Daily Archives: April 1, 2009

The GPOOE for President!

Pete Fiutak’s April Fool’s Day post gave me a chuckle, especially this part:

… Tebow laughed off the rumor saying he is “concentrating on the season and winning another national title, God bless,” but others have endorsed the idea.

Thom Brennaman, who called the BCS Championship game for Fox, agrees with the plan.

“In such a cynical and sarcastic society, often times looking for the negative on anybody and anything, if you’re fortunate enough to spend five minutes or 20 minutes around Tim Tebow, your life is better for it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to ask Tebow to circumcise me.”

Thom, we’re gonna miss you, podnah.  Not. God bless, indeed.

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UPDATE: How can I not give a shout out to Olin Buchanan, who manages to tie the GPOOE™’s plaque to a certain fictional college’s motto?  Well played, sir.

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Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles, Tim Tebow: Rock Star

Jacksonville math and Georgia ego

Gary Stokan’s Jacksonville counterpart sure can marshal some interesting numbers for his side of the story on the WLOCP.

… While the game has an economic impact of $25 million to $30 million for the city, the most important figure is the money the schools make from the game. Each school nets about $1.6 million annually, according to Greg McGarity, UF’s senior associate athletic director for internal affairs. While that’s considerably less than the $2.2 million to $2.3 million Florida nets from a regular Southeastern Conference home game at Florida Field, the dollars make more sense when you look at them over a four-year period.

If the game were to go home-and-home, for example, both schools would play host to the game twice. Because visiting teams receive no money, that means UF would make $4.4 million to $4.6 million in a four-year period.

If the game is played in Jacksonville, UF would receive $1.6 million annually – or $6.4 million over the four years. That’s an extra $2 million. The numbers are similar at Georgia.

Travel costs factor in as well. Georgia receives $100,000 from Jacksonville to help defray its costs, but if the game alternated between the campus sites, the Bulldogs would not get any help. Each Southeastern Conference road trip costs about $150,000, meaning Georgia would be out an additional $300,000.

UF’s costs from Gainesville to Jacksonville are about $50,000. That’s $200,000 over a four-year period. Two trips to Georgia, however, would cost the school about $300,000.

In addition, the city picks up the costs for game-day operations: security, ticket takers, ushers, concession workers, medical services, cleanup, etc. McGarity said the cost for those services is about $250,000 at Florida Field. Over four years, that’s a $500,000 savings…

I’d be interested to hear the numbers from Georgia’s side, but I assume they’re pretty similar.

And there are these numbers to consider, as well.

… Jacksonville Municipal Stadium seats 82,917 for this game, and the Georgia Dome seats 72,000. Tickets are distributed on a 50-50 split, meaning each school would have roughly 5,500 fewer tickets in Atlanta than Jacksonville. Who no longer receives tickets? Students? Big-money boosters?

Plus, there’s this: Club seat tickets at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium are $70 and the rest of the tickets are $40. That’s a minimum of $220,000 less for each school every time the game is in the Georgia Dome.

“You’re not going to go up in price in Atlanta,” McGarity said. “I don’t think either school would want that.

“What do you tell folks? ‘Sorry. I know you’ve been going to this game for years and years, but you can’t go.’ How do you have that conversation?”

William Pate, president of the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, told the Atlanta Business Chronicle last week that the city could make up the seating gap between the stadiums with its financial package.

“No one’s going to move for less financial impact,” he said.

Of course, nobody on the Atlanta side has provided any specifics on how the city intends to do just that.  And as a resident taxpayer, let me assure you that we’re not exactly rolling in dough right now.  The idea that some of my tax dollars might go to enticing Florida fans to come visit… let’s just say I’ve got a few ideas about how that money might be better spent.

And of course, there’s this to sweeten the deal.

… Georgia fans, however, have been much more subdued leaving the game over the past two decades. Since 1990, Florida is 16-3 in the series, and that lopsided margin is also fueling talk of moving the series.

Bouda doesn’t like the sentiment, but he understands why it’s there.

“I know nowadays coaches are in a tough spot,” Bouda said. “As important as tradition is, their jobs are more important. Sometimes they have to look at the short term as opposed to long term. What happened 50 years ago is not important if they can’t win.”

If the game moves, get used to this crap, Dawgnation.  Especially if Georgia loses in Atlanta, too.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

Kiffin watch: just wins, baby!

It looks like Tennessee’s hit upon one of the tried and true ways of puffing up the ol’ win total.

In 2010, for the first time in 27 years, Tennessee will play a football game against a program from the lower division:  the Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks.  (The previous 1-AA opponent was The Citadel in 1983.)  For those keeping score:

  • This is the first 1-AA team since roughly ten years prior to Fulmer’s ascension to head coach.
  • Tennessee is the last SEC team to play a 1-AA team since the league expanded to 12 teams.
  • Reasons cited for the move were (a) tougher scheduling of gimme 1-A teams (a/k/a rising prices of 1-A cupcakes) and (b) a desire to keep the money in-state.
  • If you’re prone to snark over this move, keep in mind the very next opponent that Tennessee plays – Oregon.  Then immediately after the Oregon game, Florida comes to town.

And since Georgia fans are invited to take a swipe at this, here goes mine:  Vol fans, this is what happens when your program struggles with its in state rival.  Salut!

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Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right…

I know that Corrine Brown’s incoherent tribute to the Florida Gators is ample evidence to demonstrate that mixing the average pol’s intelligence and college football is dangerous, but why do these people insist on continuing to show their collective asses to us?

… Miller said: “While the current BCS system was created to identify a broadly accepted national champion, its implementation has failed to determine who is, without a doubt, the best team in college football. There is no reason the NCAA should continue to disadvantage certain schools when every other major college sport’s championship is settled through a playoff.”

Barton said: “We are serious about trying to move forward and trying to encourage the NCAA to ditch the BCS and go wtih something where the champion is decided on the field and not by some complicated algorithm.”

Both representatives are still under the misguided assumption that the NCAA controls the football postseason. The NCAA, by itself, isn’t going to institute a playoff…

Folks, when you’re getting schooled by the likes of Dennis Dodd, it’s time to regroup.  Barton probably thinks 2+2=4 is a complicated algorithm (and likely grumbles about how Al Gore got a word named after him in the first place).

Not to be outdone by these giants is Utah attorney general Mark Shurtleff, who’s locked and loaded, baby.

Already fighting off demands for a playoff system from President Barack Obama and leaders of the U.S. Congress, the Bowl Championship Series will soon face a more serious threat: an antitrust lawsuit from the attorney general of Utah that could dismantle its postseason championship scheme.

Mark Shurtleff, the Utah attorney general, is gathering contracts, statistics, economic data and experts, and expects to be able to file suit against the BCS in June.

I’m not an antitrust lawyer, but I keep wondering what I’m missing here.  For one thing, as the chair of the BCS Oversight Committee – a former state attorney general himself – notes, the BCS is a voluntary arrangement that all D-1 schools entered into.

For another, if this is motivated by a goal of making sure that every school has an opportunity to play for the BCS title, Shurtleff seems to miss the point that the BCS title game is the one truly democratic part of the current postseason.  It’s simply about matching #1 against #2, an algorithm that even Rep. Barton should be able to comprehend.  If Boise State and Utah finished the regular season as the two schools atop the BCS standings, they’re who would play in the title game.  So it would seem that what Shurtleff is after is a broader opportunity for more schools to have a chance to play in a tourney.  Which doesn’t sound like anything as small as a plus-one format, keep in mind.

Of course, what this is really all about is the money.  And, contrary to Shurtleff’s assertion that the bowls would still be part of the postseason structure if he prevails in his suit, the reality is that a large scale renovation of the postseason with a much more broadly based distribution of income to all D-1 schools would be the end of the bowls as we know them.

Outside of the BCS title game, the bowls aren’t, and have never been, a meritocracy, at least in the sense of matching the best available teams.  They’ve been a meritocracy in the sense of putting asses in the seats and lighting up TV screens in our family rooms.  And on that playing field, Ohio State and San Diego State aren’t equals, and will never be equals.  That’s why there’s a limit on the amount of participation the non-BCS conferences are allowed in the BCS games.  You can’t make the BCS bowls take teams that are inferior draws, slap a playoff label on them and expect it to work, because we don’t have the same level of interest.  And because of that, it’s ludicrous to expect conferences like the Big Ten and the SEC to hand over their money to conferences like the Sun Belt.

Note that while I’m saying I don’t know how Shurtleff thinks he’ll win on the merits, that doesn’t mean he won’t have a chance.  It looks like the key to that is familiar to every Alabama fan who favors litigation against the NCAA – home field advantage.

… Referring to venues that have been harmed by the BCS and others that have profited from the BCS, Roberts said that “if you sue the BCS in Salt Lake City or Boise or Honolulu, you have a sure winner. But if you sue in Columbus or Tuscaloosa or Baton Rouge, you may not do so well.”

‘Ya think?  Not that it’ll ever get that far.  For one thing, as the BCS administrator notes,

The leadership of the BCS, Hancock said, “would sooner go back to the way it was before the BCS started than to go to a playoff.”

Don’t forget about going the power conference route, fellas!

And that’s what I don’t really get about an antitrust suit.  It’s not like the major conferences don’t have the means of opting out and leaving the non-BCS conferences to fend for themselves again.  And what’s left for the government to do at that point?  I suppose Congress could decide to legislate a D-1 playoff – if Obama is prepared to tell GM what kind of cars to build, it’s not much of a step for Congress to design a football tourney – but, good Lord, can you imagine the political horse trading that’ll go into that?  Just think about all the good Corrine Brown could do.

Oh, as you read the article, don’t miss this profile in courage.

And when Christine Varney, Obama’s selection as the chief of the Justice Department’s antitrust division, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee in early March for her confirmation hearing, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, was ready. His first question to the nation’s top antitrust enforcer was to demand her thoughts on the BCS and Shurtleff’s lawsuit.

His first question!  With the country consumed in its worst economic meltdown in decades, a freaking college football playoff is this goofball’s highest priority for antitrust enforcement?

This is why I love America.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery