Daily Archives: November 13, 2012

How did we get here, anyway?

With the news that it will cost Auburn somewhere in the neighborhood of $10 million – in easy monthly installments – to buy out the contracts of its existing coaching staff when they’re canned (h/t Jerry Hinnen), I can’t help but harken back to more innocent times.

True, they have a national title to show for it, but that’s gotta go down as one of the most expensive MNCs ever.

You know what the saddest thing is?  Auburn will have gotten a helluva lot better ROI than the Vols will ever see.

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, It's Just Bidness

Envy and jealousy: “Don’t talk Norwegian, talk American.”

If you’re a Notre Dame hata, then this Charlie Pierce piece is right up your alley.  It’s all enjoyable, but here’s a tasty sample:

… And, last, but most important of all — good god, can they be insufferable. They’re like sacramentalized Yankees fans. I have to say, I really enjoyed that 12-year stretch from 1995 to 2007 when they lost nine bowl games in a row, and when the average margin of defeat in those games was north of 17 points.

Yeah, baby.

Bonus points for the Rudy bashing (“a passel of unreconstructed mythopoeic bullpucky”).  I can’t stand that flick.  Or the real-life Rudy, for that matter.

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Filed under Envy and Jealousy

Upon further review, Auburn edition

I’ve watched the game broadcast now and I think it’s more of an affirmation of what I saw live than a revelation.  What comes across strongly in the first half when the game was decided for all intents and purposes is how bloody competent Georgia’s play was.  I know Auburn is wretched on both sides of the ball, but, still, it almost comes as a shock when Lynch drops that pass on Georgia’s fifth drive.

I kept repeating to myself, “this is what a good team looks like”.  One example:  Auburn employed a lot of Boise State-like pre-snap motion.  And there are Georgia defenders moving all over the place with it.  But they’re never disorganized.  The communication and comfort level are light years from what we saw mid-season.  And as a result, they’re playing noticeably faster.  I’m back to the point I was at watching last year’s game against Mississippi State when I wanted to see the defense on the field.

Oh, and I overlooked one play in my ‘Observations’ post on Sunday that’s worth a mention.  Jordan Jenkins didn’t have as big a game as he did against Florida, but that tackle for loss he made on the play when he blew up the pass option by Quan Bray was as good as it gets.  First he beat the lineman, then he strung out the play, then he contained Bray, finally closed on him and shut him down for a big loss.  It ended what could have been an early scoring drive.  Fabulous effort from a fabulous freshman.

As far as the broadcast goes, Mark Jones still talks way too much for a play-by-play guy.  Brock Huard’s quiet call on Marshall’s TD run was nice, though.

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Filed under Georgia Football

“The bottom line is ‘more.’ “

I’m sure you’ve heard by now that the presidents have settled on a new postseason structure for college football.  ESPN’s generosity made their job easier.

… Current rights-holder ESPN is in an exclusive negotiating window that ends later this week, according to BCS executive director Bill Hancock. Sports Business Journal reported last week the network was close to a deal worth as much as $500 million annually and perhaps as much as $7.3 billion over the life of the 12-year contract. But there was at least some sentiment to test the value with potential bidders like Fox, NBC or Turner.

Navigate Research, a Chicago-based firm that measures the value of marketing and media rights, originally estimated the package might be worth from $400-450 million annually. On the open market, Navigate’s director of analytics Jeff Nelson estimated the annual value could reach $550-600 million.

“It’s clearly very, very valuable,” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said Monday.

The current BCS TV deal pays $180 million a year.

When you’re looking at a tripling of revenue, it’s easy to afford to spread around a little more green.  So the big dog threw the little dog a bone by guaranteeing access to one of the major bowls to the Big East, Conference USA, Mid-American Conference, Mountain West and Sun Belt conferences.  That’s not exactly what the mid-majors wanted (and note that the Big East has officially slid to the next level).  But it’s what the market left them with.

The Group of Five couldn’t find traction for its own contract bowl within the system because there was no market for it. While the Rose and Sugar Bowls will be worth $80 million, a contract bowl featuring the best of the Group of Five would have been worth a fraction of that figure.

