DESTIN, Fla. – Georgia officials had hoped for fewer night football games this year, and they appear to be getting their wish.
Starting times were announced Thursday for four Georgia games, and none will be under the lights:
Starting times for Georgia’s other eight games have not been set. Most won’t be determined until 12 days in advance, per the SEC’s television contracts.
Last season, six of Georgia’s 12 regular-season games were at night, including four of the six home games –- numbers that tilted a bit more heavily toward night than UGA prefers.
UGA President Michael Adams acknowledged at the SEC spring meetings here Thursday that Georgia’s preference is largely inconsequential because TV contracts give the networks power over game times. But he said “it looks like the luck of the draw” may create a day-night balance more to Georgia’s liking this year.
“The typical Georgia fan loves daytime, mid-afternoon football,” Adams said. “It allows a lot of people to get there and to get home. That’s a benefit. The coaches and players like the prime-time [night] exposure. So it’s like everything – there’s a tradeoff.”
The time hasn’t been set for the Bulldogs’ Sept. 4 opener against Louisiana-Lafayette in Athens.
Other early-season SEC television games announced Thursday:
Sept. 2: Southern Miss at South Carolina, ESPN, 7:30 p.m. ET
Sept. 4: Miami (Ohio) at Florida, ESPN, 12 noon ET; Kentucky at Louisville, ABC, 3:30 p.m. ET; LSU vs. N.C. in Atlanta, ABC, 8:00 p.m. ET
Sept. 9: Auburn at Miss. State, ESPN, 7:30 p.m. ET
Sept. 11: Penn State at Alabama, ESPN, 7:00 p.m. ET; Oregon at Tennessee, ESPN2, 7:00 p.m. ET; Ole Miss at Tulane, ESPN Classic or ESPN2, 9:00 p.m. ET
Sept. 18: Alabama at Duke, ABC, 3:30 p.m. ET; Clemson at Auburn, ESPN, 7:00 p.m. ET; Florida at Tennessee, CBS, 3:30 p.m. ET
Also today on ajc.com: Cost dropping to get new UGA football season tickets.
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