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, 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. … 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

Old Dawg

May 6th, 2009
9:36 am

Having the Florida game in a neutral site always throws the home schedule in a flux. Plus, it’s not like UGA’s conference schedule is always a cupcake. Ole Miss is much improved with its new coaching staff, and Miss State may experience similar improvement with a new staff. And there’s always the usual suspects from the eastern division. For one year, let Florida and LSU switch schedules with Ohio State and Michigan and see how the results turn out.

The way it is now, a 12-game schedule is brutal on college athletes. The wear and tear takes a lot out of these guys, so to help ease the physical and emotional toll, what’s wrong with lesser teams? If you’ll remember, the 12th game was added to the schedule to appease fan desire for a play-off. So we have an extra game, and the majority of D-I powers are playing weak teams just to fuel our addiction to the game!

I would imagine UGA has tried to book teams like ND, Michigan etc, but they probably don’t want to play a successful program like Georgia. And why should they, when they also schedule weak teams (for example, ND always has several service academys on the schedule, and the last tme the Irish posted winning record, all three military schools took losses — though Navy paid them back the next year!).

But for Tech fans making light of UGA’s schedule, y’all take on Furman, UTC and others on the 1-AA level, but don’t play in state rival Georgia Southern (but UGA’s played the Eagles 3 times). In the words of John Heisman: Not playing your in state rival is a sure sign of sissyhood!


May 6th, 2009
9:48 am

The neutral game w/Fla and the home and home against non conf rival Tech means that GA can only schedule one intrasectional Home and Home series at a time. The problem here is not the lack of scheduling these Non conf games, but who we are scheduling. in 2011 that N/S opponent is Louisville. Yeah they have been OK, but still we need to be playing people on our same level , not an up and coming wannabee..that s a lose/lose scenario. If you check the future schedules of other SEC teams thru 2018..Tennessee has managed to get Texas and Ohio State, UCLA and others. No Dame is Ole Miss future schedule. West Virginia is on several. Alabama picks up Penn State for home and home in 2010-2011. This years marks the beginning of an annual series between Arkansas and Texas AM in Dallas So dont tell me these people wont play us. Yeah, we have scheduling limitations, but we still could get somebody decent for that one H/H slot if we wanted to. I like Oregon and Clemson coming up on our schedule,..but those dont start til 2013. That 2011 home schedule will be real snoozer…. Louisville, Coastal Carolina, New Mexico State, Kentucky, Miss. State. Auburn and SC are the only ones worth a crap. We’ll have more 1230 games than Vandy. C”mon Damon step up,how about it? For all of Tennessee’s faults; they always do one thing better than anyone (especially us)..that is to schedule meaningful non conf opponents..they always have a tough one. Lets take a page from our Orange enemies for once and follow their example..

Dawg Fud

May 6th, 2009
9:59 am

I want to see us play with the out-of-conference big boys – Texas, Oklahoma, Southern Cal, Ohio State, Michigan and Miami. would love to see Notre Dame, UNC, and FSU as well. i know UGA alumni & fans would love a home & home with these schools.

i also think the Clemson game should be played more frequently as both schools make a pile of money. It’s a sell out and if you are the visitor all you have to do is feed your guys, put them on a bus, drive 75 miles and play football, load up the bus and come home.

stop being such a pansy scheduler.


May 6th, 2009
10:59 am

Among all SEC teams, Georgia clearly play the toughest OOC schedule, it is a fact. as someone has mentioned here, new mexico state game will be sandwiched between UF and AU, I don’t think and most of you agree that it wont be a smart move to play a solid opponent. for the upcoming season I expect that Georgia will put the yellow bugs back in their place and win at least 10 games.

JenniferGO Dawgs

May 6th, 2009
11:35 am

C’MON, there is nothing neutral about Jacksonville, IT IS IN FLORIDA, If it has to be that way then one year in Jax and one year in Atlanta at the Dome….sounds fair to me! GOOOOOOO DAWGS LET”S GET “EM THIS YEAR & CELEBRATE!!!!!!


May 6th, 2009
11:54 am

Georgia has always played the easiest schedule they can find.
Ever since the days when Dooley ran away from playing teams like Bear Bryant’s Crimson Tide, they have always played a boring schedule so their record would look good every year.
Take a look at their schedules over the years, has to be the most boring and expensive (to season ticket holders) in the country.


May 6th, 2009
11:55 am

Say all you can now Uga because this year will be much less than you want and the VOLS will be much much better!

K-Town Dawg

May 6th, 2009
12:01 pm

Really KNelson

If by the VOLS will be much much better, you mean signing convicted rapists to the team then yea, the VOLS will be much much much much BETTER.


May 6th, 2009
12:21 pm

Easy on Damon guys. We played Wyoming last year and got beat so anything is possible. I have great news, not only are we looking to recruit Moody we also are trying to get a kid that was convicted of rape and kidnapping!!!! Things are looking up in knoxville.


May 6th, 2009
12:23 pm

KNELSON are you seriously still on the blogs acting as if you have a clue about football? Put those media guides down and get your rearend over to the new release of Star Trek, leave football to the men.


May 6th, 2009
12:31 pm

Who wants to see UGA and Fla play in Atlanta? Chances of getting robbed or acosted go dramatically up. Seriously, Atl doesnt really have anywhere to tailgate and it is all asphalt and concrete. Jax atleast has the Landings and you can stay out on the beach. Been to several bowl games in Atl and been to Jax the last 12 years and Jax wins hands down. As for Jax being neutral, it is as neutral as you can get it with the stadium half and half, it would be the same in the Atl. As much as I hate the gators their fans travel well. I vote to stay in Jax unlees the economy stays in the crapper then they need to come to Atl. until OBAMA saves us all.


May 6th, 2009
12:34 pm

Hey K-Town Dawg you have to ignore KNeslon he doesnt have a clue about football. It is obvious if you read some of his posts. Just ignore him and he will fade away.


May 6th, 2009
12:43 pm

FLORIDA has Troy, Charleston Southern and Florida International and HEY KNelson you flamers have Western Kentucky, Ohio and Memphis. Do any of you really want to make fun of UGA? Seriously


May 6th, 2009
12:46 pm


May 6th, 2009
12:57 pm

I don’t care who we play!!! There is nothing better than getting up Saturday morning, driving to Athens, tailgating with friends I only see in the fall(for 40 years),watching the Dawgs take the field, tailgating after the game, listening to Munson recap the game and tailgating with friends. Saturdays in Athens are special. Did I mention the tailgating?


May 6th, 2009
2:43 pm

Hey what about midwest schools for us midwest DAWGS….Mizzou, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma we can take any of em

To Dome or Not to Dome |

May 6th, 2009
3:20 pm

[...] AJCTim Tucker caught up with Gary Stokan of the Atlanta Sports Council for an update on the possibility of UGA playing a game at the Georgia Dome. He basically says what [...]


May 7th, 2009
9:36 am

Is it really news worthy for the AJC to report that they are selling thong underwear with Tebow on them? Seriously, everyone already knows he wears panties. I bet KNelson alraedy has a pair on.


May 8th, 2009
12:50 am

OldTech, mame me even ONE year in which UGA has ever had 8 home games. Just one will do. Tennessee has done it. Ohio State has done it. Texas has done it. UGA has not. And if you look at our schedules through 2016, we apparently will not.

And how did you come to the conclusion that UGA will only play one quality OOC opponent each year, are you not counting GT? Because UGA has played at least 2 BCS OOC opponents each year that we’ve had the 12 game regular season, and this year we are playing 3. It’s not that hard to look up a point of fact.

Go back into the 70’s and 80’s when the SEC schedule was only 6 games instead of 8, and it very common for UGA to play GT, Clemson, South Carolina, and anoter team like North Carolina, Cal, or UCLA.

With the exception of the mid 90’s through about 2001, we haev always played one of the toughest schedules and more OOC road games than most of the so called powers of the south.


May 8th, 2009
12:58 am

“Georgia has always played the easiest schedule they can find.
Ever since the days when Dooley ran away from playing teams like Bear Bryant’s Crimson Tide, they have always played a boring schedule so their record would look good every year.
Take a look at their schedules over the years, has to be the most boring and expensive (to season ticket holders) in the country.”

Scott, that’s so much bologna that we could all pull up a chair and make a few sandwiches with that. 1) UGA doesn’t control its conference schedule. The SEC made the decision to end the annual UGA/Bama game in light of Furman Bisher’s little scandal. 2) Dooley played lots of teams that would now be considered BCS teams from FSU and Michigan to North Carolina, UCLA, Texas A&M, and Cal. Not to mention the near annual series with South Carolina. And the Clemson series that from 1976-1991 was probably the best OOC rivalry between 2 top 15 programs from that period of time.

If you want to find things to criticize about UGA’s scheduling, you can if you look hard enough. But throwing whatever you can think of off the top of your head up against the wall to see if it sticks won’t cut it.


May 10th, 2009
2:50 pm

UGA Swallows

mike addington

May 11th, 2009
7:11 pm

I think we’ve entered into an era in which BCS standings are more important than watching a good football game. For my part, I would rather see us, UGA, play some traditionally good quality teams outside the conference than schedule several “who the heck are they” teams, which of course turn out to be terrible, noncompetitive games. I know I get caught up in the hype of trying to figure out how we could win the NCS if we lose, to say, Tennessee early. Of course, having the goal of winning the championship is important, but how about just enjoying each game itself without being depressed the rest of season if that doesn’t look possible. Let’s get back to enjoying Football, without all the other crap.