Monthly Archives: February 2009

Saturday morning buffet

It’s raining and it’s the last day of February, so it’s not like you’ve got a lot to do at the moment.

  • Man, what’s gotten into Dennis Dodd?  A well-researched article on the current Congressional follies regarding the BCS?  Color me surprised and impressed.  Best line was his advice for the Mountain West’s conference commissioner:  “1) Visit while the lawmakers are actually voting on stuff; 2) Make your case to someone besides the appointment secretary.” True dat.
  • On the other side of the coin, Matt Hayes lives down to expectations with a “he’s tanned, rested and ready” piece about… Dennis Franchione.
  • A. J. Green isn’t worried about Joe Cox, or being double-teamed, either.  He’s just trying to live up to the Ray Goff mantra of getting “buttah and buttah”.
  • It looks like the Brian Butler saga is going to continue on for a while.  I have to admit I’m hoping that Bryce Brown confirms his verbal commitment to Miami when all is said and done, just so we can see what Randy Shannon does.
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2 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, General Idiocy, Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, Recruiting

New staff salaries: “We did step it up somewhat because of their pursuit.”

The AB-H has the story on the new football staff salaries here.

If you’re looking for the breakdown, it’s like this:

UGA Football coach Salaries

► Head coach Mark Richt: $2.8 million

► Defensive coordinator Willie Martinez: $325,815

► Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo: $325,000

► Defensive line coach Rodney Garner: $290,000

► Offensive line coach Stacy Searels: $290,000

► Defensive ends coach Jon Fabris: $202,241

► Receivers coach Tony Ball: $165,480

► Tight ends coach John Lilly: $165,480

► Linebackers coach John Jancek: $163,000

► Running backs coach Bryan McClendon: $90,000

Assistant coaches total: $2.02 million

Football coaching staff total: $4.82 million

Basically, three assistants got sizable bumps – Garner, Searels and Bobo – and the rest received modest increases.  (Cue the “Martinez is still the highest paid assistant!” angst now.)

What’s striking to me about these numbers is how carefully calibrated this appears.  Georgia ranks fourth in the SEC in staff salaries, with an amount roughly the same as Florida’s, yet it’s clear from Evans’ quote that the recent runs made by Auburn and Tennessee at Searels and Garner factored into the math.  And still no coach has been given a multi-year contract, even though it’s stated in the article that the assistants are desirous of that.

I’m glad to see it done, but I don’t see the pressure on Evans to keep the staff happy lessening any time in the near future.  The flood of TV money and the pressure from underachieving programs in the conference will see to that.

5 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

Friday morning buffet

It’s no chicken biscuit, but here’s some football news to get you going:

  • Not that this should surprise anyone, but the NCAA has gotten around to investigating Bryce Brown’s Svengali, Brian Butler.
  • David Hale linked to this post-combine interview with Knowshon Moreno.  He loves us; he really, really loves us!
  • Dontae Aycock speaks. The problem is that Dontae Aycock isn’t so good on the listening end.  But he sounds happy with his fate and Paul Johnson got to make his point, so I suppose this wound up being a win-win situation in a perverse way.
  • In case you’re wondering how much it cost to rebuild the staff in Columbia, the answer is a lot more than it did two years ago, but a lot less than they’re spending in Knoxville.

5 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Recruiting, The Evil Genius, The NCAA

Twisted logic, example two

Shorter Michael Wilbon: pay no attention to those college football losers.  The college basketball regular season is especially meaningful because nobody can figure out if any of the teams are good.

1 Comment

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Media Punditry/Foibles

Twisted logic, example one

Nothing like a little misplaced righteous anger to get the day started:

“On an ethical level, it is preposterous, if not heinous, to have the football and basketball coach paid several times as much as the university president,” says Andrew Zimbalist, an economics professor at Smith College who is considered an expert on the economy of sports. “What message does that send to the students about the priorities of the school or the society?”

Andrew, I’ll get back to you about that when ESPN signs a deal to broadcast faculty meetings.

29 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness

Mark Bradley goes fishing.

Traffic must be sagging lately at the AJ-C sports page.

I evidently don’t share Mark Bradley’s value system, but all I can say is that anyone who can generate a list ordering the SEC coaches by level of obnoxiousness and rank Mark Richt as more irritating than Steve Spurrier really can’t expect to be taken seriously on any sports opinion he might offer going forward.

Geez, how stupid.

8 Comments

Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles, SEC Football

Thursday morning buffet

If the pickings have seemed a little slim this week, today looks to have bucked that trend:

  • I know the author of this post meant well, but it comes off kinda sadly.  The question is, at this point in time is that more a reflection of Spurrier or Gamecock football?
  • The Tennessee coaching staff comes roaring back in part two of Jerry Hinnen’s Tiger-Vol face off.
  • Meanwhile, this guy’s managed to stay under the radar.  I know it won’t happen, but it would be funny if he won more games this year than either Junior or Chizik.
  • Jeff Owens gives us his list of his top five all-time Georgia football players.  It’s a good one, but my feeling is that any such list that omits Hines Ward could always be improved.
  • It’s one thing if Gator fans are whining because their school missed out on signing Aaron Murray and Orson Charles.  But if Urban Meyer is this pissy about something like that, good grief.
  • And while we’re on the subject of the Gator Nation, +1 for this header.
  • ESPN.com’s college football meme of the week is reasons to love/hate college football.  I’m not linking to any of their stuff, but in that spirit, here’s one reason why I really love college football.
  • Oh, and back to Orson Charles for a sec.  If you’re wondering how Tennessee has managed to inject itself into the race for his commitment, maybe it’s because the Vols seem to be clearing the decks at tight end.  If Junior doesn’t sign him, you wonder who’s left to man the position for the Urnge.
  • And a third Orson Charles note:  ESPN’s Bruce Feldman blogs that Charles, who is still considering UGA, has seen this article by David Hale or heard about it in one shape or another.  However, Feldman doesn’t mention exactly who has brought it to the kid’s attention.  Sometimes it’s not the tale but who does the telling that matters most.
  • How do you know when they’re serious about ethics reform in Alabama?  When a proposed ethics bill would limit gifts of free college football tickets from lobbyists.

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Filed under College Football, Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Gators, Gators..., Gene Chizik Is The Chiznit, Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, Recruiting, SEC Football, The Blogosphere, The Evil Genius, Tim Tebow: Rock Star, Urban Meyer Points and Stares

The art of oversigning, or too much is never enough

Andy Staples has a piece up about oversigning that will have you shaking your head about one Houston Nutt.  Everybody knows the Nuttster signed 37 kids to letters of intent with Ole Miss a couple of weeks ago, and while the general reaction is a little tut tutting along with some muttering about grayshirting and Jucos, perhaps his strategy deserves further scrutiny and criticism based on something that happened with last year’s class.

… Sometimes, however, the numbers don’t work. Nutt’s 31-player class in 2008 included a quarterback/defensive back from Sherwood, Ark., named Hunter Miller. Last summer, it became clear the Rebels had more qualified signees than they had available scholarships. Nutt asked Miller to grayshirt. Miller declined and asked to be released from his letter of intent so he could walk on at Arkansas. Reached this week, Miller’s mother, Dawn, said she would rather not comment except to say that there were no hard feelings and that “everything worked out best for Hunter,” who has since transferred to a junior college to play baseball.

Oops, sorry.  Best of luck to you, kid.

Maybe the Nuttster needs a mentor to sharpen his game.  Staples does a nice job of mapping the route Nick Saban took to clear space to get his 2008 class of 32 signees accounted for at Alabama.

… Two players (receiver Chris Jackson and kicker Corey Smith), enrolled in January 2008. Because Alabama has two scholarships left in the class for the 2007-08 academic year, Jackson and Smith’s scholarships counted back to that class. That brought the 2008-09 number to 30. Meanwhile, athlete Devonta Bolden, defensive end Brandon Lewis and receiver Kerry Murphy failed to qualify academically, bringing the number down to 27. Running back Jermaine Preyear, nursing a shoulder injury, accepted a grayshirt, bringing the number down to 26. During the summer, receivers Destin Hood and Melvin Ray signed professional baseball contracts, bringing the total of incoming freshman for the 2008-09 class to 24.

