Not long after Georgia wraps up its home-and-home with Clemson in 2014, another ACC school could take Clemson’s place on the schedule for the 2016 season.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, FSU athletics director Randy Spetman said that “talks between the schools about a neutral-site 2016 game are ‘moving along.'” That game would likely be the season opener at the Georgia Dome.
The fate of this game might hang on what happens with the SEC schedule. The possibility of a nine-game conference schedule has been discussed for a while and could heat up during SEC meetings later this month. If a ninth conference game is added, it’s less likely that Georgia would agree to 1) give up another home game in order to play this neutral-site game and 2) add a team like FSU to one of the two available nonconference slots. As Mark Richt put it, “if we have nine, plus Tech and then if we want to do something like Clemson like we did this year, you’re talking about 11 out of 12 games that are pretty stout.”
Georgia and FSU last met in the 2003 Sugar Bowl, but there are still ties between the programs. Coaches Richt and Lilly had long stays in Tallahassee.
Looking at another angle, does a possible future date with Georgia make FSU that much less likely to release highly-touted linebacker Matthew Thomas? Georgia is one of the schools Thomas would consider if he were released. FSU’s reluctance to release Thomas to a school like Georgia takes on a slightly different light if the Dawgs are a possible future opponent.