Georgia coach Kirby Smart is speaking in Destin at this week’s SEC Spring meetings. Smart was speaking on a variety of subjects and was asked about the future of the Georgia-Florida series, which is played annually in Jacksonville, Fla.,
There have been some vocal fans who have stated that they would like to the game get moved from Jacksonville and become a home-and-home series. Smart gave a very cryptic answer on the future of the series.
“You are always looking to see what you can do to make your program better,” Smart said when asked about the annual rivalry by DawgNation. “Nothing is off the table, but nothing has been decided.”
It has been pointed out numerous times that Georgia does lose a possible recruiting opportunity with the game being played in Jacksonville every year as opposed to having it in Athens every other year. Georgia
Smart spoke at length about how the Georgia-Florida game hurts the Bulldogs from a recruiting standpoint during the 2018 season.
“Yeah, absolutely it costs you a recruiting weekend. You don’t get to have anybody, they don’t get to have anybody,” Smart said. “So our version of the LSU-Alabama game is held in Jacksonville and we don’t have prospects. So it’s not conducive to recruiting, absolutely it’s not.
It’s just the way it’s been done here before. It’s just not great for recruiting because you lose a home game every other year and that just comes with it. But it certainly helps to have more home games.”
Georgia and Florida signed a contract back in 2017 that would keep the game in Jacksonville through the 2021 season. The Bulldogs and Gators play in Jacksonville on Nov. 2 during the 2019 season.
Many have also pointed out that the game is closer to Gainesville than it Athens, even though the tickets and stadium are split 50-50.
Georgia has had lot of success in Jacksonville in the last two seasons, as the Bulldogs have demolished Florida by a combined score of 78-24 in the last two meetings. The Georgia-Florida game is one of two Power Five conference games played at a neutral site, with the other being Texas-Oklahoma, which is played in Dallas.
Georgia and Florida have met in Jacksonville every year — sans 1994 and 95 when the stadium was being renovated — dating back to the 1930s. Georgia had previously always played Auburn in November dating back to the 1930s, but that was changed earlier this offseason. Georgia will now play Auburn in October starting in 2020.
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