With the game formerly known as the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party creeping up on us I pose a question to members of the group. Are the majority of "neutral field" games truely neutral? In my estimation not they are not. Florida and Georgia have only played two actual home games against each other since the game was first played 1915 and every year since 1933. The University of Florida campus sits 73 miles away from Altel Stadium while the University of Georgia campus is 342 miles away in Athens, or almost 5 times the distance. Ironically Georgia holds the all-time series lead in the rivalry with a 46-37 advantage with 2 ties. Look at the game results since the Stever Spurrier era at Florida though and Florida is pounding UGA 15-3 and they won both the actual home games in 94 and 95 due to the remodeling of Attel stadium. With the Florida fans not having to travel near as far to get to the game and all the tailgating people outside the stadium I would have to say that Florida has the advantage in this "Neutral site" game.
Not to be undone the Iron Bowl was another series that was supposedly held at a Neutral site for much of its existance with it being played at Legion Field in Birmingham since they renewed their series in 1948 after 31 years of not playing each other because neither school could agree on anything. Up until 1998 Alabama kept their home game in the series at Legion field so was Legion Field truely a neutral site? Allegedly it was because the tickets were split 50/50 but look at the results from the series and it would suggest otherwise. With Alabama holding a 32 to 16 advantage. Now since the series has allowed Auburn to hold its home game at Jordan Hare Stadium Auburn is 11-8 in the series over all and 7-1 since the games have been played at each others campus stadiums. That should show many of you that the game indeed was not played at a neutral site especially considering that Bryant-Denny Stadium is only a mere 56 miles away from Legion Field and Jordan-Hare Stadium sitting 113 miles away going nothing back back woods roads to get there compared to a straight shot on the interstate for Alabama fans. Just the fact that Alabama kept their home games at Legion Field should tell outsiders that the Iron Bowl even though technically was at a "neutral field" it was pro Tide crowds attending the games until 1989.
Another example that is not an SEC game but still a "neutral field" game is the Red River Shootout. The game is played in Dallas and to no surprise Texas leads the all time series 58 to 40. Now this game may be more neutral than the other two because Dallas is about halfway between both schools, and there is a large number of alumni from both schools residing in the greater Dallas area.
Personally for me I think the Florida/Georgia game should alternate between the Georgia Dome and Alltel stadium every year so that way if they aren't going to play at a truely neutral site then at least the home crowd advantage can be evenly distributed from a Florida crowd in Jacksonville to a Georgia crowd in Atlanta. Maybe then they can really say the series is played at Neutral fields. What do you guys think.