Does playing Florida in Jacksonville hurt UGA’s recruiting efforts?

Does the Florida game in Jacksonville hurt UGA's recruiting efforts?

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Does playing Florida in Jacksonville every year hurt UGA’s recruiting efforts?

By playing Florida at a “neutral site” every year, UGA loses out on the opportunity to host and entertain recruits for an additional home game every other year against one of its biggest rivals. Also keep in mind that the two teams are UGA and Florida, the flagship universities for two states that rank among the top in the U.S. for producing college football prospects, along with Texas and California.

On the other hand, there are some that say that having the Georgia-Florida game in Jacksonville every year ultimately helps both schools with recruiting. Over the years, the game has developed a tremendous amount of history and tradition, generates an enormous amount of hype and buzz, and is more like a bowl game-like atmosphere than part of the regular season.

While it is doubtful that any prospective student-athlete would sign with UGA or Florida specifically to participate in the storied series, it is certainly not a negative when recruiting an athlete from either state. They know it’s a big deal.

One last thing: I do think UGA’s home schedule this year has hurt the Bulldogs with recruiting. Again, we’re talking about this year specifically. UGA opened the season against Boise State at a neutral location, thereby eliminating another golden opportunity to bring recruits on campus for a big game.

Mark Richt will get to greet recruits three times in Athens in Nov. (AP)

Mark Richt will get to greet recruits three times in Athens in Nov. (AP)

In the first two months of the season, UGA has only had three opportunities to entertain prospects – against South Carolina (strong turnout of prospects), along with Coastal Carolina and Mississippi State (both had a moderate, or limited turnout). Please keep in mind that there can be an emotional aspect to recruiting; some prospects, when all schools are equal, can really be won over by attending a big game in an electrifying atmosphere. It can leave an unforgettable impression. UGA’s schedule sets up more favorably for recruiting next month with three home games, including the Nov. 12 showdown with Auburn which will be attended by many top recruiting targets.

But again, that’s only this year’s schedule. We’re talking about long term.  Here’s the question again: Does playing Florida in Jacksonville every year hurt UGA’s recruiting efforts? Please post your thoughts below.

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

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132 comments Add your comment

c'mon man

October 28th, 2011
3:56 pm

If we WIN it’s not a problem. If we continue this pattern of LOOSING. YES it’s a problem.

So just win baby! Go DAWGS!


October 28th, 2011
3:58 pm


October 28th, 2011
4:04 pm

Getting whooped by Florida all the time probably hurts recruiting more than the location of the game.

True DAWG 93

October 28th, 2011
4:10 pm

I think getting whooped by Florida every year hurts recruiting alot more than scheduling and location


October 28th, 2011
4:23 pm

It seems as if the NCAA should allow the participating schools (UGA-Florida, Oklahoma-Texas, etc) to receive a limited allotment of tickets specifically for recruits when playing at neutral sites. That way, both schools can bring in recruits for those “electric” games that some of them desire to see in person and neither school loses.


October 28th, 2011
4:24 pm

No. As long as the win.

Delbert D.

October 28th, 2011
4:28 pm

It hasn’t in the past few years since recruiting ratings have been published.


October 28th, 2011
4:32 pm

I am UGA grad and huge Dog fan . . . also believe in traditions . . . HOWEVER, our flagship state university does our state a disservice by allowing this huge game to be played in the State of Florida EVERY year. It should be alternated between the Georgia Dome in Atlanta and Jacksonville. Let the State of Georgia enjoy the economic benefit of hosting this game once every two years — hotel rooms, taxes, restaurants, etc. etc.. I know this does not directly address the question about recruiting, but I think it could possibly have some bearing as well. Would love to see Georgia-Florida played in the Dome every other year . . . and I will bet many Florida fans would agree. I will take this position to my grave . . . and hope, that one day, we will, in fact alternate sites between Florida and Georgia . . . while still keeping the crowd 50-50 . . . it will be a great game regardless of whether played in Atlanta or Jacksonville. And, by the way, guaranteed good weather in the Georgia Dome any year — for fans and players and TV.


October 28th, 2011
4:34 pm

Does paying in front of 26,000 fans each week hurt GA Tech?

Instant Dawgma

October 28th, 2011
4:34 pm

NO it does not. Love a bowl game in the middle of the season. That’s what this game has been and always will be to the fans! The chance to getaway for a few extra days and party like new years eve!
The only thing that stinks today is the no seat room NFL stadium and larger prices.
And winning will cure all negatives.


