A hot rumor spread from the West Coast on Wednesday that the USC football team would come to Atlanta to play Georgia in the 2011 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. (It spread the new-fashioned way, from Twitter to message boards.) But Gary Stokan, the game’s president, denied the rumor when I called to ask him about it Wednesday night.
He said there have been talks with USC about a possible appearance in the 2011 game — but not, he said, against Georgia.
“Georgia is not a possibility for 2011,” Stokan said.
He said UGA, through former athletic director Damon Evans, expressed interest in playing in the season-opening game in the Georgia Dome at some point in the future but indicated the next few years wouldn’t work schedule-wise.
Georgia is scheduled to open the 2011 season against Louisville in Athens.
As for USC, Stokan said Trojans coach Lane Kiffin sent him a text message in February to suggest a 2011 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game matchup against his former team, Tennessee. “It’d be a great storyline,” Stokan quoted Kiffin as telling him in a subsequent phone conversation. Stokan said new Tennessee coach Derek Dooley later told him he’d be willing to play USC in Atlanta — after he has three years or so to get his program established.
The bottom line, Stokan said, is that the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game still doesn’t have a 2011 matchup.
“We don’t have an opponent [for USC],” Stokan said. “We don’t have USC either.”
Stokan does have matchups for 2010 (LSU-North Carolina on Sept. 4) and 2012 (Tennessee-N.C. State).
Speaking of scheduling: Georgia hasn’t finalized or announced its 2010-11 basketball schedule yet, but the Bulldogs will open the season at 7 p.m. on Nov. 12 in the new-look Stegeman Coliseum against Mississippi Valley State. That’s according to a schedule posted on the MVSU website.