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What is the likelihood of getting a game against Miami in the near future?
— Jawaan Brown
Jawaan, thanks so much for sending in your question. If you’re rooting for this to happen, I’m sorry to report that it’s not very likely.
Not in the regular season at least. Because of the way Georgia’s schedule sets up annually, it’s unlikely that the Bulldogs would add another ACC opponent to their out-of-conference schedule. As we all know, Georgia already plays Georgia Tech every season. To add Miami probably would mean setting up a home-and-home trade with the Hurricanes. The Bulldogs already are left with only six home games every other year because of their agreement to play Florida in Jacksonville annually, so Georgia is limited in the number of seasons it even would be possible to play an out-of-conference away game. It had only six home games last season because it played on the road at Notre Dame.
The most likely scenario in which Georgia might play Miami, led by former Bulldogs coach Mark Richt, would be in a bowl game or the College Football Playoff. It looked for a while as if that might happen last season as the Hurricanes reached the Week 11 undefeated. Then Miami lost to Pitt in the regular-season finale and to Clemson in the ACC Championship Game to miss the playoff. The Hurricanes’ season ended with a loss to Wisconsin in the Orange Bowl.
Georgia, of course, also lost a regular-season game but avenged it with a win over Auburn in the SEC Championship Game. Had Miami won its conference championship, there was a chance the Hurricanes could have met Georgia as No. 2 and No. 3 seeds. And certainly the networks would’ve played up the Richt vs. Kirby Smart angle.
Meanwhile, Georgia doesn’t altogether avoid playing ACC teams other than Georgia Tech. UGA used to play Clemson somewhat regularly, and there always is talk of renewing a home-and-home series between the two powerhouse programs. Just about 80 miles from each other, they share a rich history of storied matchups. But nothing on that front appears imminent at the moment. Also, the Bulldogs will face Virginia in their season opener in 2020. That game was brokered by ESPN for the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, however, and neither team will need to repay it with an away game.
Georgia needs some marquee nonconference games. The SEC has been emphasizing that to its constituency. On the upcoming schedule for Georgia are Notre Dame at home in 2019 and a home-and-home series with UCLA in 2025 (in Los Angeles) and 2026 (in Athens). The Bulldogs have openings in which they could add major opponents from 2021-24, but it remains to be seen whether they will. Next season, Georgia does not have any marquee out-of-conference games. Those opponents ― Austin Peay State, Middle Tennessee State and UMass ― all are coming to Athens. As a result, the Bulldogs will have seven home games next season.
The good news is that the schedule might help them get back into the playoff. There, they could meet Richt’s Hurricanes, who will need to get through a schedule that opens with LSU in Arlington, Texas, on Sept. 2.
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