October 28th, 2011
4:35 pm

Does over signing hurt Alabama each year?


October 28th, 2011
4:35 pm

Does over-signing bonus’s help Auburn each year?

Delbert D.

October 28th, 2011
4:36 pm

Enter your comments here


October 28th, 2011
4:40 pm

Your going to keep loosing recruits if you keep playing fast and lose when your late in the game & not playing in you’re own stadium. 

SEC Commissioner

October 28th, 2011
4:49 pm

There is no way that playing a neutral site games hurts recruiting. The home team is allowed to bring in recruits and put them in a bowl atmosphere for the weekend. The downside is the odd years one team is the visitor you are kind of left on the sidelines watching your rival smoozing the same kids you are recruiting.

Mean Machine

October 28th, 2011
4:53 pm

The only thing that hurts UGA in recruiting is losing far too much. Win more games, get better recruits. For example, the reason Alabama has been doing so well in the state of Georgia is because they have been winning. Many 17-18 year olds are front runners, they like what is new and shiny. Winning is new and shiny. Underachieving is old and tired. WIN MORE GAMES!


October 28th, 2011
5:13 pm

What Mean Machine said.

Rabun Dawg

October 28th, 2011
5:15 pm

Mean Machine, you are spot on!! Kids love a winner, so if UGA will start winning more games, fewer kids will head West, or East, or ,well you get the picture!


October 28th, 2011
5:47 pm

Haven’t we gotten some recruits from the Jacksonville area? Plus every recruit with any interest in either Georgia or Florida will be tuning in if they can’t finagle a ticket. Win and maybe you could sway a mutual recruit.

THE Dixie Redcoat Band

October 28th, 2011
5:51 pm

The JAX game doesn’t hurt…after all…UGA always gets a top 10 recruiting class every year, just look at our record!


October 28th, 2011
5:52 pm

I think potential playing time at a particular position plays a bigger role. However, the “neutral” site in Jacksonville, Florida, has a decidedly Florida slant. Just look at the Muschamp story.


October 28th, 2011
6:20 pm

Bob Loblaw

October 28th, 2011
6:23 pm

This is dumb. No, no, no, no. A recruit will not sign with a team based on the outcome of one game. Win or Lose.

Recruits get tix to these games from the schools, by the way. Ask Theus.

Football Fan

October 28th, 2011
6:36 pm

NEWSFLASH!!! Jacksonville is located in the state of FLORIDA. I think that they should rotate playing every three years in Athens, Gainesville, and then Jacksonville. I used to go to the game but I stopped when I realized that Georgia is at a huge disadvantange. I was talking to a guy today about the fact that Gainesville and Jacksonville have about the same heat and humidity. This is way different from Athens where Georgia practices leading up to the game.


October 28th, 2011
6:37 pm

Funny how these kinds of articles were never written when Dooley was killing us every year. It’s loser talk, frankly. And for the record, Florida loses the same home game every other year as well.


October 28th, 2011
6:39 pm

Winning helps but we had one of our worst seasons in a while last year and best recruiting class. Go figure….

George Stein

October 28th, 2011
6:41 pm

Didn’t UGA play in the Chik-fil-A game because it was hurting recruiting efforts not to be in it?


October 28th, 2011
6:48 pm

Losing to Fla. every year and poor coaching have hurt UGA’s recruiting.

Dustin Walker

October 28th, 2011
7:02 pm

Go Dawgs!!!!!!!!!! NUFF SAID


October 28th, 2011
7:07 pm

It wasn’t a problem when we dominated in the Vince Dooley era…

I am growing tired of this continuing issue with putting “neutral” in quotes.

I am down here right now, and I love coming to Jacksonville for the game every year. Get over it.


October 28th, 2011
7:17 pm

Playing in Jax doesn’t hurt Uga’s recruiting – agree that is loser talk. Most Uga fans I know relish the trip and everything about the game, but the end result of late. UGA recruits fantastic (just ask their fans) – what they do with’em once they get to Athens is a different story…….

If I were a hard-core Bulldog I’d everything in my power to get Chris Petersen from Boise. There is no reason, outside of poor coaching, that Uga shouldn’t be competing in the top 20 year after year after year. The state of GA is a power house of high school recruits, Athens has money and fans and a quasi-tradition. I’m no fan of the dogs, but from outside observer they should be doing much better.


