Monthly Archives: February 2007

Revenge is a dish best served for $5, on a big screen.

A couple of days ago, in a post I linked to an article about Iowa State charging Iowa fans ninety bucks for a game ticket this year.

The Des Moines Register has a followup on the story. Evidently, Iowa is weighing the idea of opening its stadium up to its fans and showing the game on the big screen for a nominal charge (proceeds to go to charity).

The perfect summary of the situation is in a reader comment after the article from “JD55″:

This discussion has generated into the typical inbred fight over who has the biggest ****, when the real issue is whether either even has one…

Imagine what it would be like if those teams actually had anything meaningful to play for… besides inbred pride, of course.

 

(h/t The Wizard of Odds)

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Filed under College Football

Half the teams. Twice the money.

One more thing from that Anniston Star series on the finances of college athletics:

No doubt college basketball is a cash cow. CBS Sports paid the NCAA $432.6 million to broadcast the 2005 men’s basketball tournament, which earned an additional $29.4 million in revenue.

But the SEC, consistently one of the top basketball leagues, earned $12.5 million for its regular season basketball games, with 12 teams each playing 30 to 35 games per year.

With football and its 11- or 12-game season, the SEC earned $50 million for the regular season. [Emphasis added.]

According to a letter to Congress from NCAA President Myles Brand, 326 Division I men’s basketball programs brought in revenues of $789 million for 2005-06, while 117 Division I-A football teams brought in $1.6 billion.

Half the teams. Twice the money.

I know I can keep repeating this until I’m blue in the face, but you playoff proponents need to figure out how a D-1 football playoff isn’t going to wreck this math – especially if, once the NCAA gets involved, the moneys will be spread over far more teams.

It’s so easy.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs

There’s nothing wrong with making money.

The Anniston Star just ran a series on college football and college athletics revenue, cleverly titled “Field Gold”. You’ll find the gateway article linked here.

A few highlights:

  • Miles Brand’s defense of college athletics’ finances and its tax exemption boils down to “don’t hate us because we’re pretty”:

Brand warned against demonizing college sports because of their popularity.

“If the American public had the same popular interest in French lectures or accounting classes as they do in athletics, television would be just as eager to telecast those events and to sell commercial time to pay the rights fees,” he wrote. “Transforming those academic offerings into commercialized events would not undermine the educational purpose for which the offerings are made.”

  • Florida and Georgia share the SEC’s most stringent entrance requirements for student athletes.
  • Nick Saban may very well turn out to be worth that outrageous salary.
  • Vanderbilt actually has three professors who earn more than its football coach.
  • Kentucky may be a basketball school, but it generates a lot more money (and profit) from football.
  • Evidently there are a bunch of cheap bastards running the Michigan athletic department.

Check out the “Sports Money Charts” link at the end of the article. Take a look at how much revenue Florida generated for the SEC as a result of being in the BCS title game. If you were an SEC AD, you may not have rooted for the Gators to win, but you sure had to be happy they were there.

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Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football, The NCAA, Whoa, oh, Alabama

Hey, meester!

Some stories just write themselves.

Mike Price in Juarez, Mexico.

Mike Price said: “We’ve never been there before, so it’s kind of a cultural experience for us.”

Aye caramba

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Filed under General Idiocy

Spring practice depth chart

Rivals has a tentative depth chart up for Georgia’s spring practice.

One thing that jumps out immediately: Redshirt freshman Josh Davis is listed as the starting left tackle. His backup is true freshman Trinton Sturdivant.

That’s Stafford’s blind side. Whoa, baby.

Vince Vance is listed at the starting right tackle. If that held up until fall, Georgia would be starting two tackles that had never taken a snap in a D-1 game until the opener against Oklahoma State.

And you can add Chris Davis at center to that mix, too.

Coach Searels better be a miracle worker…

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Filed under Georgia Football

Need another reason to oppose NCAA playoff for D-1 football?

No booze.

And not just at the stadium, either.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Speed kills, dog…

I generally could care less about what’s going on at the NFL Draft Combine, but one nugget stands out.

As I assume most already know, Reggie Ball is at the combine trying to make it as a receiver (a good move in and of itself, as the pro market for short quarterbacks with poor decision making skills and accuracy issues is a little thin this year).  Hoping to show as the next Antwan Randle-El, Dog turned in a scintillating 4.8 40 yard time.

Just to put that in perspective, David Greene turned in a 4.74 40 yard time when he ran in the combine a couple of years ago.

Get that degree, Dog.  You’re gonna need it.  It’s either that, or Arena ball…

(h/t 4 Word Fight Song)

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Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football

Born under a bad sign

I don’t know how I missed this touching recruiting story:

Donald Stephenson wakes early in the cold morning, takes a shower and grabs his new Oklahoma hat with tags still attached. He’s ready for his big moment.

