Dawgs to Play N. Carolina in 2016 at Dome

ATHENS - It is a shame the Georgia Dome is being knocked down, but if you are going to go out why not go out with a bang?

Georgia, the biggest college football property in the state, will open up the final season of football with a Saturday season opener against North Carolina.

It is a great move.

Georgia needs to add opponents from major conferences that have a low shot of beating them, and that’s exactly what’s going on here. North Carolina is going to have a difficult time beating Georgia. Shoot, North Carolina is going to have a hard time getting its fans in the Dome.

The SEC has yet to nail down certain dates for the 2016 conference slate, but we now know the 12 teams the Bulldogs will play. I figured it was very possible that the Dawgs would open the season in the Dome in 2016 - I wrote as such a month ago. I also said that Carolina and Georgia could very well see each other, but that it might not be probable because the Heels have a road trip to Illinois scheduled for the week after the 2016 season opener.

But Carolina doesn’t seem scared - good for them.

Georgia, on the other hand, will enter the 2016 season with sky-high expectations. No one is expecting 2015 to be the season Georgia gets it done, but by the time 2016 rolls around the Bulldogs will be a veteran bunch nearly everywhere.

More than anything, however, I love that Georgia is scheduled to once again play in the Georgia Dome. They they are playing North Carolina makes it even better to me. The two schools, whose states actually share a border, have not played since the 1971 Gator Bowl (Georgia won 7-3) and have not met in the regular season since the Dawgs’ 28-3 win over Carolina in Athens.

The two schools have a ton in common. They are two of the oldest public schools in America… actually they argue about which one is older, but math would tell you that Georgia, in fact, is older. They are both outstanding institutions, but North Carolina is better. They are both founding and continue to be powerful members of their respective conferences. Both have a wine-and-cheese element to their fan bases. Both campuses are gorgeous.

Maybe the two schools are so similar because the states are similar. Georgia and North Carolina are the largest states in terms of population in the South. They both have a major city that is totally different than the rest of the rural state. (Before you mention Florida… Florida, is southern by geography, but not in mindset; Florida may as well be Arizona). Georgia and North Carolina have matured into industrial powerhouses in the New South, and their two major research universities reflect that.

Frankly, the two should play football and basketball against one another more often, but they don’t. Its odd. But now we get a shot to see something I’m always interested in seeing - Georgia play a pretty good out-of-conference foe at the start of the year.

The Bulldogs just hope it is not their final trip to the Dome that year. They’d like to play the first Saturday of December as well.

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