Daily Archives: July 13, 2009

That was then; this is now.

Nick Saban, October December 21, 2007 2006:

“I guess I have to say it. I’m not going to be the Alabama coach. … I don’t control what people say. I don’t control what people put on dot-com or anything else. So I’m just telling you there’s no significance, in my opinion, about this, about me, about any interest that I have in anything other than being the coach here.”

Urban Meyer, July 13, 2009:

“I’m not going to Notre Dame. Ever. I’m going to be the coach at Florida for a long time, as long as they want me.”

I know that Gator Nation will seize upon every syllable of that comment as the equivalent of an etched-in-stone guarantee.  And who knows?  Maybe it’ll turn out that way.

In the short run, look at the bright side, Gator fans:  at least it should keep Matt Elam in the fold.

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Filed under Urban Meyer Points and Stares

Factoid of the day

During this decade, there’s only one D-1 school that’s won a higher percentage of its road games than its home games, per Phil Steele.

That’d be Georgia.

Consider that, per Steele, the average D-1 team has a home winning percentage 23.7% greater than its away winning percentage.

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Filed under Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water

Those new SEC TV contracts: “But I don’t know how measurable it is.”

That’s a quote from Dabo Sweeney, Clemson’s head coach, about the torrent of TV money getting ready to fill the coffers of SEC athletic departments.

He might want to measure the SEC’s $3 billion over the next fifteen years against this:

… Each of the SEC’s 12 schools received approximately $5.3 million from TV revenue during the 2007-08 academic year. When the conference’s new contracts go into effect for the upcoming fall sports season, each school could eventually receive approximately $15 million in TV revenue.

For the sake of comparison, according to the SportsBusiness Journal, the ACC’s TV contracts with ABC, ESPN, Fox Sports Net and Raycom Sports will have paid the league approximately $560 million over 10 years when they expire at the end of 2011 sports season. The Big East is in the midst of a six-year, $200 million deal with ESPN.

The only league that comes remotely close to matching the SEC’s deal is the Big Ten, which is in a 10-year, $1 billion agreement with ESPN and a 25-year, $2.8 billion deal with the Big Ten Network.

Facilities and coaching salaries are just the most obvious items that may be affected between the conferences.

The flip side is who’s beholden to whom with those kind of numbers in play, as Diddy Bowden notes.

“You can see why when they tell you when to play, that’s when you play, don’t you?” Bowden asked.

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Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

Some more SEC QB talk – good and bad

Another week, another list, in this case one from Wally Hall, who covers Arkansas.  I only mention it because if he’s right about Joe Cox being worse than Crompton and whoever winds up starting at Auburn, it’s going to be a long year, folks.

On the other hand, from this column in which Mike Bianchi auditions for the job of Urban Meyer’s agent comes this gem:

… How much extra did the networks agree to pay because of the intoxicating fervor surrounding Tim Tebow, a Meyer recruit who is the national face of college football and arguably the greatest player to ever play the game?

How much indeed.  In Bianchi’s mind, the GPOOE™ is such a transcendent figure that CBS and ESPN were willing to commit to multiple years at record amounts with the SEC just to get access to one player’s last season of greatness.  Hmm… does that mean the next TV contracts will be for much less money?

Of course, maybe the networks are planning to preempt live games in future seasons for Florida reruns.

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

“The game starts up front.”

The Wiz links to this Berry Tramel column that suggests that the value of offensive line play has decreased in this era of spread attacks.

… Look at Mike Leach’s vaunted spread offense. It’s not predicated on forming a Berlin Wall to keep out the infidels. Tech moves the ball by its formation spreading defenses, its receivers finding open seams and its heady quarterbacks firing quick passes.

That’s not to say Tech’s linemen get sand kicked in their face. Leach doesn’t trot out the first five guys who drive in from Abilene. But the Secret Service mentality — five dead-quiet ruffians who will fight to the death to keep the barbarians at the gate — is not necessary in Lubbock. Just get in the way for one one-thousand, two one-thousand, bam! The ball is airborne.

Oklahoma State doesn’t use Leach’s offense, but it’s the same effect. Spread the field, build more lanes on the freeway, and traffic isn’t nearly as congested. OSU creates run-game space with its spread.

It’s a personnel-driven tactic.

“What offenses have found, when you’re running two-back (non-spread), it goes back to personnel,” said State offensive line coach Joe Wickline. “What you can get on the bus.”

But since teams decided to quit losing games before they started, outmanned offenses can spread out, making defenses line up sideline to sideline, and create gaps.

“When you get enough of that going on, then you hand it off and run right down the middle,” Wickline said. “That gives defenses problems. Are you going to defend the core or defend the flat?”

Interestingly enough, this doesn’t seem to have affected these offenses in the areas you might anticipate.  Oklahoma State was a more than respectable 17th nationally in red zone offense last season; Texas Tech ranked 27th.  (Georgia was 49th.)  The top five teams in 3rd down efficiency all ran some version of the spread.  And OSU was fifth in the country in 4th down efficiency.

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Filed under College Football, Strategery And Mechanics