DESTIN, Florida — Football in Georgia has scheduling problems regardless of the proposed model decided upon by the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Oklahoma Home and Home chain currently scheduled for 2023 and 2031.
“This is something we’re working on right now,” said Josh Brooks, UGA’s athletic director, and asked if the Sooners’ joining the SEC in 2025 could affect the series.
“When there is clarity about that, we will give everyone an update. It is important that we respect everyone we work with.”
The Oklahoma Bulldogs are scheduled to play at Norman on September 9, 2023, for their second game of the season, and the Sooners are scheduled to make the trip back to Sanford Stadium in 2031.
Brooks, speaking at the SEC Spring meetings at the Sandestin Beach Hotel, said there are several ways to deal with the inevitable scheduling complications as Texas and Oklahoma join the league in 2025.
“When you get into these situations, you can sometimes go ahead with the game, take it to another year, and sometimes drop it completely,” Brooks said.
“So sometimes, if the house is far away, you can leave it, sometimes you can buy it, sometimes you can push it forward. There are a lot of different tools that you can use to solve this problem.”
Brooks shared that Georgia coach Kirby Smart has been involved in scheduling to add value to the schedule for student-athletes and fans.
“I think when Coach Smart really started putting his thumbprint on the schedule, he was intent on getting bigger games, playing P5s, (Power 5) teams like Oregon,” Brooks said.
“And I’ve seen the other games on our schedule, Clemsons of the world, to bring a really more valuable stream to our fan base and get these great games on the neutral site once, too.”
Georgia opened the national championship season with a 10-3 victory over Clemson in Charlotte, North Carolina
The Bulldogs open this season against the Ducks on September 3 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, and Georgia is set to open the 2024 season (August 31) with Clemson at Mercedes-Benz Stadium as well.
Brooks acknowledged that future schedules face challenges, especially if the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chooses to go with the 3- to 6-game schedule model being discussed.
The UGA 2026 schedule, for example, already contains four non-conference games: UCLA, Western Kentucky, Louisville, and Georgia Tech.
“If you go to nine (conference games), yeah, by that metric, we won’t be able to play 13,” Brooks said, and asked if UGA should cancel or move a future game.
“This is something we all have to deal with separately if we go down this path (from nine SEC games).”
Brooks shared how Georgia’s football scheduling strategy could also change.
“As things evolve, as you look at the criteria for the playoff position and what is important, those metrics can change,” Brooks said. “But I think we were now in a situation where we were 10 (Power 5 matches), the G5 team (Group 5) and the FCS (An opponent).
“It’s been a little up and down though. I’ve seen different schedules, but that was kind of the standard metric we’ve been working on. Sometimes it could turn into nine (Power 5 opponents) and two G5s (a group of 5 schools). ) and FCS”.
The Bulldogs 2028 schedule has four games scheduled as well, but one of them is Texas — which may or may not work depending on how the league table works once the Longhorns and Sooners join the league.
Georgia’s 2031 schedule provides another example of four games being scheduled including a future SEC member Oklahoma along with road games at Ohio State and Georgia Tech and a home game against West Carolina State.
Securities and Exchange Commission Commissioner Greg Sankey was vague and noncommittal when asked if the league would vote on a future schedule model this week, even though it was one of the primary discussions among coaches, athletic directors and league presidents.