Daily Archives: December 20, 2012

“Only the really dumb ones are getting caught.”

Regardless of whether you think this is a sensationalized story about steroid abuse, you can’t help but shake your head over this passage:

On paper, college football has a strong drug policy. The NCAA conducts random, unannounced drug testing and the penalties for failure are severe. Players lose an entire year of eligibility after a first positive test. A second offense means permanent ineligibility from sports.

In practice, though, the NCAA’s roughly 11,000 annual tests amount to just a fraction of all athletes in Division I and II schools. Exactly how many tests are conducted each year on football players is unclear because the NCAA hasn’t published its data for two years. And when it did, it periodically changed the formats, making it impossible to compare one year of football to the next.

In case I haven’t said it clearly enough before, Mark Emmert is an asshat.

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8 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, The Body Is A Temple, The NCAA

About that Georgia run defense…

No doubt it finished the regular season on more of a whimper than a bang, but I think it’s fair for Grantham to point out this perspective:

“We were pretty low in points allowed this year,” Grantham said. “As a matter of fact, lower than we were last year. That’s really more important than anything. We got to the SEC championship game two years in a row. To me those things are more important than stats.”

All true, but there’s still that sinking feeling in my heart that if the Dawgs had been just a little stronger stopping the run in the SECCG, we’d be chatting about all things Irish at GTP right now.  And the more I think about it, the more I think Chip Towers has correctly identified the biggest problem from that game.

The Alabama game exposed one of the Bulldogs’ weaknesses, which is depth along the defensive line. For all the accolades John Jenkins, Kwame Geathers and Garrison Smith have received this season, the drop off was pretty steep behind them. Ray Drew, Cornelius Washington and Mike Thornton are good athletes but are undersized when it comes to defending smash-mouth football. As a result, Jenkins, Geathers and Smith played nearly every snap of the Alabama game.

The game against Alabama was really the first one I was conscious of truly missing Abry Jones suiting up.  Jenkins and Geathers aren’t built to withstand playing throughout a game without wearing down and that showed up in the fourth quarter, as even Grantham acknowledges.

“I thought we got tired at the end of the game,” Grantham said. “I think we’ve got to continue to work and develop some depth. I think if we do that they’ll be fine.”

Grantham thinks he’s got some up-and-comers on the defensive line.  And it’s great that the underrated Smith will be back next fall.  But I sure would feel a whole lot better if Geathers decided to spend all of 2013 in red and black.

35 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

What if it’s not about the Jimmies and Joes OR the Xs and Os?

I’m coming around to the position that whichever coach is better able to get his team motivated to play in the Cap One Bowl is going to come out on top.

Woody Allen, for the win.

17 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

“Who’s getting hurt by too many?”, ctd.

I’m trying to think of a more reasonable thing that Stewart Mandel has written in his Mailbag than this, and I can’t come up with anything.

You’ve presumably read numerous stories about teams losing money by playing in bowls, most notably due to unsold tickets. It’s ridiculous for bowls to expect Florida State fans to pay $120 for the same upper-deck Orange Bowl tickets that are available for $17.50 on StubHub, and then if they don’t, stick the schools with the bill. More reasonably, give the schools a week to sell out their allotment (many this bowl season, including Stanford, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Kansas State, Syracuse, UCLA, Ole Miss and Iowa State, have done just that) before returning the rest, even if that means a lower payout to the team’s respective conference. Or, the conferences should cover ALL expenses, lopping that amount off the top of the overall bowl revenue it divides among its schools. No conference or school actually loses money in the bowl system, but it is true (and ridiculous) that 3-9 Auburn may receive a bigger cut of the SEC’s pie than 11-1 Florida simply because the former had no overpriced Sugar Bowl tickets of its own to unload.

Once you’ve addressed those issues, there’s no remaining downside I can see to having so many bowls. Players get a mini-vacation, $550 in gift swag and an extra month with their teammates. Coaches get the extra practice time and a recruiting bump. Fans of the participants get to go somewhere for the holidays. And the rest of us get three weeks of college football games on TV, which we’ve shown by now that we’ll happily watch.

Fine by me.  It’s a long time from mid-January to Labor Day, peeps.  I don’t need it to be any longer.

18 Comments

Filed under College Football

It’s good to be the king.

How ’bout this fun fact?

Saban leads all coaches in almost every measure of power. He has college football’s biggest salary, buyout, football budget and portion of his school’s athletic expenses. He is only surpassed in the category of his school’s coaching budget, of which he commands a roughly 30% share. That category is instead led by South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier (No. 8 overall), who collects nearly half of the money South Carolina pays its athletics coaches[Emphasis added.]

7 Comments

Filed under The Evil Genius

“The market for live sports rights have gone through the roof.”

There is a tension that the SEC is eventually going to have to face and resolve – and by “eventually”, I really mean sooner than later.  Here’s what Forbes has to say in its evaluation of what college football programs are worth:

Home games are the lifeblood of college football’s most financially successful teams. Almost every school-specific revenue stream – ticket sales, contributions, sponsorships, merchandise – is at least partly influenced by a team’s number of home games. And the financial impact of home football games reaches beyond the schools, as each team’s local community enjoys a sizable economic boost from the thousands of fans who flock to the area on gamedays.

Our methodology, explained in detail below, considers the economic impact of visiting fans, and it’s often quite big. A single home game could inject anywhere from $5 million to $10 million of direct spending into a school’s local economy, depending on the team…

Those cupcakes are mighty tasty, Slim.  Having that extra home game each and every season is worth some serious jack.  But so is this.

The SEC is renegotiating its long-term rights deals with ESPN and CBS after Texas A&M and Missouri joined the league.

“We’ve been looking at all of our options since we added A&M and Missouri,” Slive said. “As these conversations have evolved, we’ve now begun to focus clearly on what we think is the right way to go.”

What form an SEC network would take is unclear, although it would likely be a partnership of some sort with ESPN. Industry analyst Chris Bevilacqua, who was integrally involved with putting together the Pac-12’s deal with ESPN and Fox, suggested the SEC would likely fall somewhere on the spectrum between the Longhorn Network and the Big Ten Network. The Longhorn Network is fully owned by ESPN, which agreed to pay Texas $300 million over 20 years. The Big Ten owns 49 percent of its network; Fox owns 51 percent.

The Pac-12 has a 100-percent stake in its regional networks, which began broadcasting in August. By taking on all of the risk, the Pac-12 also reaps all of the reward.

“Is the SEC gonna take on risk and therefore build more upside? My strong sense is they will be more focused on having ESPN take on more of the risk,” Bevilacqua said. “They’re gonna get compensated handsomely, no matter what.”

The WWL isn’t going to pay as handsomely for the rights to the Georgia-Georgia Southern game as it would for a game against Georgia’s ninth conference opponent.  But that means one less home game every other year for each SEC school.  Who wins out?  Math is hard.  But I wouldn’t bet against the network.

9 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, SEC Football