But that was only part of the equation. Alabama still needed to shed existing scholarships to stay under 85. During the offseason, the Tide lost defensive back Tremayne Coger (transferred to Jacksonville State), offensive lineman Patrick Crump (quit football), defensive end Jeremy Elder (arrested on a robbery charge), quarterback Nick Fanuzzi (transferred to Rice), receiver Tarence Farmer (transferred to Wyoming), linebacker Jimmy Johns (arrested on cocaine dealing charges), linebacker Zeke Knight (medical hardship) and cornerback Lionel Mitchell (medical hardship for back injury).

You can’t tell the (former) players without a scorecard.

On the other hand, Mark Richt gets a pat on the back from Staples.

… Georgia coach Mark Richt refuses to oversign for two reasons. First, he wouldn’t want to run out of scholarships for qualified players. Second, he would not want to run off current players who have eligibility remaining to keep the Bulldogs under the 85-scholarship limit. “We could always get into a situation where we oversign, but there’s no way I could look at a kid and his parents and say, ‘We had some room, but now we really don’t.’ I just think you have to be careful,” Richt told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Signing Day. “I don’t want to oversign, then tell one of the kids we’ve already got, ‘You’ve got no value to us’ and toss him aside. I’m not going to do that.”

Yeah, that whole tossing-aside thing… if you get the feeling that there probably isn’t much margin for error for certain Rebel football players these days, it’s because there probably isn’t.  (Look out!  It’s the dreaded “violation of team rules”.)  Given that one of the Nuttster’s shiny new signees is a kid who got the bump from his previous school for using a dead person’s credit card, you have to wonder how nefarious was the behavior of those two non-starting miscreants to earn their coach’s wrath.

The answer, of course, is just enough.

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Filed under Recruiting

On the Plains, history is bunk.

There was a time when Auburn had a head coach who hired an offensive coordinator who ran an offensive scheme that was far removed from the Dye-esque, manly, three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust approach that Tiger fans were accustomed to.  But the head coach had it all under control.  Remember those heady days?

Many people see the spread as being a finesse offense, but not Mr. “You’ve got to run the ball in the SEC”:

The biggest difference, Tuberville said of Franklin, “is he’s going to set up the run by passing the ball. We’ve set up the pass by running the ball. I don’t doubt it’s going to work, but we’re still going to be a physical team. We’re going to run the ball more than we’re going to throw it.

Auburn will remain a physical offensive team.

“I’m a defensive coach and I know you have to be physical in practice to help your defense,” Tuberville said. “You can’t get better in games on defense. You have to practice hard and practice physical. We’ll have a lot of two-back in our offense next year.”

Exit Tuberville.

And now, Auburn fans have another head coach and another spread attack genius ready to boldly go where no Tiger offense has gone before.

Eh, maybe not.

… As far as new coaches, the hiring of Tulsa co-offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn might on the surface imply the Tigers are leaning toward an all-out spread passing attack, though Chizik is not so sure.

“Well, there are so many different versions of the spread and what that means,” said Chizik, who won the Frank Broyles Award as the country’s top assistant (defensive coordinator) when Auburn finished the 2004 season undefeated. “I really see us more of a run-the-football type of team, so I’m not sure what the appropriate name of the offense is. Obviously, we’ll do some one-back, two-back things of that nature. It’s still going to be a downhill, physical running game.”

Hey, that worked great last year.  Just ask Mississippi State.

And Malzahn ought to be hearing those alarm bells going off right about now – he’s got experience with his head coach overriding his offensive scheme.

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UPDATE: Over at The Joe Cribbs Car Wash, Jerry is hopeful that history won’t repeat itself.

3 Comments

Filed under Gene Chizik Is The Chiznit

Wednesday morning buffet

Morning, campers.

  • In case nobody told you, spring practice is already underway at three schools.
  • I’m surprised that this hadn’t been done already, but Jerry does an entertaining job with it.  Auburn’s staff takes the early lead in the duel, but we haven’t heard from the likes of Coach O yet, either.  Stay tuned for part two.
  • For the life of me, I can’t figure out why anybody cares about the NFL combine.
  • You’ve got to be vewy, vewy careful these days finding just the right patsy to fill in that twelfth game on the schedule.
  • And in case you hadn’t seen this, the GPOOE™ engaged in a little smack talk about our boys to raise some cash.  We can only hope it proves to be as bad an investment as what’s been in our 401Ks for the last year.

14 Comments

Filed under College Football, Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Gene Chizik Is The Chiznit, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, The Blogosphere, Tim Tebow: Rock Star