Daily Archives: May 18, 2009

What if, what if…

Tony Barnhart’s tribute to Erk Russell in today’s AJ-C as well as Rex Robinson’s post about his recruitment by Erk lead me to ponder fate, as we’re playing the alternate history game in our thread about the Cocktail Party.

So, just for kicks… what if Dooley had taken the Auburn AD job when it was offered to him just before the ’81 Sugar Bowl and Erk had been named his successor as head coach?  How do you think Georgia’s fortunes would have played out over the next decade and a half or so?

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Filed under Georgia Football

Hard times in Baton Rouge?

With the torrent of TV revenues flowing into the SEC, it’s not easy to imagine that any of the conference’s athletic programs are headed for a rough patch.  But even if you had to stretch a pick a school facing a need to tighten its belt, it’s not likely you’d pick LSU.

Nevertheless, judging from a couple of stories, something seems amiss in Cajun country.

The LSU chancellor is considering a campus wide one week furlough, which would encompass Miles and his staff, all of whom would be required to “donate” (there’s your euphemism of the day) their salaries.  No word on whether that would affect only Miles’ base salary, or also include the outside moneys he receives from radio, TV and shoe contracts.

Then, there’s the trend towards playing lower division non-conference opponents, particularly if they’re in state schools.

It saves LSU money.

… LSU will pay Tulane $850,000 for the Green Wave’s game in Tiger Stadium on Oct. 31. Ausberry hopes to pay McNeese and Northwestern State between $350,000 and $400,000, depending on when the games are played. The lower division schools cannot command as much money for a game as the higher division schools, Ausberry said, because the major programs try to play as few of the lower schools as possible. And all the lower division schools want to play the upper division schools.

And by scheduling in state opponents, LSU keeps the wealth in state and gets one additional benefit – better turnout for the cupcake games.

“For one thing, Northwestern State and McNeese will bring a lot more fans to the game,” Ausberry said. “We have trouble selling out games with FCS opponents from out of state. It makes no sense to bring in a Western Carolina when we have great I-AA programs right here.”

To be fair, it doesn’t look like the athletic department is faring badly, so much as the recession is putting greater demands on it.

… LSU’s athletic department, which could be asked to pay more money to the university amid $34 million of proposed budget cuts in the coming year, also is trying to save money.

Life sure is complicated these days.

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UPDATE: The athletic department seems to be holding up its end of the deal just fine.

… LSU’s athletic department is one of a handful in the country, along with Texas and Nebraska among others, that receives no state money, charges no student fees and is self sufficient. The athletic department operates on a yearly budget of more than $70 million and has routinely paid money back to the university for decades at a percentage of its earnings — $3.2 million in 2007, $3 million in 2008 and an estimated $3.6 million this year. Athletics will also pay another $4.5 million this year for a new band hall.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness

If you move it, they will win.

More talk on the possibility of moving the Georgia-Florida game from Jacksonville in this AJ-C interview with Damon Evans.  Evans, as he should be right now, is holding his cards close to his vest.  This is the interesting passage:

… He notes Georgia won in Jacksonville in 2007 and suggests that if the Bulldogs also had won in 2008, the site would not be stirring such debate today. Alas, Florida won 49-10.

“Some people may say Florida is beating us because we’re in Jacksonville,” Evans said. “I’m not an excuse guy.”

You sure don’t see the word “alas” in many AJ-C pieces.  But you might see it a few more times if the game is moved and things don’t improve for the Dawgs in the won-loss column.  What would we blame it on then?

Of course, we’d be able to take solace in the fact that we’d have spent less money in Florida.  Yeah, that would show ‘em!

Face it – if the game is in fact moved, the pressure to win on Mark Richt’s shoulders grows enormously.  Everybody had better hope that he and the team are up to it.

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UPDATE: Doc Saturday has some outsider-looking-in thoughts for us here.  And take a look at that game results graphic.  So, what happened exactly in 1990?  Global warming break out?  New interstate highway running from Gainesville to Jacksonville?  Construction at the Jacksonville airport that tied up plane traffic for hours?

We know it can’t be something as mundane as a coaching change, right?

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UPDATE #2: Orson’s got as good a reason as any.

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Filed under Georgia Football

He’s no fun, he fell right over.

Mike Slive plays the spoilsport:

Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive will have a captive audience of coaches and athletic directors when the league conducts its annual spring meetings in Destin, Fla., in two weeks.

Something about controlling the string on a purse bulging with close to $200 million to be doled out at the end of the week has a way of attracting a person’s undivided attention.

Word is that a central theme of Slive’s address — particularly to the league’s football coaches — will be this: Knock it off! Enough of the public and semi-private accusations of cheating and other misconduct aimed at fellow league coaches.

He can’t do that! What’ll we blog about in the offseason?

At least Slive could wait until after SEC Media Days to lower the Cone of Silence.

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