Why changing the tradition of Georgia-Auburn game may not be for the better

Georgia football-Auburn-rivalry-2020 game
Georgia football has played Auburn in November every year since 1937.

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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.

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NextOctober could be new date for Georgia-Auburn game
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