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Georgia Football

Legge's Thoughts: Kirby Smart's Georgia Bulldogs Only Get 8 SEC Games in 2024

June 1, 2023

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ATHENS - Kirby Smart and his Georgia Bulldogs will play only eight SEC games in 2024. 

That’s the news that came out of the league’s spring meetings, which have been more active than in past years. That’s the case because the league is trying to decide the best path forward for a league that just signed a massive ten-year deal with Disney before the addition of Texas and Oklahoma.

While the Sooners and Longhorns enter the SEC next fall it is clear that 2024 will be one of the final years the SEC has only eight conference games. Still, the league couldn’t get support, or perhaps the funding needed, to push league leaders to move forward with an additional game each year. 

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Georgia has already signed a contract extension with the City of Jacksonville to continue the series with the Gators in 2024 and beyond, so we already know Georgia will play Florida. The Dawgs will almost certainly play Auburn in Athens in 2024

It is less clear what else is on the horizon for Georgia - and the rest of the SEC for that matter. Georgia’s long-awaited trip to Texas A&M will most assuredly come in 2024. That game has been on the docket for some time, but it has never been announced. But long-standing games with Vanderbilt and Kentucky, which have taken place since before the SEC expanded in 1992, are unclear. 

It is also unclear if Georgia will play South Carolina in 2024 or on a yearly basis in the future. Carolina wants that game to continue, but it might not make the cut of the new world order that is the SEC in 2024. One can only hope the stupidly of playing Missouri every year has come to its logical conclusion. 

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The SEC is mandating that league schools play at least one power-five non-conference opponent. Georgia has two on its 2024 schedule - an opener in Atlanta against Clemson and the closing game of the season against Tech in Athens. 

Will league officials take note of Georgia’s out-of-conference schedule and maybe hold off on setting the Dawgs up with Alabama, LSU, Texas or Oklahoma in 2024? I wouldn’t hold my breath. First, the Gators play Miami and Florida State; LSU plays both USC and UCLA. That said, the reason for this new TV contract is precisely for games like UGA-Bama being played more often under a SEC TV contract rather than the College Football Playoff contract. 

Consider that Georgia and Bama have met five times since 2017. Only once has that game come in the SEC’s regular season. If Greg Sankey is going to bring Disney back to the table, which is something Dawg Post reported on this time a year ago, he’s not going to do that with Georgia-Missouri matchups… it is going to be the marquee games. That mean Georgia-Alabama, Georgia-LSU, etc. 

And for the record, all bets are off for 2024 and beyond. I can assure you a 9-game schedule is on the way in SEC play. That’s going to happen. This is a matter of when not if. Remember that SEC league games bring in more ticket sales each season for member institutions when compared to mid-level schools and their guaranteed payouts.

We will know who the Dawgs (and others) will play in 2024 in two Wednesdays when the league announces the league schedule for the entire conference that night. 

This is going to take some getting used to, but it will be a lot more fun. It will certainly be a better, but not perfect TV product. I can’t wait. 

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