Why changing the tradition of Georgia-Auburn game may not be for the better
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Georgia football might be moving the Georgia-Auburn game
When college football fans tout why they love the sport, a key crutch of their argument is tradition. Big-time rivalries are what make college football, well college football. An iconic win over Florida or Georgia Tech is enough to give you bragging rights for a lifetime.
But it looks like some changes are coming to one of Georgia’s most-tradition rich rivalries. DawgNation’s Mike Griffith has learned the annual Georgia-Auburn game, dubbed the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry, could be played in October, beginning as early as the 2020 season.
For some context, the last time Georgia and Auburn didn’t play during the month of November, Franklin D. Roosevelt was still in his first term as president. The year was 1936. The game was played in Columbus, Ga. that year.
An earlier game against Auburn would likely benefit the Tigers more than Bulldogs, simply because it removes Auburn having to play Georgia and Alabama in a short span at the end of the season. As for Georgia, the move prevents November road games against Auburn and Georgia Tech in odd-numbered years. A possible game that could be swapped is the Tennessee game, which would still give Georgia a late-season showdown against a key SEC foe.
One reason why Georgia and Kirby Smart might agree to this move is to recoup a home game against Auburn that was lost when Auburn got back-to-back home games in 2012-13.
“If we get a chance to fix that and return the favor that we paid to them,” Smart said at SEC Spring Meetings in Destin last year. “I hear about that a lot – obviously I wasn’t there – but about the two times there to travel back-to-back. I think if you can make it more consistent, it will balance things out, probably be helpful in the long run, but I got a feeling there’s more to than just us and them. It always affects so many other moving parts, but it would be nice to do that.”
As someone who holds the 2014 Georgia-Auburn game in high esteem — and yes I’m still annoyed that I only got one Auburn home game in my time as a Georgia student — I understand why Smart would want to add another home game against Auburn. Gaining an extra home game in the coming seasons would likely pay off for Georgia, especially because the Georgia-Auburn game is usually one of the most well attended games from a recruiting standpoint. In 2018, Nakobe Dean and Tyrique Stevenson — who were both uncommitted prospects at the time — made it a point to be in Athens for that game.
The rivalry won’t lose any spice with an earlier game. Georgia fans, and Auburn fans, will always have The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry circled on the calendar. But tradition is one of the few things that makes college sports better than professional sports. College basketball is worse off since the old Big East was dismantled, as schools like Syracuse and Pittsburgh picked cash over tradition.
If you start changing one tradition, what’s to stop you from changing all of them? What comes next in order to tweak the Georgia football schedule for maximum benefit? Does Georgia move the Georgia Tech game to earlier in the season, and swap it with an FCS foe to set up an easier game prior to the SEC championship? Would the Bulldogs consider rotating the Georgia-Florida game between Athens, Gainesville and Jacksonville?
Some of the best Georgia wins in recent program have come on those cool November evenings. Auburn fans could say the same about their three wins over Georgia since 2006. I’m sure new memories will be created when Georgia and Auburn meet in a slightly warmer October. But that doesn’t necessarily make the rivalry between Auburn and Georgia any better.
Trevor Lawrence is learning what Jake Fromm learned last offseason
Last offseason wasn’t exactly a fun one for quarterback Jake Fromm. He had two separate water related incidents, as he got a fishing-lure stuck in his hand in May and then broke his non-throwing hand in a wake-boarding incident later on in the summer.
The two injuries, which led to Fromm missing a total of zero games, had many wondering whether he should be allowed to partake in any fun and theoretically dangerous activities. For all the talk and worry, Fromm threw for 30 touchdowns and once again beat out a 5-star quarterback in Justin Fields.
Now it’s another quarterback from the state of Georgia who is getting the same push back from his fan base regarding his non-football activities. Video of Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence emerged on Monday night of him playing in a pick-up basketball game. After missing a jumper, Lawrence was on the receiving end of a hard screen. Lawrence then responded by shoving the opposing player to the ground. Before things escalated further the intramural refs got involved.
Sure Trevor was a little rough, but you don’t set a screen on T-Law. You just don’t. pic.twitter.com/CBMeQvE8VN
— NATIONAL CHAMPIONS (@BarstoolClemson) February 19, 2019
Lawrence admitted after the fact that the opposing player was talking trash for most of the game, but that his own actions were probably unnecessary.
— Eric 🙍🏻♂️ (@EricTheMetsFan) February 19, 2019
Some have wondered why Clemson’s best player is playing in a pick-up basketball game where he could easily tweak his knee or roll an ankle. As you saw with the screen, Lawrence is a pretty big target. Some cocky college kid would probably be thrilled to score or defend Lawrence in a game of pick-up hoops.
Lawrence, like Fromm was last offseason, is just trying to enjoy life. Whether it be a game of pick-up hoops or a day at the lake, these college kids should still be able to enjoy life. You can’t just wrap these kids in bubble wrap and just lock them in a room until spring or fall practice start. Many in the college football media have praised Clemson and Dabo Swinney for seeming to have more fun than Alabama and Nick Saban. You can’t ban kids from playing basketball or other sports and still be labeled as the fun school.
If you should take issue with anything that Lawrence did, maybe you could question why he was playing full-court defense after missing a shot. But if Lawrence is having fun playing pick-up basketball, he should continue you to play. Much like Fromm should continue to fish or hang out on the lake.
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Dawgs on Twitter
— Beau Allen (@BeauAllen11) February 19, 2019
— Arik Gilbert (@arik_gilbert) February 18, 2019
— Georgia Football (@FootballUGA) February 20, 2019
Bulldogs are getting a GREAT ONE. 🌟🏀 pic.twitter.com/YM7EvsuAy4
— Hudl (@Hudl) February 20, 2019
Good Dawg of the Day
The men and women of the #BPD would like to say goodbye and best of luck to Charlie, a 12-year veteran of the #BPD K-9 Unit, who's calling it a career after a dozen years of serving the citizens of Boston. From a grateful city, we say, "Thanks Charlie." https://t.co/blL5lDRyrL pic.twitter.com/2WUvJdc87y
— Boston Police Dept. (@bostonpolice) February 19, 2019