ATHENS -- Georgias future football scheduling is on hold, as it weighs the potential impact of the new national playoff system.
But athletics director Greg McGaritys philosophy on non-conference scheduling doesnt appear set for any massive revision.
When he was hired two years ago, McGaritys first big act was canceling a planned series with Oregon. It marked a complete change from the attempts of his predecessor, Damon Evans, to spread the Georgia brand by playing out West. A planned home-and-home with Louisville was also canceled.
To be fair, McGarity was also responsible for last years season opener against Boise State, which was at the Georgia Dome. And he scheduled a series with Ohio State, only to have that school cancel it because of its own scheduling issues.
Still, McGarity says his main philosophy will remain to get at least seven home games every year.
To make the engine run, McGarity said, by way of explaining the financial importance of that philosophy.
Next year, because of opening at Clemson and also playing at Georgia Tech, Georgia will only have six home games. That will result in a budget void of around $2 million, according to McGarity.
So were already planning ahead mentally in fiscal year 2014, how do we deal with a loss in revenue for only having six home games, McGarity said. There are just so many things that you have to balance there. Obviously, financial resources (are) a huge part of this.
Still, there has been pushback from fans on the quality of the home schedule. This year the Bulldogs will host Buffalo, Florida Atlantic, Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech.
But even if he wanted to beef up future schedules, McGarity said it would be pretty hard. Why is that? Because other conferences -- the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 -- are going to nine conference games. Thats why Ohio State canceled the planned series. And its why Clemson briefly thought about it, before deciding it would still play the Bulldogs in 2013 and 2014.
Another possible impediment: McGarity expects more conferences to have conference games in September, rather than backloading them.
Its educating everyone on how difficult that is, McGarity said. Not only do you have nine conference games kicking in very soon, youve also got the dates. So many things would have to happen perfectly.
By this time, McGarity was hoping he would know a lot more about Georgias future football schedules.
Instead, he and the other SEC athletics directors could spend the rest of this month in a holding pattern, waiting not only for the SEC schedules for 2013 and beyond, but guidance for future non-conference scheduling.
The latter issue is now on hold because of the looming four-team playoff. The college presidents agreed to the new format last week, but they have not stipulated how the teams will be chosen and how much strength of schedule will matter.
Thats why McGarity is putting any non-conference scheduling on hold for now.
Theres just so many moving pieces with it, McGarity said. Those details will be so difficult to work through. I think its too early to tell right now what does that mean as far as strength of schedule until we all huddle and soak in all the information.