Since 1995 - Insightful commentary on the Georgia Bulldogs

Post What’s in it for us?

Thursday January 22, 2009

The Wiz turns cartographer today and builds to a familiar challenge that, for once, points the spotlight of shame at someone other than Georgia.

We’d like to see SEC teams, with their wealth of talent and top-notch teams, get out and show other parts of the country how great they are at playing football. BCS champion Florida, for example, hasn’t played an out-of-state nonconference game since Sept. 21, 1991, when it lost at Syracuse, 38-21.

Since that 1991 trip to Syracuse, the Gators have played for four national titles and won three. They’ve produced two Heisman winners and won all of their eight SEC titles. Even in their 9-4 seasons they managed to remain relevant. If schedule has been a hindrance on their rise to elite status, I haven’t seen it.

Why does everyone get so hung up over distance when it comes to the quality of schedule? Florida’s annual game against FSU put the Gators against a top 5 opponent almost every season during the 1990s. No other program had such a consistently tough nonconference opponent. Would it have been better or more impressive if they had played a 5-7 Arizona State team?

Does anyone see an incentive for Florida to leave the state? If they want quality competition, Miami and FSU are in their worst seasons at least among the ranks of the bowl-eligible. The Gators certainly don’t need any more help in the exposure department. Why travel the nation to showcase your program to elite prospects when your state produces more than any other?

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