Daily Archives: May 19, 2009

More Jacksonville grist for the Georgia mill

A couple more thoughts on the should-the-Georgia-Florida-game-stay-in-Jacksonville debate:

First, here’s some more history from Tony Barnhart’s blog post today.

… But the one thing you DON’T do if you’re Evans is move the game because portions of your fan base think Florida has some sort of competitive advantage in Jacksonville. Yeah, the Gators are 16-3 in the series since 1990, but that doesn’t have anything to do with where the game is played.

After all, Vince Dooley was 17-7-1 against Florida from 1964-88. Back then it was the Florida people who wanted to move the game back to campus because they were convinced that Georgia had some magical spell in that building. There wasn’t any magic to it and that was proven when Dooley retired in 1988 and Steve Spurrier came to Florida in 1990. Spurrier mocked the idea that Georgia would have some kind of advantage in Jacksonville, which is an hour from the Florida campus.

In that 19-year stretch Georgia has won three times (1997, 2004, 2007). In the 16 losses I can think of only two times (2002, 2005) where I thought Georgia clearly had the better team and lost. The 2002 loss (20-13) I will never be able to explain. In 2005 (a 14-10 loss) quarterback D.J. Shockley could not play due to an injury. Eight of those 16 Georgia losses were to teams that won the SEC championship. Another loss was to a Florida team (1990) that would have won the SEC championship if not for violations created by the previous staff. Of those nine losses, four were to teams that either won the national championship (1996, 2006, 2008) or played for the national championship (1995). So Georgia hasn’t been losing to bad teams.

Of course Georgia should have won more than three games in the past 19 years but again, it doesn’t have anything to do with where the game is played…

Now, I’ll disagree a little with Barnhart with regard to the 1992 loss, in that I think Georgia had the best team in the SEC East that year, but overall, I think his point here is sound.

Then, there’s also this cold, hard set of facts brought to you by your friendly Gator athletic department.

… Florida Associate Athletics Director Greg McGarrity, likely to be involved in the negotiations, told the Sentinel that keeping the game in Jacksonville saves each school almost $2 million every two years and allows more fans to attend the game than any Georgia site could.

Each team makes $3.8  million every two years under the current format in Jacksonville, McGarrity said, yet a typical home-and-home pays about $2 million to the home team. That means every other year, either Florida or Georgia would have to miss out on the money. “Even in conservative dollars, you’re missing $1.5 million over a two-year period,” McGarrity said. “That money can do each institution a lot of good.”

The Atlanta Sports Council is pushing the Bulldogs to fight for a Georgia Dome hosting once every four years. But the biggest stadium in Georgia would muscle out more than 5,000 fans who go to the Jacksonville game every year. Jacksonville Municipal Stadium holds 76,877 fans compared to 71,228 in the Georgia Dome.

“You’ve got (almost) 6,000 people now that have been there forever and you’re telling them, ‘Sorry folks, you won’t be able to go to the Georgia game this year,’” McGarrity said. “Who will be the 6,000 people? Where do you cut back? It’s not like those tickets aren’t tough to get anyway. Both institutions are turning down hundreds of thousands per year.”

Now obviously that last argument doesn’t apply if the series goes home and home – in that case, only about nine or ten thousand Georgia fans will be able to attend the Swamp every other year, although another forty five or fifty thousand of the Dawg faithful would be able to catch a game in Athens than get to now in Jax.  But if those figures are true – and I haven’t seen anyone argue differently – there’s no question that playing the game in Jacksonville has some clear pluses to it.

So, let’s sum up a few things about this debate.  On the side of those wishing to keep the WLOCP, you’ve got this:

  1. The results of the series over the past four decades have been driven by talent and coaching.
  2. Moving games from Jax to Atlanta would mean less fans would be able to see the game.
  3. Changing the series to a home-and-home would cost the schools money.

On the side of those wanting a move, you’ve got this:

  1. Money being spent in the local economies of Athens and Gainesville, instead of Jax.
  2. Greater travel for the Florida team and its fans every other season.
  3. Speculation that such a move would benefit Georgia’s on-field performance.

Sorry, but I honestly don’t see how the scales balance there.