The current Liberty Bowl is comparable to what a contract bowl would have looked like featuring the best of the Group of Five vs. Pac-12/Big 12 as was proposed. The Liberty features the Conference USA champion against an SEC No. 8 selection. Its TV rights per year are $1 million according to a source.

Call it Jim Delany 1, Antitrust Proponents 0.  Math is a cruel mistress sometimes.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, It's Just Bidness

The Chinese water torture of the O’Bannon suit

Every document dump that comes out in the O’Bannon case is a revelation.  There’s a steady drip, drip, drip of news about NCAA misjudgment that makes you shake your head about why the organization hasn’t quietly settled this.

This go ’round we learn that the NCAA higher-ups knew exactly what EA Sports was up to with player likenesses.  Miles Brand was a little uncomfortable about it.

In an August 2007 e-mail exchange among then-NCAA president Myles Brand, another top NCAA official Tom Jernstedt, and the NCAA’s then- senior vice-president for basketball and business strategies Greg Shaheen, Brand observed that he “seriously doubts” college presidents would vote to allow the use of student-athlete names and likenesses in commercial products, including video games.

And in response, Shaheen steps in it.

Shaheen replied that he agreed but wanted to make two points, one of which was “the names and likenesses are rigged into the games now by illegal means, meaning that many of the video game players have the features, it’s just that our membership doesn’t benefit from it. [Emphasis added.]… In the end, in college basketball … we will lose the game because the sales numbers show we can’t sustain the game if it doesn’t meet the pace of realism that the other games do EA will simply pull out of this category.

“It certainly isn’t the end of the world, but it is a few million dollars (ultimately $4 to $8 million a year in the current model; more if the name/likeness matter could be solved) that we would lose. And, for college basketball to not have a video game will be a major limitation in our promotion of the game, especially to the young ages we are trying to reach.”

In other words, Shaheen told Brand that the NCAA should not just screw over the players with this.  Screwing its own membership was justified, too, in the name of promotion and a few extra bucks a year.  Nice.  And now everybody knows that.

I don’t know who finally signed off on fighting this suit in court, but five bucks says he or she is out of a job when this debacle concludes.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Grumpy

Somebody doesn’t exactly sound thrilled about facing the triple-option in back-to-back weeks.  You get one guess.

Grantham was asked if there was a benefit in seeing that type of offense two weeks in a row.

“I guess in some ways,” Grantham said. “I mean, I don’t know. Whatever. I didn’t set the schedule, so I’ll do whatever they say.”

For what it’s worth, I think it’s a plus.  As Richt notes, you can’t really prepare for the speed of the triple-option with your scout team.  And whatever problems Georgia Tech is having, it’s worth considering that the Jackets are still fourth nationally in rushing and rank in the top twenty in scoring.  Southern should offer the Dawg defense some useful reps.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Dawg stat watch, Week 11

Well, they’re in.  So whatever comes of this season goes into the stat watch.  Here’s where things stand now (stats via cfbstats.com, natch):

  1. Hold opponents under 18 points per game.  As a team, Georgia is yielding 18.8 ppg.
  2. Finish at least +8 in turnover margin.  Georgia’s turnover margin is +6.
  3. Average better than 380 yards per game on offense.  Georgia’s offense is averaging 471.1 ypg.
  4. Finish in the top five in total defensive yardage.  Georgia’s defense ranks sixth in total defense.
  5. Finish in the top three in first downs.  Georgia is fourth in first downs.
  6. Finish no worse than third in passing yardage.  Georgia is fourth in passing yardage.
  7. Finish no worse than third in sacks.  Georgia is seventh in sacks.

Auburn proved to be good for what ailed them, stat wise.  But looking at the conference stats, it’s going to be hard for Georgia to hit those last two metrics – the three teams in front of them all throw the ball well and the Dawgs aren’t playing pass-happy squads the next two weeks, which will limit sack opportunities.  If that’s how things play out, we’ll revisit this in the offseason.  There’s no question expansion has impacted this.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!