ATHENS — Georgia football has added Florida State to its 2027-2028 schedule, continuing a trend of scheduling premier opponents.
Coach Kirby Smart’s fingerprints are all over what will be a much-anticipated home-and-home series with the Seminoles.
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Georgia will play in Tallahassee on Sept. 4, 2027, with Florida State coming to Sanford Stadium on Sept. 16, 2028.
UGA athletics director Greg McGarity told AJC-DawgNation on Tuesday that “We’re not done yet” where adding marquee opponents to future schedules is concerned.
McGarity explained that the 43-year-old Smart has been working with director of operations Josh Lee to orchestrate the sort of future schedules players and fans alike will embrace.
“Kirby is very eager to play a schedule that challenges our team,” McGarity said. “I think we’ve done a very good job of that over the years, scheduling two non-conference Power 5 opponents per season.”
Georgia plays host to Notre Dame this season on Sept. 21 in the second half of a home-and-home that originated in South Bend in 2017.
McGarity said the Bulldogs are looking for a Power 5 opponent to fill out a 2021 schedule that currently features San Jose State, UAB and Georgia Tech.
In 2022, Georgia is expected to open the season in Mercedes-Benz Stadium against Oregon.
But 2023 is another season Georgia covets a big-name opponent, as Indiana State and Georgia Tech are the only non-conference games currently scheduled.
“The feeling we have is that tougher schedules create opportunities to excel in the metrics used by the College Football Playoff,” McGarity said.
“That’s with what’s in place now, and what could be in place in the future. It’s important to credit Josh Lee, because these types of games are hard to get done.”
The Bulldogs’2020 schedule is dialed down, but that could fit what may be a reloading season.
Georgia has a talented offensive line and backfield this season filled with players that could forego a senior season of eligibility, including quarterback Jake Fromm and tailback D’Andre Swift.
Georgia opens the 2020 season at Mercedes-Benz Stadium against Virginia, in addition to a pedestrian non-conference slate that includes East Tennessee State, Louisiana-Monroe and Georgia Tech.
The decade of the 2020s is loaded with non-conference home-homes that have been previously announced.
Clemson, most notably, will be a common opponent with a Kickoff Classic game in Atlanta in 2024 along with home-and-home series in 2029-2030 and 2032-2033.
UCLA (2025-2026) an Texas (2028-2029) also promise to attract national attention.
Smart, a former All-SEC safety at Georgia himself, has been a proponent of a nine-game SEC schedule, too.
“I’ve always been in favor or a nine-game schedule, (but) it’s not my decision to make,” Smart said last October, asked his thoughts on adding another league game with respect to the fact that UGA made its first trip to LSU since 2008 and under the current model wouldn’t be in Baton Rouge again until 2030.
“I think it (would be) a good thing, but I think you will have teams with more losses,” Smart said. “Does it affect a team getting in the playoff? I don’t know, but I know you have a lot more games to get up for, a lot more good rivalry games.
“It’s not just about traveling, it’s just as much about the atmosphere of playing an SEC opponent, I think you are playing more comparable teams to your talent level, I think it’s important for college football.”
SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, however, has made it clear that the 8-game conference game model has worked well for the league.
The addition of another conference game doesn’t seem likely anytime soon, so Smart and UGA have taken matters into their own hands with aggressive scheduling.
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