Georgia’s Saturday is open. Vanderbilt is unable to meet the SEC’s minimum roster requirements for the second time this season due to COVD-19, opt-outs, injuries and other issues and the match has been declared a no-match.
The game would be UGA’s fourth and final game at Sanford Stadium this year. The Bulldogs would hold Senior Day and honor those who credit Kirby Smart with keeping his team together and breaking the pandemic. When the UGA organization heard the news on Monday, they started scrambling to find a replacement game. So far those efforts have not been fruitful, but smart, in an interview on Monday morning 680 The Fan’s “The Front Row”, says they are still trying.
“Not yet,” said Smart laughing when asked if UGA has a game for Saturday. “We work, but it’s one of those things that we have a lot of control over and we can do very little about it. I know Dawg Nation is disappointed and I can tell you that our seniors are terribly disappointed, but we can’t do much now but focus on the next day and the next minute. “
The 2020 season and the year as a whole were tough for everyone. Many have changed their lives in ways well beyond college football. They have been affected by the coronavirus and the measures taken to mitigate its impact. Jobs have been lost, businesses have collapsed and people have died.
But as Smart often says, “determine what you can control”. For Georgia, this means trying to find a home game where it can honor its seniors and give fans who only have tickets to this one game the chance to see their team in person.
UGA fans are much more than just disappointed. They are probably angry and it is difficult to blame them. While Vanderbilt reportedly played against Tennessee last Saturday with only 18 exchange players on the defensive side of the ball, it actually played the game. It went from delaying a road game against 7-2 Georgia on December 5, to finding a way to play in-state rival Tennessee (2-6 at the time) at home on December 12, to canceling the makeup game with the Bulldogs set. before December 19.
Claiming that the Commodores shy away from the competition should be done with extreme caution, if you do at all, but the optic is hard to ignore if it negatively impacts the team you love. Dawgs247 has confirmed that attempts have been made to lure Colorado State to the Classic City, but those negotiations have failed.
There’s no telling how many different programs have been approached by UGA at this point, but since in practice Smart says the efforts are still ongoing, it’s probably safe to say the SEC has given its blessing. Smart has enough to keep him busy in the meantime. The NCAA’s early signing period begins in less than 24 hours, and the Bulldogs plan to sign at least 90 percent of their current commitment list. They could also expand the class with some top goals on the board.
Anyone who’s bleeding red and black hopes Smart will be pretty busy, including Saturday. There is hope for the moment that he will be, but the clock is ticking.