As UGA beat reporter Tim Tucker notes, athletics director Damon Evans talked on this week’s “Bulldog Hotline” radio show about wanting at some point for the Dogs to open a football season in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic at Atlanta’s Georgia Dome. “It’s something I’m definitely interested in,” Evans said, adding that coach Mark Richt, who sometimes chafes at some of Evans’ scheduling, “has some interest in it as well.”
He recognizes that schools like Alabama that have played in the classic get a recruiting edge out of an Atlanta appearance and the uncontested prime-time TV spot.
UGA and Georgia Tech turned down a chance to move next year’s in-state rivalry game to the Kickoff Classic, so unless the Dogs were to dump their scheduled 2011 opener in Athens against Louisville — highly unlikely since giving up a home game would cost UGA money and alumni good will — it’s going to be a while before this comes to pass. Evans said it’s a matter of “trying to get it to fit the schedule.”
As long as Georgia participating in the Kickoff Classic takes the place of a road game and doesn’t cut back the number of home games in Athens, I’m all for it.
As for who the Dogs should play, well, the Kickoff Classic is set up as an SEC vs. ACC showcase, so that limits the field. LSU is playing North Carolina in this year’s game and Tennessee and North Carolina State are set for 2012, but I can’t see the Bulldog Nation getting too excited about playing either of them. Same goes for Boston College, Wake Forest, Maryland or Duke. And Virginia we’ve seen way too many times in bowl games.
No, it would have to be Clemson, Miami or Florida State to make this game anything special to the faithful in red and black. And I believe there’s not much question about which of those teams UGA fans most would like to see the Dogs play: Clemson, a longtime rival that used to occupy a regular spot on the schedule every year.
Georgia vs. Clem & Son in the Dome would be a great way to open any season — again, as long as it wasn’t in place of a home game in Athens.
Do you agree? Would you rather see the Dogs take on the Canes or Noles? Or would you rather see UGA continue to use that schedule spot to visit places like Arizona or Colorado?
SPEAKING OF RIVALS …
Georgia’s injury-plagued Diamond Dogs limp into Russ Chandler Stadium tonight to play the No. 3-ranked Yellow Jackets, who should be a heavy favorite. But then again, this series has been kind of crazy that way, with the Dogs frequently upsetting more highly touted Tech teams. If you have CSS, they’ll be televising the game at 7 p.m.