Is Michigan the new Georgia, Georgia the new Michigan, or is it nothing to worry about?

I didn’t find Kristi Dosh’s revenue comparison between the SEC and the Big Ten as compelling as her first story on the SEC – for one thing, as she notes, it’s hard to compare apples and oranges here because there’s no direct SEC analogue to the Big Ten Network – but one fact she cited caught my eye.

… A look at Ohio State’s expenses should explain why they’re perennial contenders for BCS bowls.  They are spending almost $10 million more than the next biggest spender in the Big Ten (Wisconsin).  They’re also spending almost double what their rival, Michigan, is spending, which could perhaps explain the results on the field.  [Emphasis added.]

Does that remind you of a couple of other institutions?

… If you do the math, Georgia is only putting 25.8% of their football revenue back into the program. Meanwhile, the 2009 National Champion, Alabama, was putting 43.3% back into their program…

Is this a correlation that really doesn’t mean much, or are we seeing evidence that “you get what you pay for” has some relevance in big time college football?

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20 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football, SEC Football

20 responses to “Is Michigan the new Georgia, Georgia the new Michigan, or is it nothing to worry about?

  1. Stoopnagle

    I’ll leave an anecdote from my work and leave it at that:

    An undergraduate student transferred to UGA from Bama after one year. In Tuscaloosa, she was an honors student, took 18 credit hours each term and scored straight A’s. After her first term at UGA, not in honors (not that it matters), she felt handling 12 hours was difficult.

    That said, UGA students still report very low percentages of time spent prepping for class or studying. I can’t imagine how little the average Bamer student does.

    In any case, maybe it’s not so bad to not be Alabama.

  2. One has to assess if the point of the Athletic department is to succeed at Athletics, or generate income for the University, both of which have merit.

  3. The Original Cynical in Athens

    How can you do anything but assume that correlation?

    It’s nice that you posted the facility video just below, because the first thing that is shown on that video is a HALLWAY that was built, literally it’s only purpose on earth, to provide a WOW Factor for recruits.

    If we are to believe that UGA is spending a couple hundred grand on a hallway to provide wow factor, we must assume that there is to be a return on that, right?

    If we are providing the Butts-Mehre expansion, and our expenditures are still so low, then what must the Wow-Factor look like in Tuscaloosa?

    No need to muddle conversations here, but the idea that the University is spending millions on a building for its Wow Factor only serves to strengthen the argument that the players should be paid.

    The only people who are really against that are the big-time college football powers, not because they give a damn about the antiquated notion of the “student-athlete,” but because, as things stand now, they have an unlimited salary cap in the form of Wow Factor.

  4. I don’t want to be labelled a nerd, but correlation does not equal causation. I may only have had to take one Statistics course for my Journalism degree, but I remember that much.

    http://xkcd.com/552/

  5. Toom

    I always thought the strong bottom line was in an effort to justify future expenditures and debts, such as a new indoor facility (a bigger one than the one they just finished) and finishing the upper deck construction. I also assumed we’d be getting a new gym but these things look less likely now.

  6. ChicagoDawg

    Hard salary cap for players ala NFL? Imagine the impact of such a framework on the AU program in 2010. Immediately, they go from Yankees to Royals. :-)

  7. gastr1

    Does a $25,000 bonus for losing a bowl game after a losing season count as putting money into the program?

  8. Castleberry

    I’d like to see how our numbers change through the years. For example, did we put a lot more into football the year we expanded Sanford? If there is a correlation, I’d say it is teams pumping dollars into capital improvements like that after big years.

  9. sUGArdaddy

    Geez, gastr1, get over it, man. It’s apples and oranges. Our careers are in different universes than Coach Richt’s. It had nothing to do w/ losing the bowl game, it was about getting to one in the first place. If you don’t think that matters, ask Texas.

    • gastr1

      I know, you’re right. But I had that Matt Hinton article in mind when I wrote my screed yesterday.

      I shut up now. :)

  10. ColoradoDawg

    So, where should the extra money be spent? As mentioned, the upgrades to Butts-Mehre seem opulent and meant to impress. I know CMR has been asking for a full size, indoor practice facility for years, but what else does the football program really need? Maybe that’s a question CMR needs to be asking. I know they’ve finally hired a nutritionist to go with the revamped S&C program … I’m still staggered that they didn’t have that before now. Maybe properly funding that nutrition program isn’t a bad place to start. I’m guessing Van Halanger’s new “mentoring” position will cost a bit of money, but where else does the program lag behind other schools?

  11. Scott W.

    Are we sure it is that UGA is not spending enough towards the program? With the completion of the Butts-Mehre building what else is needed more sky-boxes? A few folks secured some very high raises because of the money that was used to sign a DC. Doesn’t football revenue support all 21 varsity programs at UGA? Football is at the forefront at other Unis. Another thing to think about is a payout and hiring of a new coach could be rather expensive. Perhaps the surplus is so a new beginning will be obtainable. Or have the Dawgs implemented the Clippers model of sports management?

  12. Brandon

    Michigan is a cautionary tale for those Georgia fans who wish to jettison a successful coach who has had a couple of down years, what you might get is a true walk in the wilderness.

  13. Bulldog Joe

    It’s not just football where we are in the bottom half of the SEC in operating budget. We are bringing a knife to a gun fight in other sports, too.

    Basketball:
    Kentucky $2,575,913
    Arkansas $1,444,520
    Florida $1,325,602
    Tennessee $1,299,591
    Vanderbilt $1,010,566
    Alabama $885,888
    Auburn $855,264
    Georgia $741,916
    Mississippi State $705,323
    South Carolina $669,173
    Mississippi $656,561
    LSU $630,461

    Baseball:
    Arkansas $1,089,728
    Florida $807,349
    LSU $716,838
    Vanderbilt $690,408
    Alabama $643,288
    South Carolina $539,940
    Auburn $511,398
    Mississippi $480,900
    Kentucky $358,771
    Georgia $348,038
    Mississippi State$338,439
    Tennessee $327,164

    For the second-largest institution in the SEC, one that is sitting on over $65M in reserves, and has been recognized to be the “most profitable in America”, these numbers should make any contributing Georgia fan very angry.

    • Bulldog Joe

      Looking at our SEC records in the last two seasons in football (7-9), basketball (8-15), and baseball (20-36), one can only conclude that we are getting what we paid for.