ATHENS — After opening the Kirby Smart era with a major conference opponent, Georgia will return to a home guarantee game to open the 2017 season.
Appalachian State has signed to play at Georgia on Sept. 2, 2017, according to a memorandum of understanding provided by UGA through an open records request.
Appalachian State is receiving a $1.25 million guarantee from UGA to play in the game.
Of course the reference to guarantee game is only pertaining to financials, not the result, as Michigan found out in its infamous 2007 opener against Appalachian State. At that time the Mountaineers were an FCS school. Since then Appalachian State has moved up to the FBS level, joining the Sun Belt Conference – and visiting Sanford Stadium.
Georgia won that game, 45-6, late in the 2013 season.
This season the Smart era will open against North Carolina in the Georgia Dome, in a game arranged long before the coaching change. Since 2010, Greg McGarity’s first year as athletics director, Georgia will have opened the football season four times with major opponents (North Carolina this year, Boise State in 2011, Clemson in 2013 and 2014), and the other three times with home guarantee games.