Mark Richt’s Bulldogs hold their first scrimmage of the spring Saturday, and Saturday is also the deadline for Hartman Fund contributors to get their football season ticket orders in. If you’re sending it in by snail mail, it has to be postmarked March 31. Or you can order online here.
Meanwhile, the uncertainty hanging over the Georgia-Clemson series in 2013-14 as the ACC goes to a nine-game conference schedule appears to have lifted.
After telling 790 The Zone this week that he was optimistic the games would be played, Clemson athletic director Terry Don Phillips (and doesn’t that sound like the perfect name for a Clempson AD?) was a bit more emphatic talking Friday to TigerNet.com. “Bottom line is this: We are going to play Georgia,” Phillips told the site. “I can’t tell you how we are going to put all of the pieces together, but we are going to play Georgia in 2013 here and in 2014 we are going to Athens. We’re committed to the Georgia series.”
Phillips went on to say that “Coach [Dabo] Swinney definitely wants to play that series. I want to play it because the people would call in and say, ‘Hey, there’s a reason we scheduled Georgia.’ Our people want to see Georgia. It’s a great addition to our schedule and so we had a great conversation with Georgia. We are committed to playing that series. We’ve got some challenges associated with it, but we are going to play that series.”
As I’ve noted before, because of the proximity between the two schools, the Georgia-Clemson rivalry was one of our most intense back when the Dawgs and Tigers played almost every year, on a par with the rivalries with Florida and Tech, and I firmly believe the two schools should schedule each other on at least a semi-regular basis, the continuing appetite for cupcakes notwithstanding.
So I think this is great news.
Speaking of which, I got a question in this week’s Junkyard Mail on a related subject. …
Rip Roberts writes: Considering all the difficulties Georgia and Clemson are having scheduling each other in football during the regular season, I was wondering what you thought of Dabo Swinney’s recent talk about how the two programs should meet in a spring game that would take the place of their intrasquad scrimmages. I like the idea! What say you, Bill?
Back when Dabo first brought this idea up a couple of years ago, I polled Blawg readers on the subject and 83 percent were in favor of Georgia and Clemson playing a spring game.
As I said then, I like the concept of a spring exhibition game. A lot. In fact, I’d like it even if it weren’t Clemson, but considering the two schools’ athletic history and close proximity to each other, I think the Tigers would be the perfect opponent for such a game.
The likelihood of injuries wouldn’t seem to be much greater than in an intrasquad game. In fact, just about the only downside I can think of to an exhibition like this is that even if the two schools agreed ahead of time that they would play second- and third-stringers, the full roster wouldn’t get as much playing time as it does when you divide up the Dogs into the Red and Black teams.
But the excitement generated by playing another team would certainly get the players revved up more. And such a match would more closely resemble the pressures of a real game.
Where to play a spring exhibition game? I suppose the easiest thing would be to make it at least a two-year deal and play home-and-home in Athens and Clemson. Or maybe this would be a good opportunity for the two programs to play a game in Atlanta other than in a Chick-fil-A bowl or kickoff game.
Overall, I prefer Georgia and Clemson meeting during the regular season, but the ACC expanding its conference schedule means that in the future it might be difficult for the two schools to meet home-and-home even once a decade. Which makes the spring exhibition idea that much more enticing.
What do you think? Should Georgia and Clemson try to meet on a regular basis in football, whether it’s regular season or spring? Feel free to share your views.
We’ll return to a full Junkyard Mail call next week. So if you’ve got something on your mind concerning UGA athletics or a question you want me to tackle, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg