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Georgia, UCLA cancel home-and-home series



Georgia, UCLA cancel home-and-home series

Georgia and UCLA are canceling a home-and-home series that was set to begin next year, citing the changes in the college football landscape.

Georgia was scheduled to play at UCLA at the Rose Bowl to open the 2025 season, with the Bruins going to Athens to open the 2026 season. But the series was arranged in 2015 when the two schools had different football coaches and athletic directors and when so much else was different.

Still, the news will be a disappointment to Georgia fans who were looking for another trip to Los Angeles, where they have seen their program get two of the most memorable wins of the Kirby Smart era: the Rose Bowl in 2018 in overtime over Oklahoma, sending the Bulldogs to the national championship game; and the 2023 national championship win over TCU at So-Fi Stadium.

Bruins fans will miss the chance to travel to Athens and the hope to score an upset over perhaps the nation’s preeminent program. And college football will not get what was to be a rare matchup: Georgia and UCLA have played only twice, most recently in 1983. But events since the series was scheduled led to the two programs deciding to cancel.

Marshall will replace UCLA on Georgia’s 2025 schedule. The Bulldogs have yet to find a replacement for their 2026 slate.

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Why the two schools backed out

Both teams are facing more difficult conference schedules than they anticipated long ago. UCLA is joining the Big Ten this year and will have a nine-game conference schedule. For a program about to deal with conference games against the likes of Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and Wisconsin, having to face Georgia was perhaps not ideal, though the Bruins have added future home-and-homes with Utah and Cal with their Pac-12 departure imminent.

(Although it could be argued that opening against the Bulldogs, and having all offseason to prepare for that, would make the rest of the season comparably downhill.)

Former UCLA running back DeShaun Foster was hired as the Bruins’ coach this offseason. (Jevone Moore / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Georgia, meanwhile, still only has eight conference games, at least during the 2025 season. But it’s a harder schedule thanks to the new SEC format. Next year will include home games against Alabama, Texas, Ole Miss and Kentucky, road trips to Tennessee, Mississippi State and Auburn and the annual Florida game in Jacksonville. There is also the annual game against Georgia Tech, which will be in Atlanta next year.

So the Bulldogs would have only six home games if they kept the UCLA trip.

The schedule then dovetails with the expanded College Football Playoff for Georgia’s reasoning: Playing at UCLA, which was solid under Chip Kelly but has not won 10 games since 2014, is high-risk and low-reward.

It would be a cross-country trip for both teams, which coaches don’t tend to be crazy about. So to voluntarily keep the game it had to be seen as extremely worth it.

What the teams have left on their schedules

Georgia’s road schedule for next year becomes much less attractive. No more Los Angeles trip, while still having Knoxville, Starkville, Auburn and Atlanta (for Georgia Tech).

The effect on Georgia’s 2026 home schedule is uncertain because it’s not known yet. The SEC is still debating whether to go nine games, so the only certainty in conference is playing Florida. But even the site of that is unclear with Jacksonville set to renovate its stadium.

Georgia does start another home-and-home in 2026: Louisville will host that year with the Cardinals going to Athens in 2027. There is no indication yet of that being in peril, but that could depend on whether the SEC goes to nine games.

Georgia also has series scheduled with Florida State (2027-28), Clemson (2029-30, 2032-33), Ohio State (2030-31) and NC State (2033-34).

Smart has been aggressive in nonconference scheduling, setting up series with Oklahoma and Texas before they joined the SEC, resulting in both series being canceled. The Texas series is essentially being played now as an SEC series, although Oklahoma isn’t scheduled yet.

UCLA’s conference schedule in 2025 includes home games against Maryland, Nebraska, Penn State and Washington and road games against Ohio State, USC, Indiana, Michigan State and Northwestern. There is also a game at Utah and a home game against New Mexico.

UCLA’s conference schedule in 2026 has home games against Illinois, Michigan State, Purdue, USC and Wisconsin and road games at Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota and Oregon. The nonconference schedule has games at Cal and against San Diego State and Nevada.

(Photo: Brett Carlsen / Getty Images)

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