Daily Archives: June 25, 2009

Meyer: it’s the Jimmies and Joes, stupid.

The Orlando Sentinel has a refreshingly straightforward Q & A session with Corch Meyers worth a look, especially for this quote:

MEYER: “If you know me, you know I think any offense can work if you have the right personnel back. Offenses are overrated. People are not. The NFL will take a quarterback and put him on a very bad team and call him a bust. Never mind that the defense ranks last in the league and there’s no offensive line. Chris Leak [in 2005] had about as bad a three-game [stretch] as we’ve had at Florida that I’ve ever had as a coach and it just so happened that Bubba Caldwell broke his leg, Jermaine Cornelius sprained his ankle, Chad Jackson had a bad hamstring and Dallas Baker broke his ribs. And so Chris Leak struggled the next three games when we’re playing LSU, Georgia. It doesn’t matter what you run. It’s personnel based.”



Filed under Strategery And Mechanics, Urban Meyer Points and Stares

If it’s worth doing once…

If you liked ShoalCreekVol’s initial foray into SEC-based humor, you’re bound to enjoy his next shot.

Is SCV making the rounds of the conference with these posts?   I can’t wait to see what he tosses in our direction.


Filed under Crime and Punishment, The Blogosphere

Big boys

Take a minute to read David Hale’s blog post on the coalescence of the offensive line.  It’s grounds for optimism, that’s for sure.  In fact, the only thing that could make me happier would be talk that one of the defensive ends was unblockable by these guys.

There’s still time for that, though.

And I love Sturdivant’s quote about Chris Burnette.

“But everything that we’ve put in front of him, he knows. We can call any call, and he just spits it out just like that. I know he had a 5.8 GPA in high school, and it’s definitely transferring.”


Filed under Georgia Football

There’s no traction.

The AP story on the BCS’ Presidential Oversight Committee’s rejection of the Mountain West Conference’s postseason proposal was so blandly underwritten that I wasn’t even going to waste a blog post on it.  Fortunately, USA Today has dug deeper on the story.

Committee chair (and University of Oregon president) David Frohnmayer has more than a few choice words about the subject.

First, a rap on the knuckles for the MWC:

“They signed up for this with their eyes open, and to unravel it now would make no sense. Nobody has a crystal ball to see what could happen five years from now. But it’s fair to say the BCS had already considered almost every single aspect of this proposal in the past. We weren’t plowing fresh ground in that sense.”

Coupled with a reminder of where the moneys floweth from –

“A lot of these playoff proposals have not thought about their business models,” he said. “They seem to assume the bowls would be on-board with this. They’d wreck the Rose Bowl, which is the most storied bowl in American history. To say that would be a quarterfinal destination is ridiculous.”

Along with a reminder that what’s already being paid out isn’t that insignificant:

Frohnmayer, however, said a league such as the Mountain West receives about “10 times” the revenue from the BCS than it did under prior postseason systems.

All of which pretty much adds up to your basic “sit in the corner quietly, Junior, and wait your turn”.  Which will come if there’s a market for it.

Frohnmeyer has a little something for the folks back in DC, too.

… A former Oregon attorney general and ex-member of the state’s House of Representatives, Frohnmayer also criticized the possibility of congressional intervention in the debate over whether there should be a playoff, especially considering the economic conditions facing the country.

“Tinkering legislatively with a football playoff system as a national priority is a huge waste of my taxpayer dollars,” he said. “I think taxpayers would look at it in real anger. To tinker around because you don’t like the outcome of a football season is a classic misuse of priorities.”

Stern message, but a misuse of priorities has never stopped Washington politicians before.  I suspect Senator Hatch is looking forward to having the last word on this, probably in a Senate hearing.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Political Wankery

This Year’s Model

I know this is a lengthy passage of Jerry’s I’m about to quote, but bear with me here:

Blutarsky takes Rocky Top Talk to task–as he’s taken the JCCW to task in the past–for viewing the much smaller ratio of head coach salary to assistant coaches’ salary at UT as a new model for doing business in the SEC. Although Blutarsky may be right that that ratio might not actually be voluntary on the part of Kiffykins and the Chiznick and that they’re simply being paid the going rate for first-time coaches in the SEC (I would disagree with the second part–however fresh-faced the pair of them may be, they’re still coaching at Auburn and Tennessee and earning far, far less for that than their predecessors), I still think that misses the point a bit. Whether it’s part of a carefully orchestrated plan to try and get the most bang for the program’s coaching salary buck or simply a natural, inevitable outcome of not having to break the bank for the man in charge, the ratio–both in terms of salary and perceived importance of the staff-at-large to the team’s success–is still pretty well unprecedented, no? I think it’s fair to say both Kiffin and Chizik were hired not for the coaches they are but for the staff they planned to create, and what other head coaches in the history of the SEC’s major programs can we say that about?