October 28th, 2011
7:24 pm

Petersen isn’t coming East…he’s just not. Aside from that and the “quasi-tradition” comment, I don’t disagree with anyone else you posted.

That and we already compete in the Top 20 every year.


October 28th, 2011
7:52 pm

Loosing. Really? SMH…


October 28th, 2011
7:54 pm

Another reason the game at the dome was a dumb move. We lost the hot weather acclimation factor, gave the plastic grass advantage to Boise, and, now, lost recruiting opportunities. McGarity, you are a moron.


October 28th, 2011
7:55 pm

I know it helps Fl sales tax and hurts GA.


October 28th, 2011
8:06 pm

If they want a neutral site, play the game in Tuscaloosa the week Alabama has a bye.


October 28th, 2011
8:17 pm

When your in the top 20 of recruiting classes year in and year out the only thing preventing us from winning are the COACHES

Big L

October 28th, 2011
8:17 pm

Steve Spurrier probably thought so. Darth Visor said it himself. That game ain’t played in Georgia. Floriduh always had the week off before. Georgia has to travel much further.


October 28th, 2011
8:19 pm

“Win, Baby,Win”!!! and for CMR and CRG “You Snooze, You Lose”!!

hind tit

October 28th, 2011
8:29 pm

We still own Florida. Put up road blocks two things happen. No beach business going in no oranges coming out thous the gator problem goes away.

Devil's Advocate

October 28th, 2011
8:32 pm

UGA will never sign players like Herschel Walker, Eric Zeier, Hines Ward, Richard Seymore, David Pollack, Thomas Davis, Greg Blue, Matt Stafford, Knowshon Moreno, AJ Green, or Isiah Crowell as long as they play Florida in Jacksonville.


October 28th, 2011
8:36 pm

Win and keep Richt.
Meaning you lose either way.


October 28th, 2011
8:40 pm

Play the game in Georgia Dome every year and let’s call it a neutral site. Oh Florida won’t go for that? Then why should Georgia play in Florida and be stupid enough to act like it’s a neutral site. Dooley dominated when Florida always played Auburn the week before Georgia, but when Spurrier took over, one of the first things he did was change the schedule so they didn’t play Auburn the week before and has an open week before Georgia. Genius move. Jacsonville used to welcome Georgia fans during Dooleys days but since they have a pro football team now, this game is an after thought for the city and they just price gouge fans and openly root for Florida now. The stadium announcers, the press box, parking attendants, the sideline crews don’t hide their Florida bias. Bring the game home and home or to Atlanta or continue to be treated like a fool.


October 28th, 2011
8:52 pm

There may be some weight to your point about recruiting impact with the UGA / UF Game always being a Home Game for UF. I never gave it much thought until you made the insight but there might be something there.

The annual home field advantage for UF is an automatic 3 points (minimum) by Vegas odds and that concerns me more than a one game lost opportunity of recruiting however.

The loss of revenue for Jax every other year would be a gain in revenue for Atlanta.
Or just play the damn games at their own stadiums alternating years like the other games.
That’s a financial plus for Athens and Gainesville.

dawg in exile

October 28th, 2011
9:22 pm

Like most UGA fans I, too, thought Jacksonville to be a “neutral site” before moving here in 2007. It is anything BUT neutral. All media – print, broadcast, etc. – is decidedly pro-Gator, as is the population. When this topic comes up, I suggest to Gator fans moving the game to Atlanta, and calling it a “neutral site’: about the same distance from Athens to Atlanta as from Gainesville to Jax. Needless to say, they want to keep it in Jax. It gives Fla. an unfair recruiting edge in that local players considering UGA or Fla. can see the Gators without taking an official recruiting trip. Jax is not now, has never been, or will ever be, “neutral”.


October 28th, 2011
9:25 pm

Having a bad coach and loosing football team hurts recruiting, not playing a game in a neutral site!!!


October 28th, 2011
9:41 pm

No recruits can go to neutral site games. It does not matter who the home team is.


October 28th, 2011
9:50 pm

TigerinGa- ok let Georgia play y’all in Atlanta every year and we’ll call it a neural site.

William in Atlanta

October 28th, 2011
10:02 pm

Who cares? Big time college football has long since gotten out of hand. I suggest doing what many of us have done, and that is to switch to second tier college programs and watch real amateur (and fun) football.


October 28th, 2011
10:22 pm

You REALLY spell LOSING as “loosing”? Wow!Go get your GED, ya morons!