I haven't posted anything in a couple of days, but the college football blogosphere has been active in my absence.
In the course of the discussion, fans of both the Wolverines and the Bulldogs have raised the point that it gets a bit hot and humid in Athens in September, which might affect adversely the willingness of the Maize and Blue to travel to the Empire State of the South to play a game in Sanford Stadium. While the Classic City climate is an established fact, I do not believe it should represent a substantial hurdle to making a Georgia-Michigan series a reality.
Although my desire to see such a series come to pass was heightened by the interaction between Georgia and Michigan webloggers, I have been in favor of an exchange of games between Ann Arbor and Athens for some time. I picked Michigan, in part, because the Wolverines were the last non-conference opponent the 'Dawgs played on the road in a regular season contest outside the South, so there is a certain symmetry to putting the Maize and Blue back on the schedule.
More importantly, though, Michigan is one of the most storied programs in college football and I believe Georgia should be playing other elite programs from around the country. Heading into the 2005 season, the Wolverines stood atop the college football world in winning percentage (.746), total victories (842), televised games (332), stadium seating capacity (107,501), and Big Ten conference crowns (42). The Maize and Blue have a legitimate claim to sporting the game's most recognizable uniforms and most familiar fight song. Michigan runs a reputable football program with an old school mentality. I respect Michigan.
I find it hard to believe that the Wolverines would turn into fraidy cats over a few additional degrees of average mean temperature . . . particularly in light of the fact that their arch-rivals, the Ohio State Buckeyes, are willing to travel to Austin to take on the defending national champions next September.
There is no historical evidence to suggest that the Maize and Blue are unable to compete with Southeastern Conference squads. The Wolverines are 18-5-1 all-time against S.E.C. schools and Michigan has a losing record against just one member of the league: Tennessee, against whom the Wolverines are 0-1. Michigan has posted a 6-3 record in neutral site contests against S.E.C. squads, eight of which were played in Florida and one of which was played in Louisiana. In road games against current S.E.C. teams, the Wolverines are 3-0-1. In their four previous trips to Southeastern Conference stadiums, the Maize and Blue have outscored present members of the league 75-5.
In light of the facts in the record, I don't buy the notion that Michigan can't compete in the heat and humidity of the Southeast. If that is a concern, however, there is a simple solution: play the game at night.
E.S.P.N. wanted to televise Georgia's 2005 season opener against Boise State, so the athletic authorities in Athens agreed to an evening kickoff. The weather, while not cool, was cooler than it had been in the daytime and the outcome of the contest between the Bulldogs and the Broncos did not appear to be affected in the slightest by the humidity.
Personally, I would enjoy nothing more than to be sitting in Sanford Stadium to see Georgia play Michigan beneath the lights in a nationally-televised early season cross-sectional showdown. By agreeing to an evening kickoff, we heighten the profile of the contest and eliminate a major objection to its being scheduled in one fell swoop.
The arguments for the series are strong and the objections against it are weak. Write your athletic director. Let's make this happen.
| ||Posted 1/19/2006 9:46 PM - 394 Views - 2 eProps - 2 comments|
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