Georgia’s 2023 schedule has been heavily criticized. The Bulldogs’ schedule is pretty easy, especially when you look at Georgia’s nonconference slate. But it is not Georgia’s fault the Dawgs have a weak nonconference schedule.
Georgia’s nonconference schedule features home games against UT Martin, Ball State and UAB. Georgia also has a nonconference road trip to rival Georgia Tech. However, Georgia was originally scheduled to play at Oklahoma instead of hosting Ball State.
So why did Georgia schedule Ball State instead of Oklahoma?
SEC requested Georgia change its schedule
In 2022, the SEC requested the Georgia Bulldogs and Oklahoma Sooners not play each other during the 2023 football season. Accordingly, the University of Georgia cancelled its game at Oklahoma that was scheduled for Sept. 9, 2023.
SEC's statement to Georgia and Tennessee
Tennessee also had to cancel a future series with Oklahoma. The SEC released the following statement regarding why it requested Georgia and Tennessee to cancel games with Oklahoma.
The Southeastern Conference has directed the University of Georgia and the University of Tennessee to postpone scheduled football games versus Oklahoma because the transition of Oklahoma into the SEC will not allow for the involved institutions to fulfill their respective contractual nonconference home-and-home appearance obligations.
Because the second nonconference game in each of the Georgia-Oklahoma and Tennessee-Oklahoma series is scheduled to take place after Oklahoma joins the SEC in 2025, the conference is directing the postponement of the Georgia at Oklahoma game in 2023 and the Oklahoma at Tennessee game in 2024 until such time that those matchups become part of the conference rotation of games in future years.
Georgia would have been unable to play the return home game against Oklahoma in 2031.
The aftermath: Georgia has to find an opponent
In September 2022, Georgia learned it could no longer schedule Oklahoma on Sept. 9, 2023. College football programs typically schedule opponents several years in advance, so Georgia had to scramble to find an opponent. The Bulldogs ended up scheduling Ball State.
Who did Oklahoma end up scheduling?
The Sooners scheduled SMU for Week 2 of the 2023 college football season. Oklahoma is in its final season in the Big 12 before joining the SEC in 2024.
Biggest loser of the cancelled UGA-Oklahoma game
The biggest loser of the cancelled Georgia-Oklahoma are the fans. Georgia fans will miss out on a fun game between the Bulldogs and Sooners.
Georgia’s 2023 and 2024 home schedules leave a lot to be desired. The Bulldogs often play at neutral sites, which takes away opportunities for good on-campus home games.
When is the next time when Georgia and Oklahoma will play?
Georgia still does not have a future game scheduled with Oklahoma. The SEC has set its 2024 season schedule, but the conference is still deciding the future of the schedule and if it wants nine conference games per year.