UGA Looking to Schedule Michigan in the Future?

Submitted by DGDestroys on December 19th, 2010 at 12:48 PM

It looks as though the Georgia Athletic Department has started to look towards the midwest for a future home-and-home series, and Michigan is a school that they've preliminarily reached out to. 

Preliminary discussions have taken place with Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Penn State about the prospect of one or more of them scheduling a home-and-home Georgia in the future, UGA athletics director Greg McGarity confirmed to Dawgs247.

None of those four possible opponents mentioned have ever played a game in Sanford Stadium, and only one of them – Michigan – has ever appeared on UGA’s regular season schedule. The Bulldogs have visited Ann Arbor twice in their history, losing 26-0 in 1957 and winning 15-7 in 1965.

Source: Dawgs 247 Writer Gentry Estes

Comments

Born Blue

December 19th, 2010 at 8:25 PM ^

Sounds like a plan!  DId my graduate work at Florida, ah yes!  I remember those "World's largest outdoor cocktail party" battles...you know, before they got all PC and changed the name to something MUCH more forgettable.  Honestly, I don't know what they call it now.  Anyway, the fans made for a great rivalry and were only obnoxious when they lost, happened a lot, or when they won after they hadn't won in a while.  Hmm, well, maybe they were just obnoxious!!  LOL!  Well, we are Michigan, not FL, so I'm sure it will be fine!!  Let's do it!

btjabrone

December 19th, 2010 at 9:14 PM ^

First of all, all this UGA instead of ND talk seems to be premised on the idea that we can't or shouldn't be playing more than one solid non-conference game a year. We've done it before and we'll do it again and I have no reason to see why this shouldn't be one of those times. The only important factor is that we schedule UGA at home a year when ND is away, so we have a stable number of home games.

Second, I think some of the fans have been far too quick to knock the ND game. In my opinion, it is a wonderful tradition that grabs national attention (even in years such as the Toilet Bowl, ND-UM is a big deal). The history behind the rivalry means a lot to many fans and is even well-known to casual observers. I think we should do our best to keep ND on the schedule.

cutter60

December 20th, 2010 at 12:02 AM ^

With the BCS in place, the vast majority of teams that have played in the national championship game had either zero or one loss.  By playing two major non-conference opponents in any one season, you greatly reduce the likelihood of that happening.  Any college football fan with just a cursory look at Michigan's 2012 schedule opening with Alabama and with road games against Notre Dame, Nebraska and Ohio State would think the same thing.

This all may be a moot point in five years anyway.  If the Big Ten does go to a nine-game conference schedule by 2015 and the BCS is still in place, then playing two major non-conference opponents makes even less sense.  With Ohio State being a protected opponent from the Leaders Division, that means three other teams from that division (Penn State, Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana, Illinois) will be playing Michigan--and one of them is likely to be PSU or UW.  Making two of the three non-conference opponent major programs in that instance isn't strategically smart scheduling.

If Georgia does appear on Michigan's schedule, it will be in the years when the Michigan-Notre Dame game is on hiatus.  David Brandon has hinted this will happen in due course like it's happened in the past (most recently in the 2000 and 2001 seasons).  My own opinion is that Michigan should play its annual home-and-home non-conference series with a variety of opponents from the SEC, ACC, and Big XII.  There are nearly a dozen teams that I can think of, including Miami-FL, Georgia, Florida, Florida State, Virginia Tech, Tennessee, Auburn, Alabama, LSU, Texas and Oklahoma.  I'd add Notre Dame in the mix, but no more than two years out of every six or eight.

One more thing about the nine-game conference schedule is that with the different number of home/away conference games, Michigan will have to have two and three non-conference home games in alternating years in order to assure that UM has at least seven home games per year.  If the Wolverines were to play two major non-conference opponents, that would not happen--there'd be alternating years of six and seven home games.  Simply put, there's no way that's going to happen with the recent renovations to the stadium in place.  There'll have to be seven home games miniimum each year to justify the costs for the suites, PSLs, etc.

The history of the Michigan-Notre Dame rivalry also indicates that each program can thrive quite well without the other in terms of active scheduling (I think we all know the two schools only played one another twice between 1910 and 1978).  I'm sure the same would happen going forward as well. 

Even if the Big Ten were to maintain its eight game conference schedule, it still doesn't change the basic fact that schedules need to be strategically "smart".  There's no real payoff to Michigan to play Notre Dame and another major non-conference program in that scenario either.  And don't forget that if Michigan were to win the Legends Division, the Wolverines would have to play the Leader Division winner for the conference title.  That would be a 13th game on the schedule that you have to account for going forward.

WolverineHistorian

December 20th, 2010 at 9:41 AM ^

That matchup sounds nice but it's hard to imagine.  SEC schools rarely leave the south for regular season non-conference games.  I think it's only happened 7 or 8 times in the last 40 years.