Welcome to this week’s DawgNation “Gimme 5″ feature, where we take your questions pertaining to Georgia football and athletics.
There has been plenty for Bulldogs’ fans to talk about, with Georgia opening fall camp as the reigning national champions, and Coach Kirby Smart already aiming for another one.
The first question has to do with scheduling, and Georgia fans have become quite familiar with it of late:
Q: Why would you want to bring in recruits to watch the biggest game at a neutral site? A game in Athens, versus Florida, could bring (elite) recruits and at the same time show the campus. We are one of four teams who can’t recruit when we play our biggest rival. I guarantee Saban and all of the other SEC coaches hope that continues. (Questions modified for clarity):
-- Mario Adam @OttoPlane
Griff: Kirby Smart wants to win more championships, and to that end, he wants the Georgia football program on a level playing field with Alabama and other elite programs UGA is competing with.
Getting the designated home game with Florida in Athens would draw top prospects at a pivotal time in the recruiting calendar (late October).
It would also enhance the Georgia season ticket package and by adding stimulus to the local economy protect the community in Athens the Bulldogs recruit to.
Georgia’s recent decision to allow for recruits to have tickets to this year’s game doesn’t change much
This is because NCAA rules prohibit any contact, and unlike official visits, UGA cannot play for the recruits and their families to fly in, buy them meals or provide lodging, much less show them a campus and town 340 miles away.
UGA allowed prospects tickets to its game with Clemson last year, too, but Kirby Smart said that’s not really recruiting that’s just allowing them to see the game, which they could do on TV
The city of Jacksonville is mounting a campaign against Smart’s wishes and hoping to turn some Georgia fans against the head coach’s push to level the playing field with the Alabamas, Texas A&Ms and Tennessees of the world
The current contract runs through 2023, as Georgia did not meet a May deadline to take an option that would have extended an offer through 2025.
What’s next depends on if or when College Football expands the College football playoff
Expanded playoffs will likely mean the SEC moving to a 9-game schedule, and there has been wide speculation there could be an expanded rotation for the game
Instead of Jackvonsille every year, It could be Athens, Jacksonville and Atlanta, or, possibly Athens, Jacksonville and Gainesville
Gary Stoken, Peach Bowl CEO, is expected to be putting together a very lucrative package to add Atlanta to the mix
If you’re wondering why Florida could be interested, it’s because of the number of recruits in the metro Atlanta area — which far exceeds metropolitan Jacksonville.
Beyond the likelihood of Athens hosting the game in 2024 — the next time Georgia is the designated home team — It’s all just speculation.
RELATED: Jacksonville mayor says Florida city’s needs trump Kirby’s desires
Q: I get Kirby’s reasoning, but when he talked about the WLOCP why do we actively schedule these season-opening neutral site games like the one against Oregon?
— Paul @@MPSutt
Griff: You will see future Georgia schedule models have gone away from the neutral site openers after the 2024 game with Clemson in Atlanta in favor of home-and-home games with other elite programs.
Games have to be scheduled far in advance, and in the case of this season’s Oregon game, there were no openings on the schedules for the teams to make it a home-and-home.
The early high-profile, neutral-site games have been a way for Georgia to get out in front of elite recruits — many of whom are not yet ready to take official visits, as their high schools seasons are just underway.