Auburn football: It’s time to settle up, play Georgia in Athens back-to-back seasons

Ryan Davis and Auburn beat Georgia in Jordan-Hare Stadium last season, 40-17. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Ryan Davis and Auburn beat Georgia in Jordan-Hare Stadium last season, 40-17. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

For the betterment of Auburn football, it’s time to make a sacrifice.

At some point in the coming years, Auburn needs to play at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga., two years in a row. That won’t be well received when it arrives, but in the long-term, it makes sense. Georgia did it for us (in 2012 and ’13, the Bulldogs and Tigers split back-to-back games in Jordan-Hare Stadium), so why shouldn’t Auburn repay the favor?

When I was a student at Auburn, the Tigers played Georgia at Jordan-Hare Stadium in three out of my four years because SEC expansion threw a wrench at everyone’s schedules (DawgNation’s Chip Towers provides a good explanation of the Auburn/Georgia scheduling issue here). Don’t get me wrong, it was great to see a rivalry game at home that many times. But by doing so, it hurt the Auburn program.

Auburn plays Georgia and Alabama on the road this year (after beating both of them at home last season), in a season where Auburn has the talent to reach the College Football Playoff. Throw in the season-opening game against expected top 10 team and playoff contender Washington on a neutral field in Atlanta and you have one brutal schedule. That schedule would wear down any team. With no home-field advantage to end the season, Auburn’s lofty postseason hopes could dashed in the final weeks.

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That’s why I propose we make a the change. Auburn football should take the hit and play at Georgia in consecutive years. It’s only a one-year difference and, in the long run, wouldn’t you rather have a little more balance toward scheduling for the end of the year?

Sure, playing Georgia and Alabama at home in the same year was fun last season. But the grueling way the season ends this year outweighs the joy of hosting both in one year. Some might argue that Auburn’s lack of experience playing in big games away from the safety of its home turf resulted in its postseason collapse.

For the future of the Auburn program, let’s bring some balance to the schedule. Not surprisingly, Georgia coach Kirby Smart is in favor of this idea . After all, the Bulldogs have to travel to Georgia Tech on the years that they play at Auburn as well. So let’s make a small sacrifice in order to bring balance to Auburn’s annual schedule.

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