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Florida/Georgia Staying Put
Urban Meyer and Mark Richt
Posted Sep 23, 2009
Those of you (us) hoping to see the Florida Gators and Georgia Bulldogs change their annual game from Jacksonville to a home and home arrangement will have to wait a long time to get that conversation going again. Georgia’s Athletic board approved a new contract that will extend the current deal six more years through the 2016 season.
officials have long strongly favored keeping the contest in the River City, but it takes two to tango – or in this case extend an agreement.
A key provision in the contract extension is a guarantee that CBS will televise the game in the 3:30 time slot every year. Neither school wanted to see the game end up at night as it once did.
The schools make a good bit more money off the game in Jacksonville than they would under a home and home deal. A big part of that is due to the reduced number of student tickets that are available for the game. The schools also benefit from higher ticket prices and the opportunity to generate revenue through club seats and luxury suites.
Sentiment Had Been Split
Georgia seriously considered ending the traditional game in Jacksonville with the 50/50 stadium split and the alternating P.A. Announcers and such for a number of reasons. Many Georgia fans had grown weary of the trip to Jacksonville and complained of gauging on the part of hotels and restaurants in the area.
However the bottom line is that Georgia fans have been seeing a lot of losses in recent years. Starting with the arrival of
in 1990 the rivalry has been totally one-sided. Spurrier beat the Dawgs 11 times in 12 tries, Ron Zook took two out of three and
is 3-1 against
. That’s 16 wins in the last 19 games, and that magnifies every problem.
You may remember Florida fans thought moving the game was a pretty good idea when Georgia took 15 of 20 in the '70s and '80s. Lately, however it’s been tough to find a Gator not happy with her/her experience in the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.
Oops, I forgot we’re not supposed to call it that any more.
Get Used to the Schedule
With the Florida/Georgia game staying put you can pretty much bank on the Florida football schedule looking pretty much the same into the foreseeable future. The Gators need seven home games a year so in odd numbered years they will have three SEC home games plus
and three teams that do not demand a return engagement. In even numbered years four SEC teams will visit Gainesville. The lone exception will be in 2013 when the Gators play a game in
to make up for the Hurricane’s visit to The Swamp last year.
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