MEMPHIS — Georgia and Ohio State have agreed to meet in football during the 2020 and 2021 seasons, UGA athletic director Greg McGarity said Tuesday.
McGarity said he and Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith signed a “memorandum of understanding” on the games, one of which will be played in Georgia’s Sanford Stadium and the other at Ohio State.
“I know that’s a long time away,” McGarity said, “but bottom line is you’ve got to have some of those things in place.”
He added: “Not all of the details are worked out as far as seats and things — just the memorandum that we would basically play each other, home and home, in ‘20 and ‘21.”
McGarity said it hasn’t been determined yet which year the game will be played at which site.
“We haven’t figured that out yet,” he said. “We know we’re going to play each other on campus, and we’ll figure all that stuff out in a year, two years. Who knows what the landscape will look like in 2020? But you’ve got to plan that far in advance to do things.”
McGarity said the games will come within “the first two weekends” of each season. “Before SEC play starts,” he said. “You don’t want to play Ohio State in the middle of your SEC season.”
A fuller contract will be drafted later.
McGarity said Georgia also reached out to Michigan, Notre Dame and Penn State about possible games. Michigan and Notre Dame were not interested, he said, and Penn State’s interest was not as strong as Ohio State’s.
McGarity’s scheduling philosophy generally is for Georgia to play seven home games per season, but he allows for an occasional — once a decade or so — exception to play a home-and-home series against a marquee opponent such as an Ohio State.
Georgia has never played the Buckeyes in a regular-season football game. The teams’ only meeting was in the Citrus Bowl in Orlando following the 1992 season. Georgia won that game 21-14.
“I think it will excite people to think of Ohio State between the hedges and for us to go up to Columbus,” McGarity said. “I think it’s something you can look forward to. All those 8-year-olds out there can look forward to playing in the game.”
Coach Mark Richt will look forward to the game, too.
“Yeah, man,” Richt said. “I hope I’m here to go to Columbus.”
Please follow @ajcuga on Twitter for the latest updates on the Bulldogs from Liberty Bowl practices in Memphis.
– Tim Tucker