Georgia coach Mark Richt said Tuesday on the ESPNU College Football Podcast that he wanted to play Boise State in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic on Sept. 3 at the Georgia Dome so that the Bulldogs could reinsert themselves among the elite. When you go 8-5 and 6-7, as the Dawgs have done the last two seasons, the national discussion goes on without you.
“We knew that we had declined in our record,” Richt said. “We knew that we had declined in how people perceived Georgia football across the country. Playing a game against a top-five opponent to start the season we thought would be a good way to let everybody know we’re still around.”
Not to mention that the “neutral site” is the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, which is neutral the way that Greensboro Coliseum is neutral for North Carolina in the ACC Basketball tournament.
Richt said he got one more piece of information that helped him make the decision to play.
“Our athletic director, Greg McGarity, had told me that Boise State was a possible opponent and said that Kellen Moore was going to be gone. He was a senior. He was leaving. And so I believed him,” Richt said, laughing. “We set the game up, and afterward, I looked at the depth chart and realized he had another year to go. I was hoping he was going to turn pro. He didn’t.”
As scouts go, McGarity is a very good athletic director.
“I don’t know if he did that on purpose or not,” Richt said.
You get the feeling that the head coach is going to tease his boss about that one for some time to come.