And I’d like to reiterate one more thing that I touched on in the comments to my previous post on this subject.  I’ve been to every game in Jacksonville since 1979 and I attended the ’95 debacle in Athens.  I’ve experienced the gamut of emotions leaving those games.  I’ve been happy, sometimes deliriously so.  I’ve been sad, sometimes almost crushed.  I’ve been resigned.  I’ve been angry.  I’ve been disgusted.  I’ve cursed Spurrier.  I’ve cursed Goff.

But one thought that’s never crossed my mind as I’ve trudged back to my car after the game is… we’d have won today if this had been played in Athens.  And I’ve never heard another Georgia fan say that after a game in all that time, either.  Why is that?

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43 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Hey! Over here! Look at me!

Dan Mullen, apparently tired of being the new kid on the block nobody pays attention to, takes his shot at one of the other newbies:

His Mississippi State assistants haven’t been banned from any Florida high schools, and they haven’t pulled up in front of a single high school in Alabama in a limo.

How does Dan Mullen expect to make it in this league as a head coach if he’s not making headlines in the spring?

“We don’t need to make national headlines to recruit,” Mullen said Monday. “Taking our budget, instead of buying fancy limos, we’re gonna maybe get more sneakers for our players.

“I want to get more gear and more good things for our players instead of having coaches drive around in style all the time.

“I’m more into getting stuff for the players than getting stuff for the coaches.”

Yeah, how’s that whole “Knock it off!” vibe working out for you, Commissioner Slive?

5 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

Just like the Soviet Union, except nobody got shot.

Remember when you’d see the rulers of the USSR revise pictures of the members of the Politburo after one of its members was, um… removed?  The Soviets would go back and airbrush the photos to make it look as if the party member in question never existed.

History, after all, is written by the winners.  And the Notre Dame athletic department.

Notre Dame’s media guide has a lot of helpful things – except one.

If you’re trying to get a full picture of Charlie Weis’ coaching career and how teams have done while he’s been on staff, you’ll need to do more research.

Notre Dame omitted the losing seasons from Weis’ year-by-year biography on page 15 of the 2009 Spring Prospectus and page 90 of the 2008 football media guide. Among the omissions is the Irish’s 3-9 2007 season.

That’s progress at Notre Dame for you.  George O’Leary gets canned a few days after being hired for polishing his resume.  Now the school helps the coach do the polishing.

2 Comments

Filed under Charlie Weis Is A Big Fat...

Do ‘ya think I’m sexy?

Inspired by the most recent gathering that is Gamecocks Ladies Day, Busted Coverage presents a tribute entitled “11 Or So Greatest Moments In Ladies College Football Clinic Estrogen Madness”.

If the economy is still in the dumper when next year’s clinics run, they ought to outfit the players with garter belts.  Every dollar helps.

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Filed under The Body Is A Temple

Zemek: BYU got the gold mine; Utah got the shaft.

CFN asks the musical questions today if Utah has grounds to complain about last year and if the MWC deserves an automatic BCS slot.  Fortunately for us, Matt Zemek only answers the first one.

Q: Does 2008 Utah have a beef? How about the Mountain West and its complaint that it belongs in the BCS?

A: Sure they do.

Why? Simple: 1984.

BYU, playing a schedule far easier than what the rival Utes had to endure in 2008, was crowned national champion. The Cougars were able to play–and beat–an okay Michigan team in the Holiday Bowl and avoid playing Washington, Oklahoma, or another similarly credentialed superpower in a bowl game. If Utah couldn’t receive at least a split national title (with Florida) from voters and systems in light of its body of work, it’s clear and–from a historical perspective–plainly undeniable that the Utes got the shaft last year.

You know, there might be something to this line of reasoning – if there were no BCS last year, or if there were a BCS regime in place in 1984.  Since that wasn’t the case in either instance, his argument is nothing more than your classic example of apples and oranges (ironically, it’s BYU’s MNC that led to the push for what eventually became the BCS).  It’s akin to arguing that Georgia got the shaft in 2007 because it would have been recognized as a SEC co-champ under the rules before 1992.  Technically true, but why does it matter?

4 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Media Punditry/Foibles

Tuesday morning buffet

It’s all there.  Grab a plate and load up.

11 Comments

Filed under College Football, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Media Punditry/Foibles