SEC homebodies

Georgia football coach Mark Richt may not always play his games close to the vest but he plays them close to home.

For the past decade the team bus could reach most of the Dawgs' non-conference road destinations on one tank of gas. This idea is supported by two amazing stats that have come to light this week regarding the apparent reluctance of the UGA football team to venture far from its Athens campus.

AMAZING STATISTIC NO. 1: Georgia's visit to Arizona State this fall marks the Bulldogs' first game played outside the Southeast since 1967 and its first trip west of the Central Time zone since 1960.

AMAZING STATISTIC NO. 2: According to Matt Hayes of Sporting News, the Dawgs traveled a paltry 358 miles (one way) for all of their non-conference road games between 1998 and 2007.

Helping keep Georgia's travel budget to a minimum in recent years is the fact its most heated annual rival, Georgia Tech, is located just 60 miles away in Atlanta. How convenient is that?

Here's another interesting stat: The Bulldogs' 2007 non-conference schedule consisted of a road game at Tech, plus home games with Oklahoma State, Western Carolina and Troy. Thus, UGA's travel budget for last season's non-SEC games consisted solely of the costs incurred in busing the official travel party 60 miles from Athens to Atlanta.

This year's schedule also includes just one non-conference road game. Besides the 1,900-mile excursion to Tempe on Sept. 20, the Dawgs' other non-conference games – vs. Georgia Southern, Central Michigan and Georgia Tech – all will be played Between the Hedges.

Georgia's "No place like home" philosophy in terms of football scheduling is in stark contrast to that of Tennessee. The Vols have exhibited a willingness to span the globe in search of a good game.


Tennessee traveled 1,931 miles (one way) to Pasadena to face UCLA in 1994 and 1997. The Vols are going back again this September.

Tennessee traveled 641 miles to visit Syracuse in 1998.

Tennessee traveled 415 miles to challenge Notre Dame at South Bend in 2001 and again in 2005.

Tennessee traveled 738 miles to visit Miami in 2003.

Tennessee traveled 2,109 miles to face California at Berkeley in 2007.

Bottom line: Whereas Georgia traveled just 358 miles for non-conference road games between 1998 and 2007, Tennessee's total for the same time frame (not counting the three trips to Pasadena) was 4,318 miles.

Inside Tennessee Top Stories