Did Georgia avoid a night game against Missouri?
After an incredible slate of Week 6 games, the networks finally decided on when kickoffs for Week 7’s games were decided. As a result, CBS slotted this weekend’s Georgia and Missouri SEC East showdown for a 12 p.m. ET/ 11 a.m. CT start time.
While the SEC East title may well be at stake in this game, Georgia certainly dodged a bullet with such an early kickoff time by not having to deal with an arguably more hostile crowd later in the day.
Georgia head coach Mark Richt spoke about the kickoff time in his weekly press conference yesterday, saying they weren’t interesting in playing a night game against Missouri.
“We didn’t lobby for noon, but we were not interested in 9 o’clock, and even 6 p.m. would have been tough on us,” Richt said. “The 9 p.m. game would have gotten us in about 6 or 7 a.m. A 6 p.m. kickoff would have gotten us in about 3 a.m. or 4 a.m., and knowing you’ve got another game the next week, it would have been tough.”
Following this weekend’s game against Missouri, Georgia travels to Arkansas to take on a physical Razorbacks squad. While the networks ultimately decide kickoff times, it’s interesting that Richt publicly spoke out against playing later in the day, even as early as a 6 p.m. kickoff.
“I actually heard where it hurt some of our fans that were trying to go to the game to have that early game,” Richt continued. “Some of them planned on flying in Saturday morning and getting in time for kickoff of a 3, 6 or 9 p.m. game, so we were definitely not trying to hurt our fan base in any way, shape or form.”
“But we were just thinking in terms of the rest that’s needed to be prepared for the next one. I think it was Arizona State, at the time we went to Arizona State, I believe we were landing around 6 or 7 a.m., and guys were sleeping on the floors of the plane. It was just not a good way to start the next week.”
Today in the SEC Coaches Teleconference, Richt added that Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity went to the SEC and made a request for an early kickoff since the Bulldogs are on the road again next week in Arkansas.
Richt said that AD Greg McGarity went to the league and requested to have the early kick against Mizzou with a trip to Little Rock next week
— Edward Aschoff (@AschoffESPN) October 8, 2014
While Missouri fans I’m sure would have preferred a later start time, it’ll be shocking to not see Faurot Field still boasting a raucous atmosphere as they will all be decked out in gold for a designated “Gold Rush” promotion.