Mark Richt knows that a bowl matchup between his current team and the team he coached the past 15 seasons would be one of the more interesting ones of the postseason.
“I wouldn’t doubt that somebody would try to get that match up,” the first-year Miami head coach said Monday on the Joe Rose Show on 560 WQAM in Miami.
Richt’s Miami team is 8-4. Georgia, where Richt was head coach from 2001-15 before being fired at the end of the regular season last year, is 7-5 under first-year coach Kirby Smart.
A Georgia-Miami game may make a second-tier bowl game more appealing, but it could create some uneasy feelings for both coaches, their schools and the players who were recruited by Richt that remain on the Bulldogs’ roster.
An SEC vs. ACC matchup could happen in the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, Music City in Nashville (although a Big Ten opponent is likely this year) and the TaxSlayer in Jacksonville—all in the SEC’s pool of six bowls—or the Independence in Shreveport. Georgia isn’t expected to go to the TaxSlayer after being there in 2015 and 2013.
It appears unlikely that Georgia would look favorably on playing Miami. Bowl matchups will be announced Sunday.
Asked what input SEC schools can have on their opponent in a bowl game in case Georgia preferred not to play Richt’s team this season, league spokesman Herb Vincent said schools let the SEC know three or four bowls they prefer and the bowls select three or four schools they favor.
“From there, the conference makes its decisions on the Pool of Six bowls based on what is best for the league as a whole, with consideration for fan travel, previous matchups, etc,” Vincent said in an email. “Each bowl has its own method for determining the opponent based on its agreements with other conferences.”
The SEC tries to avoid repeat matchups in bowl games from the regular season or from a bowl the previous year, according to Vincent, although Georgia and Nebraska played in both the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
A Miami spokesperson and the ACC did not respond for comment last week on whether Miami or Richt could express a preference to the ACC about a different matchup.
Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity on Monday deferred any comments to the SEC.
Georgia junior tight end Jeb Blazevich last week said he had not thought of a possible Georgia game with Richt on the opposing sideline.
“Our mentality here is we’ll play anybody anywhere,” he said. “Any field, any team, I just want to play another game.”