I got a bunch of similar feedback from the commenters at RTT for that post of mine – some of it less polite than Jerry’s, but interesting nonetheless – and I’ve got to say that  I simply don’t find these responses convincing.  Let me give you a few reasons why I’m not buying this whole “new model” proposition from either school.

  1. Market?  What market? It’s sort of conveniently brushed over, but when Auburn and Tennessee went shopping for a new head coach this winter, there weren’t exactly a ton of front line options for either school.  Jon Gruden didn’t lose his Tampa Bay job at a convenient moment for UT (and don’t tell me that Hamilton and the Vol fan base wouldn’t have been all over him in a heartbeat if he’d been there for the hiring, no matter the cost).   Will Muschamp decided to stay in Austin (how much would Auburn have shelled out for him?).  The one big college head coach name in play was Mike Leach, who was evidently too much of a character to be seriously considered, but who was looking for a salary in line with what the ousted head coaches had been paid, which wasn’t unreasonable.  There simply weren’t a lot of glamor picks to chase after.  Once you got past the A-list for schools like Auburn and UT, though, two things were likely to happen:  you were going to wind up spending less on the new coach’s salary and the fans weren’t going to be as thrilled about the hire.  Check and check.
  2. Nobody’s really skimping on salaries here. Contrary to Jerry’s assertion, Kiffin and Chizik are doing okay salary-wise.  Check out this chart from the AJ-C of the salaries of the head coaches in the ACC and SEC.  Using my fingers and toes real quickly, I see Junior checking in at #12 on the list at Chizik at #14.  That ain’t too shabby – especially in the former’s case, as he’s the highest paid coach in either conference without previous head football coaching experience on the collegiate level.  Plus, he’s only making $400K/year less than Fulmer was when he got canned. (I’m using “only” in the context of that enormous UT athletic department budget, people.)  Don’t forget that Chizik’s new salary nearly doubled what he was making at his prior stop.  So I have a hard time with the argument that these numbers are somehow discounted.  How much do you have to pay guys that have sorry records as head coaches, anyway?
  3. It’s not invention that’s the mother of necessity, you know. Let’s be blunt for a second:  the reason that there isn’t a traditional gap between Lane’s and Monte’s salaries is because there’s a huge gap between their resumes.  At some point in time, this deal got sold to Hamilton and the UT fan base as a package arrangement.  And there’s nothing wrong with that. Just don’t pitch it as something it’s not.  Similarly, the Chizik hire didn’t exactly fire folks up on the Plains, but the subsequent hire of the staff did.  If you’re gonna insist that this was the game plan all along, fine – but where’s the evidence?  When the hire came down, the biggest sales point I heard about Chizik was that he dumped Jimmy Sexton to get the job.  Isn’t it at least as likely that this “new model” was a course of action decided on after the lukewarm response from the fan base over the head coaching decision?
  4. Sudden and out of character. Whatever adjective you want to apply to the typical SEC athletic director, “trailblazing” isn’t likely to be it.  Check out this article from June, 2008, about the rising salaries of head coaches.  It’s all the usual hand-wringing we’ve come to expect from these guys – and note that Hamilton is quoted extensively there.  There’s not even a hint that he’s prepared to start thinking outside the box.  Yet less than six months later, he’s done a 180-degree turn on his business model.  And this is believable to you?
  5. Some trend you’ve got here. If this is such a fantastic idea, you’d think it would be an even better one for SEC basketball, where the revenue generated is much less than is the case for football.  Yet the athletic directors at Alabama, Georgia and Kentucky weren’t swayed by it.  I wonder why.
  6. The model isn’t sustainable. It doesn’t take a Corch Meyers to foresee that one of two things will happen at these schools.  Either their head coaches will succeed, or they won’t.  If they win, their salaries will be going up.  Rapidly, and for all the usual reasons – ego, paranoia and the prospects of other programs/teams lining up to raid an “underpaid” coach.  If they lose, they’ll be gone (probably with the ADs that hired them, too).  What do you figure the likelihood will be then that (1) the fans will take comfort in their athletic departments’ bold experiments, despite the losses; and (2) given the prodigious amounts of money flowing through the two programs, the ADs in place at that time will continue to use the “new model” – especially if there’s an attractive A-list candidate out there to chase?  That’s what I thought.

Yeah, it’s the offseason and I know I’m veering dangerously close here to committing felonious assault on a deceased equine.  In the vast scheme of things, this isn’t that big a deal.

But that’s what puzzles me the most about this.  Why does it matter, anyway? Why are we getting all the chest beating about a new economic order from the ADs, the coaches and their supporters?  The cynic in me says it’s little more than after the fact justification for two schools who couldn’t find their own versions of Nick Saban this go ’round.  But what do I know?  After all, the coach at my school sits at #5 on that AJ-C list.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, SEC Football