Friday, September 24, 2010

Why You Should Be Concerned About McGarity's Scheduling Philosophy

Procrastination will certainly be my downfall. I've had the intention of making this post since McGarity's hire and since T Kyle King's argument for playing Clemson more often under the new regime at Butts-Mehre.

Now that McGarity is saying he wants to schedule 7 homes games per season, you should be concerned if you enjoy watching Georgia travel out of the southeast, and even if you like seeing them leave the state.

While this likely doesn't come as a shock to most given that McGarity is considered a protege of Vince Dooley and Florida AD Jeremy Foley (neither known for their strength of scheduling), you might not be aware of the extent to which Florida has avoided rigorous out of conference games.
Many have criticized Florida and Foley for their weak scheduling philosophy. In fact, McGarity's intent on scheduling is identical to Foley's known scheduling standards.

However, there's some facts that everyone should be aware of regarding Foley's tenure as AD that might cause concern, even if you want to see some lighter scheduling:

- Florida has not played an out of conference game outside of the State of Florida during Foley's 18 years (their last out of conference game outside of the sunshine state was against Syracuse 1991, when Foley was second in command).

- Only ONCE has Florida played an out of conference game away from Gainesville under Foley (this was 2003 at Miami and this of course excludes FSU since they are a permanent fixture on the schedule).

We're not talking a 4, 5, or 6 year period. We're talking almost two decades of Florida avoiding leaving their home field, let alone the flat peninsula they call home.

Most of the opponents Florida has brought to Gainesville range from Southern Miss to the Citadel to the always challenging, Charleston Southern. If you look back, they aren't brining quality opponents, they are feasting on trays of cupcakes. One could argue that Florida's 2010 schedule of Miami (OH), South Florida, FSU, and Appalachian State is their most difficult slew of out of conference games in two decades.

Florida also refuses to commit to scheduling anymore games with Miami since Miami insists on a home & home deal, and the gators aren't even interested in traveling to Tampa to play USF. Florida has also turned down an opportunity to play Utah, because at most they wanted a neutral site game in the State of Florida (once again, a home and home series is a non-starter).

As a fan that loves road game almost more than home games, I find this absolutely troubling. The trend goes beyond just scheduling some directional southern schools more often; it's leading towards us never leaving Sanford unless we are playing at Georgia Tech.

I'm not excited about another noon kickoff cupcake game with empty seats at Sanford. I can understand Richt not wanting constant cross country travels and even I'll agree that the 2009 schedule was excessive. However, if McGarity is importing the Florida model, we won't be venturing across state lines after our current commitments are fulfilled (or it will be minimal at best).

McGarity could be lighter on scheduling standards than his former boss and be willing take a 6 game home schedule every once in a while. Possible, but given how McGarity was heavily involved in Florida's scheduling (as was discussed during the interview process for Georgia's AD position), I'm not so sure we'll be seeing any exciting matchups being scheduled.


AUMaverick said...

If this ends up being the case, Sanford will end up being viewed as the cupcake stadium of the SEC, further adding to the opinion of Sanford fans having no bark or bite. Goood matchups, home or away, draw fans & ratings, and with those fans & ratings the dollars follow. I'm not saying it should be all about the almighty $, but showcase games at home help draw in recruits, to help build better teams, to help wins, to help draw in fans...etc.

With the faltering of the team, the coaching staff running out of targets to fire, and now a new AD, is this the begining of UGA falling into the doldrums of college football?

BulldawgJosh said...

Who are you with these pontificating questions? John Saunders or something?

BulldawgJosh said...

In addition, while I am expressing concern about McGarity's outlook on scheduling, that has NOTHING to do with my opinion of his as an fit AD. It is just a difference of opinion.

McGarity is the best person we could have running the department.

AUMaverick said...

Ouch man, I'm in no way Canadian.

Greene-2-Haynes said...

AUMaverick... your argument about drawing in recruits, helping build better teams, help wins and helping draw in fans doesn't really hold water!

Remember, the model McGarity uses is Florida, and they've not really had any issues regarding recruits, wins, or a packed "swamp."

We are Georgia.. We don't need a showcase game against Oklahoma State, Arizona State or Colorado to draw recruits... they come to Georgia to play in the SEC, play for Mark Richt and play for a National Championship. And, unfortunately, fan behavior is the same for a directional school as it is a bigger conference school!

I like the idea of an additional home game. There's nothing like a football Saturday in Athens surrounded by the Dawg faithful!

Our SEC schedule is brutal, and playing GaTech every year already provides a great out-of-conference matchup that we should routinely win.

I like the scheduling philosophy! Let's get some wins, have more opportunity to see the Dawgs in Athens, increase the local economy, and allow students to not miss more time from class than needed.

Go Dawgs!

Andy Coleman said...

I'm torn here. I am a big fan of scheduling out of conference "Big Time" opponents.

But...I love the standpoint of the positive impact more home games will bring to the Athens and Georgia economy.

Plus, take a look at all the cupcakes that the perennial powerhouses play year in an year out. I like being ranked in the top 10 a whole lot more than I like traveling out of state and losing to a top tier opponent.

BulldawgJosh said...

I can understand wanting more home games and wanting relief to the schedule. However, the Florida philosophy takes this mindset and juices it with steroids.

If you use 2009 as an example, I think it would be perfectly fine to have only played AZ State and had another cupcake to create a 7 game home schedule. That gives us an additional quality out of conference opponent and 7 home games.

However, that's not what Florida has been doing. They've avoided the quality out of conference games at all costs (after their two games against Miami in Foley's 18 years, South Florida this year is as good as it gets).

Anonymous said...

Wasn't it Tommy Tuberville who recently told ESPN that Auburn's trips to SC and other west coast trips were a complete waste of time?

If there was a way to make the stadium louder it would start with enclosing the stadium(the bridge endzone). I think way too much noise gets let out of that end of the stadium.

Anonymous said...

Greg McGarity, a tennis player, who has NEVER coached a single sport a single time, is in charge of coaches.

I am sorry, but this is a FAILED MODEL.

We tried that with the previous Athletics' Director since removed from my Georgia Football 2010 Media Guide. I would NOT say that that he left us a better coaching staff in any of our sports than he took over with, nor that we are doing better overall than we were before he started, hand picked by Michael F. Adam$.

Greg McGarity has made TWO (2) Very Troubling Statements since the day he took over as our A.D.

(1) Day 1 on the Job, he was interviewed about how Florida AND Tennessee in our own Division of our own conference play 7 HOME GAMES EVERY YEAR and stated in reply that he is 100 percent this continued B.S. that the Florida game can ONLY BE PLAYED IN JACKSONVILLE. I figured he would come clean on THAT and point out the advantage Florida has, now since he is not their second fiddle but our "OWN" head man. I was wrong, and this cemented further my concerns when he was named so prominently by so many bloggers.

2. Now, today Greg McGarity says he wants to play SEVEN (7) HOME GAMES at Sanford.

D.A. He cannot have BOTH. The whole entire reason Georgia has the weakest Home Schedule of EVERY TEAM in America for games at Sanford Stadium is one (1) item only : The Florida Game is ALWAYS played in Jacksonville.

If you want 7 Home Games at Sanford, then we bring the game to our house PERMANENTLY. Let them do whatever they want with their Home Game.

Don't expect a tennis player who never coached anything ever, to figure this out that he cannot say he wants 7 Home Games and at the same time in the same damn breath quickly point out to every Florida Fan hanging on his every word for a day or 2 after coming here if he would give up the secret for Florida that the Jacksonville Gator Bowl is a HOME GAME for Florida.

Seth said...

I agree with Andy. Until the criteria to make the National Championship changes here is the current formula for an SEC team to make the Big Game.(Win your SEC games + cupcake out of conference schedule + SEC CHAMPIONSHIP win = NATIONAL CHAMPION CONTENDER). No other conference has a more straight forward route, that is why those teams must play tougher out of conference games. I like the big time, out of conference match-ups better when they are at the end of the year for the National Title and BCS Bowls than for win number 3 on a September weekend.