ATHENS – There’s been a lot of scheduling talk surrounding Georgia football, especially with the reveal of the 2023 schedule this week.
Most of it has been negative, due to the uninspiring non-conference slate, as well as SEC home games against South Carolina, Kentucky, Missouri and Ole Miss.
The Bulldogs’ non-conference slate next season also features games against UT-Martin, UAB and Georgia Tech.
Related: Georgia football 2023 schedule: 3 way-too-early takeaways for next season’s schedule
Georgia has future non-conference games set against the likes of Louisville, NC State, Clemson and UCLA. As of Friday afternoon, Brooks was non-committal on the future of those games, due to the future of the SEC conference schedule.
The league has been debating about whether or not to expand from an eight-game format to a nine-game format once the Longhorns and Sooners join the league. That decision has become a sticking point that has held up future scheduling matters for Georgia, such as the future of Georgia-Florida in Jacksonville.
President Jere Morehead made Georgia’s position on whether or not it is in favor of an expanded schedule somewhat clear while speaking with reporters.
“I think it depends. The presidents have been talking about this as well,” Morehead said. “We have to see if we go to a nine-game schedule, is that going to provide an opportunity to renegotiate contracts with ESPN and alike. What we negotiated now is an eight-game schedule. There’s a lot of factors that have to be played out before we’ll know whether we’re going to do eight or nine and what’s best for Georgia.”
The Georgia president indicated that in the event that the league goes to a nine-game conference schedule, it would want to renegotiate the SEC television contracts that are set to begin after the 2023 season.
Morehead added that he doesn’t think a decision on the matter will be made prior to the next president’s meeting, which is set for October. SEC commissioner Greg Sankey will work with Brooks and the other SEC athletic directors on formulating a plan, which will then be put in front of Morehead and the other presidents.
“Really, through all of this, the No. 1 thing that we all have to get figured out is, what is our conference schedule going to be,” Brooks said. “That’s the key piece to this. Are we eight games? Are we nine games? Once that domino falls, then we can get into the specifics of others. That’s the first domino that’s got to fall before we can start getting into anything else.”
Brooks added that the Bulldogs have their contract with Florida in Jacksonville set to run through the 2023 season. While a decision on the future of the SEC schedule has been a long-time coming, the expectation is it will be decided on before time comes to make a decision on the future of Georgia-Florida.
“We still have time on that. We’re not in a rush on that,” Brooks said. “We’re locked in through ‘23 anyway, but we want to see where we are with the conference schedule before we really dig in.”
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