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January 12, 2009

Competition for Georgia Dome's Season Kickoff Game

As you likely already know, the Georgia Dome will host Alabama vs. Virginia Tech in the Chick-Fil-A sponsored season kickoff event in 2009. The Atlanta Sports Council's Gary Stokan has described wanting to create a "Daytona 500 style" event that kicks off the season nationally with a bang.

Well, it looks like they have some new competition for that gig. ESPN and the Dallas Cowboys have entered into a new five year agreement to host a game Labor Day weekend at Jerry Jones new Cowboys Stadium starting in 2009. The first installment of this game will be Oklahoma vs. BYU.

I think UGA vs. Oklahoma State is still the second best game of opening Saturday, and we'll end up on ESPN or ESPN2 at night. JimFromDuluth shot me a note, and he thinks we end up at 3:30 on ABC for the first one.

Not that you asked, but if I were guessing right now at our start times for the first few weekends with only a glance at other SEC schedules:
    at Oklahoma State (ESPN2 twilight or later)
    vs. South Carolina (CBS 3:30 pm)
    at Arkansas (ESPN2 or ESPNU at night)
    vs. Arizona State (CBS 3:30 pm)
    vs. LSU (ESPN or CBS night game)
More on that topic later.



Anonymous said...


what about opening the season on Thursday night in Stillwater?
I have heard a little rumbling on this. What are you hearing?

Anonymous said...

That would be a Great Idea!!! Specially with SC the next week*

Josh D. Weiss said...

Spurrier barred from recruiting at Tucker High School.

Ubiquitous GA Alum said...

Opening on a Thursday in Stoolwater does make sense considering the SC game the next week, but isn't AD Evans on record saying that UGA will never play a Thursday night game?

BTW, both schools have to agree to the Thursday night game.

Anonymous said...

I believe the statement was we'd never play a Thursday night game at home due to the logistics. Not that we'd never play one. Southern Ca has played a few Thursday night games. It's good because you are the only game on that night. It wouldn't be a bad thing to open the season if it has to be a Thursday night deal

Paul Westerdawg said...

We will never play a Thurs game at home. We have already played a Thursday game. We played GT on Thanksgiving in 95. I was there.

If we keep playing OCC games on the road, eventually we'll end up with one on Thurs.

I heard those rumblings, too about OkSU. That's why I got a hotel room in Stillwater for Thurs night.

However, Dean Legge said he's talked with all involved at UGA, and there's nothing to that rumor.

Also, OkSU wants this game on Saturday, and they ideally want it at night. Boone Pickins didn't spend $165 million for his grand opening to be on Thursday.


BCS-Sucks said...

Is there no chance of the OKST game being the ABC night game?

Paul Westerdawg said...


Yes. There's a chance for ABC, ESPN or ESPN2 at night. The biggest games of the day are:

Bama vs. VT
UGA at OkSt
BYU vs. OU
LSU at Washington
Oregon at Boise

If I'm in charge, I'd go:

ABC 8:00 = Bama vs VT
ESPN 5:00 = UGA vs. OKSU
ESPN 8:30 = OU vs. BYU
ESPN2 5:00 = LSU at Wash
ESPN2 9:00 = Oregon at Boise

But they don't ask me. Yet.

Anonymous said...

Richt said earlier this season he would not mind playing a road game on Thursday night because it would allow more time to prepare for the next week's game.

BCS-Sucks said...

Right now, UGA/OKST is looking like a #8 vs. #13 type game... with Bama/VT looking like a #5 vs. #10 type game.

ABC and Gameday did the Bama/Clemson game in 2008 though... and it was over early. I'm thinking they will do the SEC/B12 game this year instead.

Brad said...

I would have loved to play a Thursday night game this year. Thursday January, 8.

By the way Paul, will you be giving travel info for the Stillwater trip like you did for ASU? It was very helpful for those of us that made the trip.

mitch said...

So are we done with those 12:30 kickoffs with raycom gone now? Those 12:30 kickoffs suck. If i guessed i would of thought the ESPNU games would be at 1:00 but later in the day would be fine with me.

Paul Westerdawg said...

Mitch - no. We're not done with those early games.

The ESPN deal has 12:00 or 12:30 slots. However, the additional ESPNU night game means more good games will air in quality time slots.

And there will be fewer non-televised games.

I think the loser is LSU's tradition. Their non-televised games used to be night games. More of their games will be televised meaning, they could end up playing a tomato can at 11 CST.

Paul Westerdawg said...

Yes. I'll try to have some Stillwater travel info.

Bernie said...

Hopefully Stillwater is better prepared for the onslaught of Dawg fans than Tempe was.

I may change my mind closer to game time, but I'm thinking right now I like a daylight kick for OSU. New starting QB, RB... The sunlight may help keep the nerves settled.

Just a thought...

Anonymous said...

A 3:30 (or 2:30 Central) game in Stillwater will be HOT!. I'd rather have the night game personally. Yes, Paul we need the Tempe-like Frommer's travel guide for Stillwater.

Bernie said...

Hot..? They said the same thing about Tempe. And that was nothing compared to a 12:30 kick in early September at Sanford.

But whatever gets us another non-conf win I'm up for...

Go Dawgs!

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