Announced shortly before last night's game with the Clemson Tigers, The Chick fil A Kickoff Gamehas chosen Auburn to be one of the teams selected to play in a double-header lineup in 2012 to go alongside the Tennessee-NC State game with of all teams--CLEMSON!! Huh-wha?
Forgive me if I'm a little underwhelmed, and please don't think I'm not thankful you gave Jay Jacobs another chance
to turn you down, but was no one else available? We just played Clemson last night, and what a contest that was, but our return game is the third one out of the gate next year, to be played in Death Valley. Excuse me if it seems like Tigers/Tigers might be a little stale by the following year.
The lineup of games hasn't quite been figured out, so there's no mention of which SEC/ACC game might be the featured match. Tickets will be evenly split among the teams and the early line is that another Blue-Out might be a good idea.
Said Jay Jacobs of the announcement: "This is a great opportunity for Auburn to play a high-profile game in an outstanding venue at the Georgia Dome. Atlanta is home to thousands of Auburn alumni, and it’s an easy drive for the Auburn family. The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game is a first-class event, and we are excited about our student-athletes getting the chance to play Clemson. Of course, our goal is to get to Atlanta at the end of the season, and having the chance to open there will be an advantage for our football team. Scheduling this game in 2012 allowed us to keep our commitments in terms of existing contracts while also meeting our goal of scheduling a high-quality BCS non-conference opponent in addition to our schedule of eight Southeastern Conference games. This is a win-win for Auburn and for the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game."
Okay, with the comment about commitments being kept, I'm going to give Jay Jacobs the benefit of the doubt and believe that it was probably a play Clemson and that's it proposition and we couldn't say no to the Chick fil A Kickoff Game twice in a row. It's obvious that the Atlanta Sports Council, who manages both the Kickoff Game and the Chick fil A Bowl, has doubled-down on SEC-ACC matchups in an effort to stave off strong moves by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones from drawing away the spotlight with kickoff games of his own to be played at Cowboys Stadium. Earlier this month, it was announced that LSU will play Oregon to start the 2011 season in what's being dubbed The Cowboys Classic.
Even if it is an arms-race of sorts to have bowl-like match-ups at the beginning of the year, as a CFB fan, you gotta love it! See ya in Atlanta!