It’s national signing day, when high school boys and girls celebrate their athletic achievements, and the Sooners need Stephenson’s letter of intent faxed in immediately.

Stephenson and his mother, Ethel, walk silently to his car. A radio station in Oklahoma calls his cell phone for an interview. He doesn’t wear a white dress shirt, necktie or slacks. Stephenson’s clothed in a Scarface hoodie and jeans. There’s no special ceremony set up at Blue Springs High School. And Stephenson can’t walk inside there anyway, so he’s heading to Office Depot.

On Wednesday, national signing day, Stephenson, the Central transfer whose injury-depleted senior season at Blue Springs helped him earn a Division I scholarship, was serving a 10-day suspension. A few weeks back, Stephenson went to a school dance, and, as he describes, ran into some “bad luck.” As for Stephenson’s actions that night, Blue Springs athletic director Tim Crone says it led to a “discipline situation that we’re handling at school.”

So when television stations called Blue Springs to stage a signing-day shoot with its biggest recruit, Wildcats coach Kelly Donohoe asked them to come another day…

And there’s more:

The day after Christmas, Stephenson went to a movie with two friends. The show was sold out, and, instead of sitting inside a darkened theater, Stephenson spent that night in a Leawood jail cell. Stephenson was arrested and charged with multiple counts of burglary of a motor vehicle, theft and criminal damage.

“I just had bad luck, that’s about it,” Stephenson says. “I’d rather not talk about that. I’ve never went through anything like this, and it’s all just piling on me my senior year.”

A Texas blogger has a couple more observations.

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Filed under Crime and Punishment, Recruiting

Even more SEC stats

Mergz, at Saurian Sagacity, puts his recruiting/results analysis on the line with this prediction for the upcoming SEC season:

His initial projection showed Florida with 14 wins, Tennessee and LSU with 12 wins, Georgia with 11 wins and Auburn with 10 wins. He recognizes that it’s unlikely that scenario would play out in reality, so the chart above is his “modified predictor” for the SEC regular season. What he doesn’t state in his post is what formula he used to make those modifications.

Meanwhile, over at Statistically Speaking, there’s a post up that takes a look at the 2006 SEC season from the perspective of teams points scored and allowed relative to the league average and standard deviation. Taking into consideration that his formula does not adjust for schedule strength for conferences where each team does not play each other and also ignores special teams, there’s still a lot of interesting information to glean from his post.

Here’s a few things I noticed:

  • As expected, LSU squandered a significant statistical advantage over the rest of the SEC. On paper, this was the team that should have emerged from the conference to play for the MNC.
  • As almost anyone with a pair of eyes could have confirmed, Florida wound up in the MNC because of its fantastic defense and because Meyer was a good enough coach to get his team through a series of squeakers.
  • Turnover margin made a huge difference for Kentucky last year.
  • We knew Georgia’s schedule was favorable last year. I just didn’t realize it would come out being as weak as it appears here.

He concludes with a look at SEC teams likely to improve (‘Bama and South Carolina) or decline (Kentucky, Arkansas and LSU). I agree with him on Kentucky (unlikely that the superb turnover margin for ’06 will be repeated), Arky (I think the offseason distractions will be a problem throughout the year, although with that schedule, wins won’t fall too much from last year’s 10) and Alabama (good talent base, weak schedule and better offensive playcalling should equal a win or two more). However, SC’s schedule is a killer and LSU has way too much talent for a falloff, even with Miles’ track record there for losing a game or two he shouldn’t.

Also, take a look at the two posts he links to near the end of his post. He suggests that having to replace a starting quarterback is more likely to be a negative for a team than a returning quarterback is a positive. If that’s the case, things at Florida and LSU could be interesting…

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Filed under SEC Football, Stats Geek!, The Blogosphere

Thumbnail sketch: SEC spring football

Like I’ve said, every once in a while, TSN’s Tom Dienhart does a passable job.

He’s got a column up today that takes a look at each SEC school’s offensive and defensive priorities entering spring practice. It’s a decent summary, even if it’s a bit obvious in some cases.

Here’s what he notes about Georgia:

Spring practice starts/game: March 5/April 7

OFFENSE

1. The line needs to be stabilized with only two starters and four lettermen back. Keep an eye on two redshirt freshmen and two JUCOs.
2. The job of whipping the line into shape belongs to new coach Stacey Searels, who arrives from LSU. Is he up for the job?
3. Keep an eye on WR Sean Bailey, who’s trying to come back from a knee injury.

DEFENSE

1. The unit must break in three new starting linebackers.
2. The staff will search for two new ends with Quentin Moses and Charles Johnson gone.
3. Depth along the interior line must be developed.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, SEC Football