A back-handed compliment from Montana

Stewart Mandel ($$) ponders a possible change in his infamous (well, in these parts, anyway) college football feudal hierarchy.

As we head into 2020, do you plan on re-doing your college football feudal hierarchy list soon? Along those lines, do you think it would be appropriate to add the label of “emperors” beyond the “Kings” of the sport? You have a set of programs making their annual conference races nearly foregone conclusions, such as Clemson, Oklahoma and Ohio State.

Quintin M., Bowling Green, Ohio

In the past I’ve done it every five years (2007, 2012 and 2017), specifically to avoid getting too caught up in what’s happening right now. Remember: These “tiers” I devised are not strictly based on performance on the field. It’s more a measure of how their brands are perceived. As I’ve explained in the past, college programs’ prestige levels took years, if not decades, to build, so we wouldn’t expect their brand power to change considerably one way or the other in a short span of time.

But a question worth considering: Is the number of programs that qualify for the top tier — be it Kings, or your suggested Emperor subset — in fact shrinking? I’ve always had about the same number in that top tier. But of those 13 as of 2017, nearly half — Florida, Florida State, Miami, Michigan Texas and USC — are probably not held in quite as high esteem as the others. (Miami quite frankly is in danger of falling out completely, which seems nuts to say about a team that’s won five national championships in my lifetime.) Florida and Michigan have won plenty of games recently, USC won a Rose Bowl not that long ago, but they’re not Playoff contenders — and that’s now coming to define programs far more than any other element.

Now, one or more of those could turn around and reach the CFP in the next year or two and go right back to enjoying exalted status. Which is exactly why I’m not inclined to update these rankings any sooner than I have to. But it’s interesting to note that while I was able to cite five programs from the top tier whose prestige has been suffering, I only one see Baron on the cusp of potential promotion — old friend Georgia. That, too, speaks to a possible thinning of the ranks of what we consider “the top of the sport.”

So, you see, it’s not so much a matter of Georgia’s brand being enhanced as it is there being fewer trees in the forest blocking the view.

I guess that means not as many people recognize the Song Girls as they used to.

23 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Your 1.29.20 Playpen

Let’s do a request today, peeps!

Screenshot_2020-01-29 Your 1 15 20 Playpen

Talk among yourselves about yourselves.  But let’s make it a little broader than just businesses.  If you work for a volunteer or non-profit organization that you’d like to introduce us to, feel free to promote that in the comments, too.

159 Comments

Filed under GTP Stuff

Doing less with more

Ah, good times.

That and 500 bucks would get you a flight and a ticket to watch them play in the Oahu Bowl.  I guess in the end, Jim Donnan waited 55 years to get to Hawaii.

26 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Some moar Monkening

I keep scouring the intertubes for more insight into what Georgia’s new offensive coordinator brings to the table.  Here’s another clip from a Cleveland fan who had great hopes, based on Monken’s playcalling at Tampa Bay.  That didn’t work out, but the clip is still informative.

This, to my mind, is the kind of thing that Georgia’s playcalling lacked in 2019, a deliberate design to formations and route running to free up receivers from coverage.  (Too bad Winston wasn’t consistent enough to take advantage.)

A couple of particular points:  one, I hope Dawg quarterbacks and receivers spend a lot of time this offseason getting to know each other well, because communication is a big deal with some of those concepts, and, two, running backs who can catch the ball are going to play a lot under Monken.

What do y’all see there?

15 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

“There’s going to have to be some sort of systemic intervention…”

So, what happens when you get a former P5 university president sitting in Congress?  Shit happens.

A proposed federal law is the latest — and perhaps most powerful — attempt seeking to limit spiraling salaries among college coaches. The possibility of an anti-trust exemption emerging from that law would allow schools to limit or cap those salaries with the creation of a national commission that would aim to reform college athletics.

“I’m mortified at these salaries,” said House Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL), sponsor of the CACIA Act of 2019. “We have not been able to slow spending or expenditures.”

The bill introduced last month would establish the Congressional Advisory Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics (CACIA) “to investigate the relationship between institutions of higher education and intercollegiate athletic programs.”

Most of the national attention for the proposed bill has centered around increased oversight of sexual assault by the NCAA regarding athletes. However, the bill contains a provision that would examine “the amount of funds expended on coaching salaries …”

Her motivation is exactly what you’d expect.

Shalala said that the SEC pursued Miami in expansion talks in the early 2000s while she was president of the university.

“We just could not compete with their [coaching] salaries,” Shalala said.

Miami eventually left the Big East for the ACC.

Jimmy Sexton 1, Donna Shalala 0.  Now, it’s revenge time.  This is what passes for high end economics theory.  And, this, too:

“There has to be some constraints because it’s just gotten out of control or, legally, we’re going to have to start paying players,” Ridpath said. “That doesn’t mean [Duke basketball coach] Mike Krzyzewski might have to get by on $2 million rather than $9 million. You could actually put in a rule that a president should at least get paid $1 more [than a coach].”

I’m sure Duke’s president would be totally fine with that.

Oh, and while they’re busy fixing salaries, North Carolina athletic director Bubba Cunningham has another suggestion.

“Intercollegiate athletics does a very poor job with coaches contracts in general,” Cunningham said. “The pro leagues don’t have those issues. We have the issues other people don’t. Our buyouts are significant. … We need to be better in constructing our contracts. When we commit to a coach, a coach commits to an institution. And you can’t go other places.”

Bubba, nothing’s stopping you from offering that kind of deal to the next coach you want to hire.  Well, nothing except an open market setting.  A law to protect you from your own mediocrity sure would be handy.

22 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery

Gratuitous recruiting post

The Sport247 Composite has seen its last revision for the class of 2020, and Clemson no longer sits at the top.

Screenshot_2020-01-29 2020 Football Team Rankings

Six SEC teams in the top ten, but there are gaps between the top two (Alabama and Georgia) and the other four.  To give you an idea of that gap, Mississippi State finished closer to Florida in average points than Florida did to Georgia.

Georgia is the highest rated team from the perspective of average points.  It’s also the team with the fewest number of commits in the top ten.

As I understand it, even if Evans returns to the fold and goes with Georgia, the Dawgs can’t surpass Alabama, because Evans can’t sign a second NLI with Georgia.  (He simply arrives on campus and enrolls, like Roquan.)

So much for the death of the Alabama dynasty under Nick Saban, eh?

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UPDATE:  One more thing — if you rank SEC schools by the number of top 100 kids, here’s how that looks:

  • Alabama — 11
  • Georgia — 11
  • LSU — 8
  • Texas A&M — 6
  • Auburn — 5
  • Florida — 4
  • Tennessee — 3
  • South Carolina — 3
  • Kentucky — 1

There are a couple of those recruits left to make commitments/sign, so Florida and ‘Bama or LSU make pick up another, but that’s still a pretty good indication of how the top talent spread out around the conference.

26 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting

G-Day comin’.

And spring practice starts in less than two months.

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Filed under Georgia Football