Daily Archives: December 28, 2008

An offer they couldn’t refuse.

Just how badly did Gene Chizik want that Auburn HC job?

Well, pretty damned badly, from this account:

… At Auburn’s insistence, Chizik didn’t use his agent, Jimmy Sexton, to negotiate a preliminary letter of agreement outlining the general terms of the deal. That’s almost unheard of for new coaches at major programs.

In addition, it appears that Chizik has cut ties with Sexton, although their working relationship was barely two years old.

Not only that, but…

A person familiar with the conversation said, after he was hired, Chizik told Jacobs, if he needed more money to help pay Auburn’s new assistant coaches, the AD should take $400,000 from the head coach’s salary.

So, Auburn gets a head coach who’s willing to submit to the demands of the higher-ups and to work for about half the money as the last guy.  That sounds like a hiring decision based more on a power trip than on success on the field, but maybe those guys are a lot smarter than we’re giving them credit for.  Or a lot luckier…

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UPDATE: Maybe they needed some of his salary to get this guy.  It looks like Auburn’s gonna double down on the spread.  So much for that Pat Dye face smashing offensive football we were hearing about.

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UPDATE #2: Sometimes I scare myself.  I can’t believe I called the Malzahn hire, even indirectly.

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Gene Chizik Is The Chiznit

This just in: bowl season hasn’t sucked.

If you’ve been boycotting the bowls for some misguided reason, you’ve been missing some good action.  Last night’s Emerald Bowl, for example, confirmed that Cal’s Jahvid Best lives up to his last name and that any last minute offense tied in any way, shape or form to Patrick Nix still can’t tie its shoes, metaphorically speaking.

But the real shame would be if you didn’t see the play of the postseason so far, by North Carolina’s Hakeem Nicks.

Pretty nifty catch in a great game.  The defender’s (#31) reaction is almost as good as the catch – he can’t believe it.

By the way, kudos to Pat White, who became the first quarterback in the college game to start in four bowl wins.  That’s unfortunate for us Dawg fans, but good for him.

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Filed under College Football

Should they stay or should they go?

By now, I assume that most of you have at least heard about the Chris Mortenson piece that popped up last night concerning NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s acknowledgement that the implementation of a rookie pay scale won’t become a reality any sooner than the 2011 season.  This, in turn, is supposed to be huge news for those of us who wonder if Stafford and Moreno will decide in a few weeks to make themselves eligible for next year’s NFL draft.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not seeing that news being much of a game changer.

First off, I was always skeptical that the wage scale would be imposed as quickly as many have assumed.  By all accounts, negotiations over the next NFL labor agreement are expected to be protracted – hell, the union hasn’t even named a successor to Upshaw yet.  So I’ve never been convinced that these guys were going to face a tough call over a salary cap to begin with.

Beyond that, though, is the reality that even if the reality of a cap were looming, it wouldn’t affect that many potential draftees.  David Hale’s got a pretty revealing Q & A with ESPN’s John Clayton about the impact of the wage scale at his blog.  This exchange seems to me to get to the crux of the decision:

DH: You mentioned that only the top 10 to 12 picks would be affected by the cap. How so?

JC: Everything else is in the slot right down the line. It’s just those top eight or nine players. The ninth pick maxed out at $15.45, the eighth pick is 17.4.

DH: So for a guy like Knowshon Moreno who might go later in the first, is the cap not really a big deal?

JC: If you’re told that you’re going to go 23 or 24 overall, you’re better if you’re an offensive lineman, a quarterback, a defensive tackle, you’re probably better served to stay. Now if you’re a running back, that’s different.

DH: So if you go by money, you think it makes a lot more sense for Stafford to go now?

JC: If you’re telling Matthew that he’s going to be top five, economically, it might be better to go. Playing-wise, it’s definitely better to stay because most of the quarterbacks who have stayed have wound up doing much, much better. Financially though, if you’re going to crack the top five, you’ve probably got to go now.

DH: There are those longterm ramifications to leaving early though, as you said. That still makes a difference, right?

JC: You’re not going to hold him for five years. You’re going to let him go after three or four or put him up for some way to get that big contract. Look at Aaron Rodgers. Ultimately if you’re good, you’ll get your money. And if Matthew thinks he’s good, even if he’s slotted in 2010, within three years he can come up and get that big deal making $15 million or $16 million. But if he wants the money now, he’ll be in position to get the money now. I just don’t know if he’s going to be top five.

In short, even if Stafford were a top five pick who got screwed by the cap, after three years, if he’s as good as we think he’ll be, he’ll get his money.  And if Moreno isn’t a top 10-12 pick, the cap doesn’t come into play anyway, yet there are still the same good reasons for a running back to come out early, cap or no cap.

In the end, who knows what these guys are thinking right now?  But I think Tim Tucker is close when he says what it comes down to for them is this:

Other factors that underclassmen generally consider when weighing whether to turn pro: where they are likely to be drafted; whether they think they would be drafted significantly higher a year later; whether they think their play is NFL-ready; and the risk of injury if they stay in school.

Your guess is as good as mine.

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Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness