The UGA Athletic Association announced today that Georgia and UCLA have agreed to a home-and-home football series in 2025 and 2026. Both games will be season openers for both teams, with the first game being in Pasadena on August 31, 2025, and the second being in Athens on September 5, 2026. That's right... the Dawgs will be playing at the Rose Bowl.
Georgia has a couple of significant historical connections to the Rose Bowl that make this more than just a cool road trip, too. The one most people remember is the 9-0 Georgia victory over these same UCLA Bruins in the 1943 Rose Bowl, which featured 1942 Heisman Trophy winner Frank Sinkwich, future Maxwell Award winner Charley Trippi, and which put a nice little capstone on top of the Dawgs' first national championship season (during which they beat Florida 75-0). (Of course I'm going to mention that.)
Our second historical connection to the Rose Bowl is one not many people remember, though. In 1925, a longtime member of the UGA Athletic Department named Charlie Martin was invited by a friend from Alabama to attend the 1926 Rose Bowl game. While there, Martin was struck by the beauty and majesty of the lines of rose bushes that stood beside the field at that time. That impression stayed with him for the next few years, especially when University President Steadman V. Sanford asked Martin for his input into the design of the new stadium that the university was building next to the current (tiny) facilities. Martin mentioned the roses. It was determined that roses would not likely survive in the Athens climate, so Martin make the decision to go, instead, with a row of privet hedges encircling the field... and the rest is history, my friends.
Of course, we have seen the Dawgs schedule major matchups with both Pac-12 (Oregon) and Big Ten (Ohio State) opponents before, only to later cancel those series. Those cancellations were precipitated largely due to conference realignment, however, and it seems that the national conference landscape (at the top level, at least) is more or less stable for the time being. Still, it might be a good idea to make sure you get fully refundable plane tickets if you're going to purchase now.
Even so, when my family (hopefully) goes to Pasadena to watch the Dawgs in 2025, I will be 48 years old. My son will be 11. Eleven years old, and watching the Georgia Bulldogs play in the Rose Bowl.
I am jealous of my son.