Sport Does Georgia’s future schedule hint that playoff expansion is coming?

23:50  07 november  2019
23:50  07 november  2019 Source:   sports.yahoo.com

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"Otherwise," Georgia AD Greg McGarity said, "you wouldn't be doing this." McGarity is among a growing group of ADs who believe scheduling "up" is a natural reaction to an obvious future -- expansion of the playoff bracket. At the conclusion of this season, we'll be halfway through the

Georgia ’ s Scheduling Strategy Could Signal College Football Playoff Expansion . College football fans have likely noticed Georgia ’ s impressive run of new non-conference games that have They are not-so-subtly indicating change is coming . He also acknowledged the desire to play “iconic brands

Georgia and Ohio State have agreed to a home-and-home series in football. The first game will be Sept. 14, 2030 in Athens. The return will take place on Aug. 30, 2031 in Columbus.

a group of people that are standing in the snow: Georgia coach Kirby Smart talks to his players during a timeout in the first half of the team's game against Kentucky on Oct. 19, 2019. (AP)© Provided by Oath Inc. Georgia coach Kirby Smart talks to his players during a timeout in the first half of the team's game against Kentucky on Oct. 19, 2019. (AP)

Needless to say, there is still plenty of time to get excited … this means nothing for a decade-plus.

Except, the announcement might mean a lot.

Namely that Georgia, among others, has assembled an extremely aggressive future schedule that suggests it doesn’t believe the current four-team College Football Playoff will exist much longer.

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Oklahoma and Georgia played in the College Football Playoff national semifinal two years ago. The Sooners and Bulldogs agreed to a future home-and-home series earlier this year, part of a growing trend of programs beefing up non-conference schedules . Could it be a sign of playoff expansion ?

"We've scheduled with the hope that the playoff would expand in the future , maybe after the next contract' s over, and then who knows White wants Group of 5 schools to have a united front when it comes to equitable scheduling , most specifically his own conference, which is trying to sell the idea

In its place? Possibly an eight-team model with automatic bids to conference winners, which will make surviving the non-conference with a perfect record far less important since winning the SEC could get the Bulldogs in.

While no one is saying that out loud, playoff expansion is an evergreen topic and game contracts speak louder than anything.

For a long time now, the trend in college football was to schedule one marquee non-conference game per year. The other non-league games were reserved for easy wins. The boldest of teams schedule two tough games. A few, mostly just USC, would play three.

The one-good-game philosophy not only maximized the number of revenue-generating home dates. It also protected the win-loss record, which was the most important factor in the old Bowl Championship Series, where poll voters loved undefeated teams. In the playoff era it remains critical, although a little less than under the BCS.

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View future Georgia football schedules and opponents at FBSchedules.com. FCS Playoff Schedule . NFL. Conference. Note: Future schedules and opponents are tentative and subject to change.

Does that mean it’ s really no big deal that the Big Ten has legislated that each of its members play an additional Power foe? Before deciding, take a look at the following statistics. Did the Big Ten sacrifice a competitive advantage to the ACC and SEC by expanding its conference schedule by one game?

Hence, you want to look like you’re playing aggressive, but you don’t want to risk anything.

No team with more than one loss has ever been selected for the playoff. Yet you can get away with a weak non-conference schedule and still get in, so there was no impetus to change. Alabama’s slate this year, for example, featured Duke at a neutral site and home dates with New Mexico State, Southern Miss and Western Carolina.

Now we have Georgia’s future mostly mapped out, and it is the polar opposite of how things have been done.

The current College Football Playoff model runs through 2024.

From 2020-24, the Bulldogs will play just one or two big-name teams a year and two to three cupcakes. One game is the annual rivalry with Georgia Tech, which really isn’t even a choice.

In 2020, there is also a game with Virginia in Atlanta (technically a neutral site, but not really). In 2021, nothing. In 2022, Oregon in Atlanta again. In 2023, at Oklahoma. In 2024, Clemson in Atlanta.

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Future FCS Schedules . After long contending that expansion was unnecessary, the Big 12, according to ESPN.com, is indicating That said, if Georgia Tech were to win the ACC now, in the era of the CFB Playoff , it is plausible that it would be overlooked by an option with a bigger fan base.

Georgia Southern also officially announced a schedule addition and change that were previously reported. The Eagles will host Campbell on Sept. “Our goal in scheduling is to ensure our fans have at least six opportunities to watch the Eagles play at home and create the most attractive home

That’s the old way of doing it, a reflection of the mindset needed to be nationally competitive when those games were signed. The new way is evident with what Georgia, and others to a degree, has set up later in the decade, which is how far out schedules are made.

Suddenly, the Bulldogs are setting up two or three, and maybe more, home-and-home series with name opponents.

The 2028 season already has a game at Texas, with Florida State and Georgia Tech at home. In 2029, it’s Texas at home and at Clemson and Georgia Tech. Ohio State, Clemson and Georgia Tech come to Athens in 2030. Then, in 2031, it’s at Ohio State and Georgia Tech with Oklahoma paying a visit.

There is still room for a fourth game. We’ll see.

Georgia isn’t the only team loading up, but it might be the most obvious. Fewer easy games. Home-and-homes rather than neutral sites. Challenging slates from start to finish. Basically, scheduling without the fear that a single hiccup can doom the season.

Better schedules can help attendance, which remains a challenge in the modern era. It can help future television revenue, which is facing some uncertainty as cord-cutting eats into cable television revenue. It can help in recruiting, offering the best players the chance to play against the best possible opponents in big, nationally televised and hyped games, all while extending the Georgia brand past just the Southeast.

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The conflicting signals reflect an unusually sluggish and stretched expansion . Some of that is to be expected after the worst financial crisis in 80 years, but as our briefing explains, it is also owing to deeper changes in America’ s trn economy.

No official vote on playoff expansion is scheduled to take place at today' s full day of meetings. Even if the required 24 of 32 owners vote to expand the playoff field, the NFL Players Association must sign off Indianapolis did a really nice job with their last Super Bowl," said Marc Ganis, president of

And it can certainly help with the playoff. Go 1-2 in the non-conference? It doesn’t matter if it helps you prepare for the conference season, where winning the SEC would assure a playoff bid under the potential new rules.

No need to hide. It’s OK to play games fans actually want to see.

“We are committed to playing in as many big games as possible,” said Georgia coach Kirby Smart, 43, who can only hope he’s still employed by the Bulldogs in the 2030s.

No, this doesn’t guarantee that a bigger playoff with a new format and automatic bids is coming to college football.

But it sure does suggest that smart people think it might be coming — and are planning accordingly.

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