Since 1995 - Insightful commentary on the Georgia Bulldogs

Post Georgia vs. Boise State in the Dome?

Friday November 19, 2010

My position on Georgia adding a second neutral site game to the schedule is pretty clear. It’s not a good idea, least of all because the state’s biggest and best football facility is in Athens. Georgia would have to give up a home game in order to play at the Dome, and Greg McGarity has made a priority of playing seven home games each season.

So I was a little surprised to read tonight that Georgia was possibly part of a deal that would break up the scheduled Boise State vs. Ole Miss season opener in 2011.  Ole Miss would play BYU instead, and the Broncos would come to Atlanta to open in the Georgia Dome against Georgia in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. The Dawgs are currently set to open the 2011 slate in Athens against Louisville. Surely McGarity wouldn’t take a home game away after all of the talk this fall about a new scheduling philosophy. 

There’s one way though that a game with Boise State would make sense:  Georgia must cancel the home-and-home with Louisville.

When you look at the impact of the deal over two seasons, it begins to make sense.  In 2012, the Dawgs are scheduled to return the game with Louisville.  If that deal is canceled, the game gets replaced with a home game against a team more in line with McGarity’s preferences (i.e., a non-conference cupcake). So you’d gain back the home game you gave up in 2011. Instead of a home-and-away with Louisville, you’d have a neutral-and-home with Boise and whichever team fills the 2012 spot.

Georgia would actually make money in this scenario.  The buyout for the Louisville series is $600,000 per game.  UNC and LSU each took home around $2 million by playing in the 2010 Chick-fil-A kickoff game.  That’s at least a net of around $800,000 to Georgia to play what would have been a road game with zero revenue in 2012.

There are still some negatives.  This would arguably be one of the biggest games on Georgia’s 2011 schedule, and it wouldn’t necessarily be accessible to all season ticket holders. Next year’s season ticket holders will get to see teams like Coastal Carolina and New Mexico State while the Boise game would be an extra just as Florida is. The crowd would still be predominantly Georgia fans, but a similar disadvantage didn’t bother the Broncos much in their 2010 opener.

Georgia also wouldn’t be able to host recruits since it’s not a home game.  Top prospects usually find their way into games like this, but they’ll have to have a ticket or watch from home. Ideally, you’d like to show off your campus and stadium for a big national game; Georgia would pretty much just have Auburn and South Carolina as marquee home games next year.

I’m not as down as I was on this idea before I understood the role of the Louisville series.  Would I rather the game be played in Athens?  Yes. I also understand that it’s not 2005 and a home game without a return visit probably wouldn’t happen.  There’s also no harm done getting out of a pointless series with Louisville; a single game against Boise State would be much higher profile for the program without the cost of a return visit.

Coach Richt hinted that we might find out more on Monday. At any rate, it’s nice to have a rumor to talk about that doesn’t involve Georgia’s previous opponent. 

2 Responses to 'Georgia vs. Boise State in the Dome?'

Subscribe to comments with RSS

  • […] does the math here.  Bottom line:  even paying the buyout fee to Louisville for cancelling the series still leaves […]

  • I’m not a fan either, but another benefit… keeping rivals out of the recruiting hotbed of Atlanta for a year. Though I’ve heard Bama is already penciled in for 2012 or 2013 and they wont miss it this year since they open against Michigan in the “Jerry-dome”