Daily Archives: May 16, 2008

Keep telling me I’m crazy.

Here’s the textbook definition of mission creep, as it pertains to D-1 football playoffs:

“It’ll start off with plus-one, then it’ll go to four or eight or 16 at some point in time — just like the NCAA (basketball) tournament,” he said.

That quote comes, not from some lowly blogger or a pundit, but from Florida State University President T. K. Wetherell.

He’s pretty dismissive about the obstacles to a playoff that many cite.

“In my judgment, if you take every argument that’s been made today and apply it to any other sport on a college campus, then you’d have to cancel the (College) World Series, the Final Four, the soccer tournament,” he said. “If you want to do it, it can be done. …

“Everybody’s going to be sitting here — I don’t know, probably not in my lifetime at Florida State — saying, `You know, we really could move this back. And, by the way, we do play 63 baseball games and we play baseball through two final-exam periods, not one. Somehow, they all seem to graduate and do pretty good. Oh, those basketball players, we have a real problems with academics in basketball, but we seem to play right on through the tournament.”‘

Once the problems are solved and the “ungodly amount of money that it will produce” starts rolling in, Wetherell expects everyone decide it’s a good thing and want more of it.

And in the end, it’s not about the fans, it’s about something else.

“We’ll spend all that money. We’re not going to bank it,” Wetherell said. “Then the question will be, `Where do I get me more money?”‘

A playoff will be the logical alternative, Wetherell said.

“And the fight won’t be over whether we do it or not anymore,” he said during a break following the session. “The fight’s going to be on the split. It’s going to be a totally different discussion.”

Be careful what you wish for, folks. Remember that you won’t be taking part in the decision making process. You just get to enjoy the results.

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UPDATE: Dennis Dodd has more from Wetherell.

A college football playoff is inevitable. That against-the-tide prediction comes from Florida State president T.K. Wetherell. All he has to do is look at the gas pump.

“How am I going to get people to drive from Miami to Tallahassee, Fla., with gas at four dollars a gallon, to watch us play UT-Chattanooga?” Wetherell said Friday.

No disrespect to Chattanooga (OK, maybe some), which comes to Florida State for the 2008 season’s second game, but Wetherell suggested we might be reaching that playoff tipping point. It will take some kind of financial crisis, he said, to make hard-line Division I-A presidents change their view of a playoff.

So, what’s gonna happen is that fans will keep buying ever more expensive gas to travel to see all other organized sports that have playoffs, but will desert college football in droves.

It doesn’t take as much depth to manage a $1.5 billion a year budget as I thought.

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4 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Just wonderin’

Gosh, what about all that recently babbled “now there’s so much parity in college football” stuff we keep hearing about?

The more things change, yada, yada, yada…

1 Comment

Filed under SEC Football, The Blogosphere

Baby’s in black, and I’m feeling blue.

Another day, another NCAA-commissioned report on revenue generation in college athletics.

The bottom line regarding the bottom line:

The amount of money the nation’s highest-level college athletics departments are receiving as subsidies from their schools is rising, according to a report by the NCAA.

The report, which examines the revenues and expenses of Division I athletics programs for fiscal years 2004, ’05 and ’06, also shows that:

•Without subsidies, athletics departments at 19 of the 119 schools in Division I-A (now known as the Football Bowl Subdivision) made money in fiscal 2006 — up from 18 in ’05 and ’06 — and 16 did so over the three-year period.

•A little more than half of the I-A schools (67 of 119) made money on football or men’s basketball (68 ) in fiscal 2006, based on revenues those programs generated.

The NCAA has done similar studies, but this is the first time revenues were identified by whether they were generated by the athletics department or from the school.

And why another report, you ask?

“One of the many goals was to get more information in a more standardized way,” NCAA research director Todd Petr says. “We’re trying to get a better handle on the cost of the enterprise from the standpoint of the institution, not just the athletics department.”

For the study, athletics-generated revenues were defined as those from sources such as ticket sales, conference revenue sharing and donations. School-allocated revenues were those from sources such as student fees and direct and indirect institutional support, including utilities and maintenance.

This methodology rose from a collaboration between the NCAA and the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO). The partnership was developed at the request of college presidents, said Stan Nosek, vice chancellor of administration at the University of California-Davis and a member of the NACUBO/NCAA Task Force Oversight Committee. Schools’ differing accounting methods have made it difficult for university administrators to have numbers they could compare.

“There are so many questions being asked about the amount of money that’s going into athletics,” Nosek says. University officials “wanted to have clean data about what they were spending and how it compares to other schools.”

There is “growing concern” among presidents about making sure they fully understand how much their schools are subsidizing athletics, Nosek says, because “when some programs require more institutional support, it takes away from the core mission.”

Maybe it’s just me, but there’s seems to be a pretty steady drumbeat being sounded these days regarding rising expenses in college athletics (in other words, coaches’ salaries and sports facilities). It’s reminiscent of what the baseball owners were yammering about in the ’80s and ’90s in the wake of free agency and it’s likely to be about as effective. Unless, of course, the NCAA can get its hands on its version of the Holy Grail: anti-trust immunity.

Again, maybe it’s just me, but there’s a paranoid tickle in the back of my brain that has me wondering if there’s not a trade being contemplated by Miles Brand and the likes of folks like Rep. Neil Abercrombie – something along the lines of giving the NCAA and the college presidents the anti-trust exemption they crave in return for active support to reform the D-1 football postseason. I think that’s a deal the college football powers that be would make all day long and twice on Sundays. It’s Michael Adams’ “core mission”.

Two last items of note:

… The report showed that for the 67 I-A football programs that showed a program-generated surplus in fiscal year 2006, the average surplus was nearly $8.8 million, while among the 52 programs that showed a deficit, the average deficit was a little more than $2.5 million.

The report also showed that for the 19 I-A athletic departments that showed a surplus in fiscal 2006, the average surplus was nearly $4.3 million, while among the 99 departments that showed a deficit that year, the average deficit was a little more than $8.9 million.

Football sure pays a lot of bills, doesn’t it? In case you were wondering why the money keeps getting laid out for coaches and facilities…

2 Comments

Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

2008: Vegas vs. The Pundits

Check out this post at The Money Line Journal.

The pundits’ love for Ohio State and Georgia in the preseason evidently isn’t matched by the guys setting the odds, who prefer Southern Cal and Florida.

6 Comments

Filed under College Football

If Gamecock fans didn’t exist, we’d have to invent them.

There’s just something so pure about ‘em. Every year, they get their guts ripped out by underachieving quarterbacks (who were destined for Heisman greatness before the season started), coaches with MNC rings on their fingers who get dragged down to the level of the program and defenses loaded with all-SEC talent (just ask them!) that end up the season looking up from the bottom of the conference stats.

Yet every year they’re back predicting how their team is going to take the SEC and the college football world by storm.

Like this guy, whose post is a distillation of the blind optimism, lack of logic and sensitivity to any hint of inferiority about the program that seemingly marks every USC fan from birth.

He’s somebody who can say, in dismissing eight (!) interceptions in a spring game that was structured to be as quarterback friendly as possible, “It’s always dangerous to make judgments based on one game…”, yet has no problem doing exactly that when he writes “Mr. Stafford, meet Mr. Brinkley. Again.” (With a bonus Quincy Carter reference tossed in, to boot…)

Yeah, dude: 16-12, 16-12, 16-12. I get it.

(h/t Brisco @DawgRun)

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UPDATE: Groo notes that reality can have its ugly side.

11 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, The Blogosphere, The Evil Genius