Georgia could travel to Auburn for the second consecutive year as well as host Alabama in 2013, according to a report by Matt Smith of SouthernPigskin.com.
“Major changes” are reportedly coming to the 2013 SEC schedule, and one of them has a few teams playing a conference game at the same location in 2013 and possibly in 2014 as well.
“Some interesting games will have to go back to a certain venue [two years in a row],” SEC consultant Larry Templeton told Smith.
In addition, Templeton said that SEC teams will have three division home games and three division away games each year. Some schools don’t currently fall under that setup, such as Alabama (four home games) and Texas A&M (two home games).
According to Smith, the easiest solution is as follows:
The easiest solution is for either Ole Miss or Mississippi State to face Alabama on the road and Texas A&M at home for a second straight year in 2013, ensuring both the Crimson Tide and Aggies revert back to three home games and three away games within the division. This also would allow either Ole Miss or Mississippi State to avoid playing at Alabama and at LSU in the same season going forward, as they both currently do.
However, due to the cross-division permanent rivals, the above scenario may not be possible. Smith speculates that the “logical solution” will be for all permanent rivalry games to be played at SEC West stadiums in 2013. That means that Georgia would return to Auburn for the second consecutive season.
Georgia and Auburn haven’t met at the same location in consecutive years since they played in Columbus, Georgia from 1950 through 1958.
Templeton would not confirm that this is the plan, but did say that “realistically that’s the way you want it to work.”
Under the old schedule rotation prior to Missouri and Texas A&M joining the conference, the Bulldogs were slated to travel to Alabama in 2012 and host the Crimson Tide in 2013. Instead, Georgia traveled to face Missouri and completed their rotation with Ole Miss.
It’s very likely that Alabama will come on to the schedule in 2013 since the Bulldogs haven’t played them since 2008. As indicated earlier, if all permanent rivalry games are played at SEC West venues, then all rotating games would have to be hosted by SEC East teams. That could bring the Crimson Tide to Sanford Stadium.
A second possibility is the LSU Tigers. Georgia hasn’t faced them in the regular season since 2009.
Smith then makes note of another scheduling issue if Georgia does play at Auburn in 2013. The Bulldogs currently play at Georgia Tech in odd years and may not want to play both late-season rivalry games in that manner.
The Yellow Jackets could be in favor of switching their 2013 game to Athens to alleviate their own schedule. Tech currently plays at Clemson, Virginia Tech, and Georgia in the same season.
If all of the above holds true (except a GT switch), Georgia’s 2013 schedule could get a lot tougher. Here’s how it would stack up:
- at Clemson (8/31)
- North Texas (9/21)
- Florida (11/2, at Jacksonville)
- Appalachian State (11/9)
- at Georgia Tech (11/30)
- South Carolina
- at Auburn
- at Tennessee
- at Vanderbilt