Published November 21, 2010 - 4:42am
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Much like the 2008 Sugar Bowl when Georgia played Hawaii, this will be set up as a David vs. Goliath matchup. The talking heads will spout raves about the “little guy” Boise State taking on an SEC team in its own backyard. Both teams will probably be ranked coming into the next season and hopes will running high for both teams.
Pros for UGA:
New Bulldog AD McGarity is quickly establishing the scheduling model he learned under Florida AD Jeremy Foley, which is play at home as often as you can and don’t apologize for it. I believe the last time the Gators went out of the state of Florida for a major conference game was Syracuse in 1991. The Gators have seemingly done well since then. By eliminating the Louisville home-and-home series, McGarity opened up another home date in 2012 giving the Bulldogs another season with seven homes games. The 2011 season schedule will now have eight of twelve games within the state of Georgia.
UGA Head Coach Mark Richt hasn’t been silent when it comes to this annual game. He doesn’t want other big fish swimming in his pond. The Atlanta area is a very fertile recruiting ground and a big time match up in the Georgia Dome to open the season is something teams can point to and help recruits make up their minds. UGA has been trying to keep top Georgia High School talent in-state. Georgia is one of the top producing states at putting players at Division-1 schools and in the NFL. Having Alabama, LSU and other top teams playing in Atlanta is no good for UGA.
Having big media, prime time season opening opponents makes summer work outs that much more intense. The players are sure to remain focused on a dangerous team like Boise State in the off-season. By not opening up with a cream puff directional school, UGA coaches will have something to circle on the calendar and motivate the players during Spring ball and those August summer two-a-day work outs.
Playing Boise State early in the year minimizes the polling effect were UGA to lose the game. Even if Georgia lost, a good strong run through an SEC East schedule would probably erase any pollster bias. The mantra “if you’re going to lose, do it early” fits here for Georgia.
Cons for UGA: A loss to Boise State on what is certain to be a big stage would set back UGA recruiting big time. Just imagine Nick Saban sitting in a kids’ living room saying “Why would you play for UGA? They can’t even beat Boise State!” After the last two very disappointing seasons, I’m not sure the Bulldawg Nation could handle a loss like this. Richt coaching seat would immediately burst into flames and the howls would echo from Athens to Savannah.
This is a no-win situation for UGA. If they win, they were supposed to. If they lose, they just got beat by Boise State. Games like this are very dangerous for Automatic Qualifying BCS conference schools; they risk a lot with not a lot in return perception wise.