

Why not Old Mexico State? Oh, the whole pig virus thing may get in the way.

Voice of Reason

May 5th, 2009
12:48 pm

huh? outside th U.S.? who?

Voice of Reason

May 5th, 2009
12:50 pm

Question. Besides O.J. Simpson Reggie Bush and Lendale White, what other running backs has USC produced to be the number 1 producer of RBs?

Can't have it both ways...

May 5th, 2009
12:51 pm

New Mexico St, eh? Nothing to too excited about, but let me say this. For the author who brings up “middling results” from UGA reaching out to distant, different non-conf. opponents, let me say this. Who knew that Colorado was gonna be a bust these past few years (though they almost beat us)? Did you? No one did. The same goes for ASU and OK St. Good intentions by UGA, but bad luck getting a team that was high-profiled at the time. Personally, I’m very satisfied with their efforts. Would I like to see a Texas-UGA game? Certainly. But, the effort on UGA is there, and I do think better than “middling” results will come.

Keep in mind also, I’ve heard the same people get on this blog and b%tch about how hard next year’s schedule is. So, be careful what you wish for.

Cuz

May 5th, 2009
1:12 pm

Okie State appears loaded for bear this year. May be rough sailing in Stillwater.

LifelongDawg

May 5th, 2009
1:18 pm

Voice of Reason, I think the team “outside the U.S. is a reference to the immigration problem in New Mexico, and the reconquista that is taking place.

USC had Ricky Bell, Marcus Allen, Charles White, Anthony Davis, and Mike Garrett. Maybe not great pros, but excellent college backs.

KNelson

May 5th, 2009
1:21 pm

No wonder Georgia goes 4-0 each year. They pay for teams to come to Athens in order to get a W.

JB

May 5th, 2009
1:32 pm

New Mexico State is Disappointing . I would love to play UCLA, Washington State, Notre Dame, Boston College or Virginia Tech.

OZZFEST

May 5th, 2009
1:32 pm

(I AM A SEASON TICKET HOLDER.) THIS IS GETTING TO THE POINT OF STUPIDITY. WHAT KIND OF IDIOT WOULD PAY A CRAP TEAM LIKE NEW MEXICO STATE A MILLION DOLLARS? HERE WE GO AGAIN, DAMON…I ASKED YOU PERSONALLY WHEN YOU WERE GOING TO SCHEDULE A POWER…AND YOU SAID SOMETHING WAS IN THE WORKS. OF COURSE IF I WERE DON LEEBURN, I COULD GET AN ANSWER…BUT I ONLY MAKE $120,000 A YEAR SO I JUST GET LIED TO! THIS WAS THE PERFECT OPPORTUNITY TO GET A NAME-BRAND-MAJOR-TEAM HOME & HOME, AND ONCE AGAIN UGA FAILS MISERABLY. WHAT DOES IT TAKE…DO WE HAVE TO START CHARGING $100 FOR TICKETS? OH NO WAIT WE ALREADY HAVE THAT IN OSU. (YES, I BOUGHT TWO.) THIS IS A JOKE AND SHOULD ANGER ALL GEORGIA FANS.

theTruth

May 5th, 2009
1:34 pm

OSU will be at top 10 team when we play them this year. Boise St was a top 15 team when they came to Athens. Georgia plays the TOUGHEST OOC schedule this year in the entire country. OSU, ASU, and GTech. Colorado had just won the big 12 north when they were scheduled. Looking ahead, Clemson and Oregon could be very good but you never know.

Teams like FLA are the ones that have a cupcake schedule. UGA tried to schedule Michigan twice (including last year) but they wouldn’t come to an agreement. I would love to see Michigan/OSU/UT/Penn St in Athens.

JMar

May 5th, 2009
1:36 pm

I agree that early season games should maybe be scheduled against tougher teams. Sometimes you schedule a team when they’re at the top – e.g., Arizona State, Louisville – and when it actually comes time to play them, they stink. Sometimes teams are far better than you expected when you scheduled them – e.g., Oklahoma State. But that’s strictly for early season games.

Would I like to see a UGA – Texas game? Yes. Would I like to see UGA play Florida, then Texas, then Auburn in three straight games? Are you insane? You’re setting the team up to lose big time when you have that kind of schedule, and that’s far less entertaining (in the short or long term) than watching them play NMSU.

Cuz

May 5th, 2009
1:40 pm

Not going to be alot of TV games in 2011. I think I will go ahead and buy the batteries for my radio.

KNelson

May 5th, 2009
1:45 pm

Georgia plays the toughest OOC schedule in the Country? Hahahahahahahahahaha. Please !

Native Atlantan

May 5th, 2009
1:48 pm

Opponents like Samford and Gardner Webb is why we have Georgia Tech around.

MiltonDawg

May 5th, 2009
1:49 pm

Damon is a moron! You want to be a National College Power, you need to play games that fans will enjoy and are great matchups. That’s like when Florida play Panama City Community College. It’s not too late to change it is it? Schedule another PAC-10 team like Washington or Oregon.

jaxdawg

May 5th, 2009
1:51 pm

I’m glad to see Georgia toning the OOC schedule down a little. I mean, come on, why do we need to schedule tough OOC games year in and year out when no one else in the SEC does?? Our 2011 schedule is starting to resemble that of the Florida Gaytors. They had a weak OOC schedule last year and look where it got them.

Can you say, UGA Nat’l Champs 2011?!?!

Go Dawgs!

RedandBlack

May 5th, 2009
1:52 pm

It is very disappointing to see the caliber of oompetition that is signed up for the 2011 season. The University of Georgia should seek better opponents to complete their football schedule in future years. Competition needs to be distiguished and recognizable. This looks like an Auburn or an Alabama schedule. Lets go Dogs! Book some good ones!! Go Dogs!!!

RAMBLE ON!!!

May 5th, 2009
1:53 pm

“Can you say, UGA Nat’l Champs 2011?!?!”BHHHWAAAAHHHHAAAHHAAAA!!!!

…no but you will anyway.

Native Atlantan

May 5th, 2009
1:54 pm

For all the people who love that UF game in Jacksonville, New Mexico State are the fruits of the labor. If you played the UF game home and home, that would open up both SEC powers for major home and homes. How many times do the Gators leave the state?

You could sell two for one and three for one deals to MWC, MAC, WAC and smaller Big East schools. What a concept!!! Improve your OOC schedule, quality opponents coming in and not have to buy directional schools for almost a million dollars & guarantee atleast seven games in Athens per year while getting more money.

But no, I’m sure Damon Evans and the fat cats on the board love using those high dollar boats, luxury condos and homes down on the S. Georgia coast. The heck with doing what’s best for UGA and college football…those overpaid board people need to take care of themselves.

WTF???

May 5th, 2009
1:54 pm

We’re getting bashed for our occ schedule? Go look at Floriduh’s….

RedGADawg

May 5th, 2009
1:55 pm

This announcement smells of puppy poop! Home games are TN, Vandy, Miss State in conference and get excited Coastal Carolina, New Mexico State, Louisville and GA Tech. I hope all these teams are better in two years as of now there may only be one top 25 among them, I believe Paul Johnson can look good in the ACC. Not much value for the entertainment dollar with this schedule. May stay home and put money in big HDTV.

KNelson

May 5th, 2009
1:55 pm

Tennessee plays UCLA and Florida in the first 3 weeks of the season ! Georgia your schedule is pathetic year after year.

jaxdawg

May 5th, 2009
2:02 pm

We definitely won’t overlook the TRADE SCHOOL in 2011. They should be our toughest OOC game of the year…oh, nevermind, we play Lousiville!

The schedule should set up nice for us…

Native Atlantan

May 5th, 2009
2:03 pm

KNelson, who is your team? It probably wouldn’t be too difficult to bash their schedule….or league. Gee, let me guess….a team who has beat their state rival once on eight years?

Otto

May 5th, 2009
2:05 pm

WTF is right. Look at UF’s schedule. Hopefully Louiseville can rebuild by then.

Denver Dog

May 5th, 2009
2:07 pm

It apparently doesn’t matter now does it. Penn State for years has loaded up with Lehigh, Temple etc, it is ok when they do it. Ohio State loads up against Ohio U, Bowling Green etc. It seems as if it doesn’t matter no does it. Ok State, Arizona State, Ga Tech, looks pretty good to me. Why all the whining. Going to Colorado, the last I checked,they shared a national championship with Ga Tech, and they played a real schedule. Must not be true UGA fans to do all that whining.

BJohnDawg

May 5th, 2009
2:08 pm

KNelson…you are full of it. You play UCLA a team that cannot win in it’s own conference. But they can sure beat Tenn.As for Florida, everyone in the EAST Division plays Florida.

However, Damon you guys get an F on this one. And I am a Big Dawg fan.
Fans are tired of the scheduling of New Mexico State, Coastal Carolina. Just because other schools do does not mean Georgia should.Let Alabama schedule and get beat by the LA-Monroe’s of the world. I would rather go to Ann Arbor or Austin or LA to play USC, then these teams that are push overs for a win.

I dont expect to play Michigan or Ohio State between Florida and Auburn, I just expect us to play them sometime. And Texas too. If we cannot get to the BCS champ game, then do it the 12 game schedule for Pete’s sake.

I need a drink.

Denver Dog

May 5th, 2009
2:10 pm

Hey Tech Fans, maybe we can get Garner Webb, and Wingate on our schedule and that will make us have a tough schedule. Pull up your panties Tech folks. As they say down at the varsity tech boys, don’t throw rocks if you live in outhouses.

WTF???

May 5th, 2009
2:14 pm

KNelson, what do you think UT’s record will be after the first two weeks of the year? Action, reaction. Not rocket science. For heaven’s sakes, someone pull SC & Florida’s schedules. Two losses & you are done in the BCS. Looks like UT will be done by end of September.

slimpickens

May 5th, 2009
2:15 pm

Bill, Can we play your school Tech, twice?

WTF???

May 5th, 2009
2:18 pm

I would put Clemson back on the schedule, maybe throw in a Pitt or Mizzou. There is no way I would schedule Texas or Oklahomo in the regular season. Ohio State??? Brang it, Suckeyes have proved in more than one case that they don’t belong on the same field as the SEC. But no way in hell I’d put the Longhorns or the Sooners on there. Lets win out & hope to get them in January….

Gummy Bears...Bouncing here and there and everywhere....THEY ARE THE GUMMY BEARS!!!!

May 5th, 2009
2:18 pm

Can we play devry?

Big B CH 99

May 5th, 2009
2:18 pm

Most of the SEC is scared to play tough OOC, b/c if they played teams from other good conferences (Big 12) & that Conference beat them people might start to say that the other Conf. is the best in the country, but we won’t ever have to worry about that b/c the SEC ain’t gonna play good OOC competition.

JP

May 5th, 2009
2:18 pm

Seriously?!?! Why are people complaining?!? Think about the run of Florida then Texas then Auburn…I dont care how good that team is, that kind of schedule is setting yourself up for disaster. Get over it people.

WTF???

May 5th, 2009
2:23 pm

Let’s put this into some perspective, say you are an avid golfer. You want to lower your handicap by 10 strokes over the course of a summer. Do you go play Augusta National or Pinehurst every round? Absolutely not. You may be a better golfer, but your score will not reflect that. Same with UGA. Of course we could schedule the big boys (even though we play a few every year in conference play). Drop one of the OCC games & we’re toast. Because there is a very high probability we’ll drop at least one SEC game throughout the year.

BoiseDawg

May 5th, 2009
2:26 pm

Voice of Reason: Answer to your question… Hard to argue that USC is not Running Back U. In addition to OJ Simpson, Reggie Bush and LenDale White… you forgot Mike Garrett, Charles White, Anthony Davis and Marcus Allen. I count 5 Heisman Trophy winning RBs in that bunch and I believe Anthony Davis finished 2nd in the Heisman voting. Any schools out there that have 5 Heisman winning RB’s? I doubt it.

WTF???

May 5th, 2009
2:26 pm

Big B – None of the major conference powerhouses schedule tough OCC games. And if they do, it’s usually a home & home then it’s off the schedule. Sometimes it happens by accident, for instance South Florida a few years ago, Boise every few years. But for the most part, the major conferences let their conference games count for their strength of schedule.

Bill King

May 5th, 2009
2:27 pm

I don’t think anyone is really advocating putting a team like Texas in the New Mexico State November slot between Florida and Auburn. But devoting one of the early-season nonconference dates to a team like that would be a big upgrade for the schedule.

rick

May 5th, 2009
2:29 pm

I for one would rather go to Athens and see a Dawg win rather than a lost.An SEC schedule is enough.Forget about all these urealistic expectations with a tough out of conference schedule. The Dawgs will never win a MNC playing these tough out of confernce opponents.

Johnny DangerDawg

May 5th, 2009
2:29 pm

If we do play a top team like Texas, let’s please make it a home-and-away. Let’s not reduce our number of home games to go play in Atlanta. Also, I know Dawg fans would love a roadtrip to Austin, the *second-best* college town in America!

WTF???

May 5th, 2009
2:30 pm

Bill, it would be a big upgrade for the fans. Not necessarily for any NC hopes we may or may not have for that particular season. You know our Dawgs are slow starters under Richt, usually not playing our best ball until late in the season. If we were to do it I would bump Yech from the final spot (hell with rival week, I mean, considering they’re not really a rival…).

reservoirDAWG

May 5th, 2009
2:30 pm

I’m torn on this one. Just more reason for a playoff.

Stephen

May 5th, 2009
2:32 pm

This article said virtually nothing that wasn’t the complete opposite of the truth:
1) UGA’s OOC schedule is/has been/will be very ambitious. See “Can’t Have It Both Ways…”
2) No UGA fan that understands anything past ranting would make an argument against New Mexico State (unless the argument was “Between Auburn and UF?? That should be a BYE). UGA fans want to win a championship and that isn’t done by losing to UF or Auburn. The chance of losing either of those games increases exponentially with the difficulty of the games around them.
3) UGA playing UT or UM or USC? WHY? What UGA fan wants to see that happen anywhere other than a BCS game? Think strategically here folks.

Go Dawgs.

IwannaForget

May 5th, 2009
2:34 pm

That 2000 game was a doozie. For some reason I decided to get to that game early that morning & drink like it was 1999. Very long & interesting story short, I lost alot of money, made a complete ass of myself, accidentally damaged property so I was told, womanized every female I saw, & didn’t feel right for the next few days. I also had a “My name is Earl” size list of apologies to hand out after it was all said & done. Every time I hear about New Mexico State I kinda cringe.