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The 2020 Georgia Tech Game Is Cancelled. I Hope The Series Never Returns.

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NCAA Football: Georgia at Georgia Tech Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday the SEC decided that the 2020 season will consist of ten conference only games. After the ACC announced that they would institute a schedule with ten conference games and one out of conference contest, the SEC’s decision came as a surprise to some. The ACC made the first move. The reason for that move. at least on some level, was to ensure that the SEC would look like they were ducking their in-state ACC rivals if they didn’t follow suit and keep a single conference game on the slate. The issue was that only four SEC teams have in-state rivals in the ACC.

It is logical for the SEC to prioritize the completion of a conference season and the crowning of a conference champion. If that doesn’t happen, it will be hard to put an SEC team in the College Football Playoff. The league gets money for doing that, and whichever SEC team survives a ten game slate against its brethren will deserve a shot at the national title. In a year that will most certainly involve postponements and the loss of players due to Covid-19, it doesn’t make sense for the ten other SEC schools to risk injuries and take up a week on their schedule that may be needed for a previously postponed game so Georgia-Georgia Tech, Kentucky-Louisville, South Carolina-Clemson and Florida-Florida State can play.

When the SEC’s scheduling announcement came down, some Georgia fans were considering questions like where the Georgia-Florida game will take place in 2020. Others were wondering what two SEC teams will be added to UGA’s schedule, and when an announcement will be made.

Predictably, Georgia Tech fans were thinking about the only thing that makes their team relevant for one week every year- the Georgia Bulldogs. Even the media members who cover Georgia Tech were upset...

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First of all, I am pretty sure Georgia would be fine with playing a game in a stadium they haven’t lost in this century. Especially when you consider how Bobby-Dodd Stadium looks like Sanford South whenever the Bulldogs come to play the Yellow Jackets.

Georgia Tech University Yellow Jackets

Secondly, if anyone thinks Georgia Tech has any leverage in a negotiation with Georgia they are outside their damn minds. Georgia Tech desperately needs the Georgia game, and that is why Georgia should refuse to play it going forward.

When they play the Bulldogs, Georgia Tech gets their biggest stage of the season. A program that is in the doldrums gets free press and exposure because they happen to reside in the same state as the team that Kirby Smart has built into a power.

A Georgia Tech team that has nothing to sell to recruits gets a national television stage. Georgia Tech can’t fill their stadium with their own fans, but Georgia has such a rabid following that the Bulldog faithful does the task for them. That gives the Yellow Jackets their biennial recruiting weekend where recruits might just see an atmosphere that looks exciting to play in front of. If the Yellow Jackets are really lucky, those recruits don’t notice that all the noise is coming from those dressed in red and black.

Some might argue that playing in Atlanta every other year helps Georgia recruit in the city. If you haven’t noticed, Georgia has played games in Atlanta against opponents other than Georgia Tech every year of Kirby Smart’s tenure. I’d much rather see Georgia play a team like Clemson, Florida State, Oregon, USC or Michigan in Mercedes-Benz Stadium than go play Tech at Bobby Dodd Stadium. At least those games would be exciting for UGA fans.

I know there are Bulldog fans reading this who hate this idea. You hate it because of tradition, but if 2020 has taught us anything it’s that having done something one way for a longtime is no reason to keep doing things that no longer serve us. The Georgia Tech game falls into this realm for UGA.

Two generations ago, Georgia-Georgia Tech was a marquee matchup that pitted two regional rivals who were often in the hunt for major bowl games and conference titles. That time is long gone. Bobby Dodd and John Heisman ain’t walking through that door.

Nowadays, the game serves as an annual gift from big brother to little brother. “Here you go kid, we’re gonna let you feel important for a few hours a year by sharing the field with you. Everyone knows that you’re our whipping boy, but we’re gonna give you a chance at upward mobility that you would never be able to earn without playing us.”

If Georgia Tech wins, it gives them a chance at high-school players who might not have considered them. It gives them a moment to be on the front page of the AJC’s Sports page for a reason other than losing to The Citadel. However that hasn’t happened more than three times in the last nineteen years.

Instead, Georgia-Tech usually realizes at some point in the third-quarter that the actual game is a lost cause. At that point, they decide to use the last half of football left in their season to dive at the knees of a team full of players who have an SEC Championship Game or an NFL Draft to look forward to. If you can’t beat em, hurt em. Right, bees?

With Paul Johnson’s triple option gone and no reason to throw cheap cut blocks, the Yellow Jackets decided to resort to a new low in the 2019 game when Tre Swilling baited George Pickens into kicking his ass.

Georgia Tech has no interest in playing football against Georgia. The Yellow Jacket program has reached a point where they have no hope of winning against the Bulldogs. The game is nothing but a potential land mine of injuries and fights for UGA.

When there is nothing to be won and everything to lose for one team, a game is no longer a rivalry. The time has come to end the series. If the Yellow Jackets can prove they are a worthy adversary again someday then perhaps the series should resume. In the meantime, Georgia shouldn’t provide Georgia Tech with the biggest potential lifeline they have out of the doldrums of the sport. Every time they take the field against the Yellow Jackets, that’s exactly what they do.