Bulldogs Considering Moving Florida Game

Posted May 19, 2009

"It's not neutral, when you play in the state of Florida every year." Mark Richt.

By: BE Coleman

The Georgia-Florida game is back to the forefront of discussions in Athens. The game formerly dubbed the "World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party," has traditionally been played in Jacksonville, FL. since 1915.

But that could end next season, especially if Coach Mark Richt has any input taken into consideration. Like many Bulldog fans, Richt does not feel the site of the annual game is truly neutral.

"It's not neutral," says Richt. "When you play in the state of Florida every year, we fly and they drive (to the game), it's hotter for us and cooler for them."

Another guiding thought is keeping students closer to campuses. Recent games have seen students tragically killed due to alcohol related issues. Two years ago, both schools decided to ask for the game to no longer be referred to as a cocktail party.

Perhaps the most spurring point for Bulldog fans is the 3-16 record in the series since 1990. The games history finds only 6 games have been played on Georgia soil, with 80 played in Florida.

Georgia program backers are busy pushing for a game site change. Two years ago University President Mike Adams noted one of the top points for moving the game would include the student's academics.

Stirring debate upon students traversing to Jacksonville as the semester was in the final weeks, may not bode well when final academic exams are the biggest priority.

The Georgia contingency will place it on the table for discussion says AD Damon Evans who notes, "What's best for the long term for the University of Georgia," is at the heart of the matter.

A traditional home-away game played in Athens and Gainesville may be the next option. One idea being lobbied is playing the game in the Georgia Dome for the Bulldogs home contest, and leaving the Florida home game in Jacksonville.

Bulldogs Working On 2010 Schedule

Just as the 2009 season saw Kentucky and Ole Miss were struggling to find opponents, finds Athletic Director Damon Evans is working to avoid the pinch in Athens.

SEC programs are finding it more and more difficult to schedule opponents. The Bulldogs have secured 11 of 12 games with the addition of Louisiana Lafayette (ULL) in 2010.

The 2010 season opener will find the Rajun Cajun's visiting Sanford Stadium for the first time in both programs history. ULL is one of 35 universities the NCAA granted Division 1 certification status last week.

The purpose of athletics certification is to ensure integrity in the institution's athletics program and to assist institutions in improving their athletics departments.