Georgia Backed Out of Series with Oregon
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops brought up the point this off-season that teams don’t have much to gain by scheduling difficult nonconference games. Rather, he pointed out that they have much more to lose because the BCS emphasizes record more than strength of schedule, so there’s little upside for a team like them whose Big 12 schedule is already difficult. Georgia’s new athletic director must have the same belief, because he recently agreed with Oregon to mutually cancel a planned home and home series for 2015.
Though the move was termed as a “mutual agreement,” comments from Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity (pictured) indicate it was Georgia who initiated the cancellation. He said about the Bulldogs’ game at Colorado this weekend “We think we’re going a long way this week, try Eugene, Ore., that’s even further. It’s not a lot of fun when you see the itinerary when you get back into Athens at 6 a.m. on Sunday morning like will be the situation this Sunday.”
In addition to not wanting to travel to Eugene, McGarity is in favor of the schedule model that features seven home games and only one tough nonconference game per year. With a game against rival Georgia Tech each year, that doesn’t leave much room for other difficult opponents.
To me, this is typical of the SEC. They have a tough conference schedule so their schools usually aren’t eager to challenge themselves with difficult nonconference schedules or games on the road. This move is also reflective of Georgia’s status as a program. They recently beat Arizona State in a home and home but split with Oklahoma State, losing in Stillwater last year. No longer confident in their abilities and looking to rebuild, they’re trying to set up an easier schedule for themselves.