Daily Archives: May 29, 2007

“This is not about football,” Christian says. “It’s about how you treat a student athlete.”

Yeah, suuuure it is.

You’ve got to love the irony in this:

… Christian describes the suit as “taxpayer action” and argues taxpayer money was wasted because White failed to do his job. [Emphasis added.] The suit wants White to order a “good faith, full, complete and independent” investigation into the e-mail sent to Mustain. It also seeks an injunction to stop Sugg from paying White, who it alleges is in breach of his contract. It also seeks an injunction to stop White from paying any member of the football coaching staff “who are failing, or have failed, to carry out their mandatory contractual obligations.”

… These days, Freedom-of-Infomania is all the rage in Fayetteville. The university has received so many FOI requests in recent months, White says, it has had to hire an additional attorney. [Emphasis added.]

The capper?

“It’s a feeding frenzy out there,” says White, who is trying to conduct a search for an athletics director amid this environment. White is handling the search himself. He says he is putting nothing in writing and is not using his university cellphone.

(h/t Sunday Morning Quarterback)

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Filed under Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal

“A hundred million dollars is not going to sway us, when $2 billion didn’t.”

The college football world waits with baited breath for Bernie’s playoff plan to be unveiled at the SEC presidents’ meeting.

… The short version: Form a limited liability corporation that, like the BCS, would work outside the framework of the NCAA. Try to utilize the current bowl structure, but distribute revenue to all 119 Division I-A schools instead of keeping most of the money for the schools in the six “power conferences.” The market, Machen said, would determine whether to play an eight-team, 16-team or “plus-one” format.

Depending on who you listen to, that ol’ market sure can throw out some interesting figures:

… Machen believes money eventually will convince his fellow presidents to embrace a playoff. He said the current system doesn’t generate as much revenue as it should, especially considering college football’s massive popularity. He points to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, which brings in $545 million in television rights fees from CBS each year. Fox’s contract with the BCS to televise the Orange, Sugar, and Fiesta bowls and the BCS national title game pays $83 million a year. That contract runs through 2010, and Machen hopes presidents will consider a playoff before agreeing to a new deal.

“There may be – and you won’t know this until you test it – $100 [million] to $200 million that’s not on the table right now,” said Machen, who said he has spoken to media consultants about the dollar figures.

Jim Wheeler believes Machen’s math is wrong. Wheeler worked with a Swiss company called International Sports and Leisure in the late 1990s. The company, which has since gone bankrupt, offered about $375 million a year ($3 billion over eight years) to stage a 16-team playoff. Later, the company amended its offer to $2.5 billion for an eight-team playoff.

“The money is there,” said Wheeler, who now runs the Entrepreneurship Center at the University of Oklahoma’s college of business. “That’s the easy part. [Machen's figures] will be surpassed if there’s a true playoff.”

$2.5 billion for an eight team playoff?  No wonder the company went bankrupt.

It’s his naivete that’s so impressive.  Those pesky PAC-10ers and Big Ten folks?  Those Rose Bowl guys?  Screw ‘em if they don’t want to play with Machen:

… Machen hopes that if the other nine “bowl subdivision” conferences agree to support a playoff, the Big Ten and the Pac-10 would cave to pressure from their own fans.

“We may do it without them,” Machen said. “My approach would be that the other conferences and schools would devise a playoff system, and we’ll see if the Big Ten and the Pac-10 can stay outside of it. … With a lot more money on the table and a true playoff system, they’re going to say ‘Sorry, we’re going to Pasadena?’ We’ll see.”

You’re going to propose a true national championship playoff without USC, Michigan and Ohio State?  Yeah, that’ll work.

Maybe Bernie hopes that if he holds his breath until his face turns blue, they’ll cave.  If nothing else, that should be fun to see.

… Wheeler isn’t sure Machen, who as interim provost ran the University of Michigan during a presidential search that lasted from 1995 to 1997, remembers the power of the conference in which he once worked.

“If he thinks he can round up the troops and bully the Big Ten,” Wheeler said, “I’d buy some popcorn and watch it.”

By the way, here’s an enterprising reporter’s look at a 16 team playoff scenario.  All I needed to see was the first matchup to know how much this would suck.  Middle Tennessee State University.  Bleah. 

(h/t The Wizard of Odds)

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Matt Hayes inspired this post.

In fashioning a response to Matt Hayes’ ignorant shot at Georgia’s defense, I took a look at the Dawgs’ defensive stats for the past three seasons – VanGorder’s final year and Martinez’s first two years as defensive coordinators.

First, check out average yards per carry (ypc) rushing from month to month.

In 2004, it goes like this: 3.45; 3.19; 2.78; 1.71.

In 2005, it goes like this: 2.86; 3.75; 4.37; 4.61.

In 2006, it goes like this: 2.87; 3.33; 4.21; 1.62.

There’s a disturbing trend there. In ’04, the average ypc improved from month to month. With the exception of last year’s bowl game, the direction under Martinez has been the opposite.

Now look at the season rushing totals. [Totalled by games, attempts, yards, ypc and TDs.]

2004 12 421 1283 3.05 7
2005 13 486 1870 3.85 17
2006 13 433 1407 3.25 15

While the defense certainly made strides in 2006 in reducing average ypc, the number of rushing touchdowns remains significantly higher than it was under BVG. And don’t forget that the 2006 schedule was far softer than the ’04 and ’05 slates were (no LSU, no SECCG, for example).

Here are the passing defense stats for the same three seasons [totalled by games, attempts, completions, yardage, interceptions, TDs and passer rating]:

2004 12 326 180 2184 5 13 121.58
2005 13 369 211 2205 16 8 105.86
2006 13 342 182 1950 19 11 100.62

Not surprisingly, given Martinez’s prowess as a secondary coach, these numbers have improved noticeably over the past three years, particularly interceptions.

What this tells me roughly a hundred days out from the season opener is that Georgia fans should be much more concerned about the ability of the front seven to shut down the run in 2007 than about Bryan Evans’ inexperience.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

You had me at “unproven”.

Today’s exercise in lazy journalism comes courtesy of TSN’s Matt Hayes, who writes:

… The loss of star CB Paul Oliver (academics) leaves Georgia in a precarious situation in the secondary. The unit is just not that good in coverage and played poorly this spring. There was hope that the quick front seven–and Oliver’s ability to shut down one side of the field–would allow the unit to jell. Now the team likely will use unproven Bryan Evans and Asher Allen at corner. Though both have potential, they’ll struggle with little help from Ss Kelin Johnson and CJ Byrd, who aren’t necessarily cover guys. The loss of Oliver puts more pressure on FS Reshad Jones–a top recruit in 2006–to learn the nuances of the position and win a starting job in fall camp. Then there’s this hanging over the unit: The season opener is against Oklahoma State, one of the nation’s best passing teams. . . .

Look, it’s not unreasonable in any sense to have some questions about Georgia’s defense right now.  But to call Bryan Evans unproven is a reach, as he started several games last year and, along with Weston, significantly improved down the stretch.  Which, in turn, was a large reason the Dawgs’ pass defense stepped up in the last four games of the year.

How hard is it to do a little research before acting like you know something about a program?

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Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles