To recap: last January, the JCCW posited that Tennessee’s and Auburn’s commitment to spending far more money on their assistant coaches than at any point in their program’s history while simultaneously spending less (far less in Auburn’s case) on their new head coaches than their predecessors might represent “perhaps a new way of financial thinking in the SEC.” Blutarsky responded with skepticism. The JCCW responded with silly pictures. Earlier this week, Rocky Top Talk made a similar argument regarding Kiffin. Blutarsky responded, again with skepticism. The JCCW responded to that response.
That brings us to this new post from Blutarsky in response to that response…
We’ve spilled a lot of bandwidth on this, so I don’t want to go on very long here, but I do think there’s something that bears repeating.
Jerry thinks that there’s big changes afoot, and that even if they don’t rise to a level worthy of being categorized as a new model, they’re significant enough to bear watching.
Me? I can’t see it as any more than the logical extension of what’s been coming for a while now, namely, the steady rise in coaching salaries. The only difference between what UT and Auburn have done and what Oklahoma and Alabama are doing is that the latter two are blowing the big money on the marquee head coaches and the former aren’t.
Not by choice, though. If the right big name had been there, each would have been happy to toss the bucks at him. In the SEC these days, money’s no object if you’ve got a target. Auburn and Tennessee, coming off of disappointing seasons and watching rival schools hit home runs with their most recent hires, didn’t want to waste their ammo, so they simply shifted their sights to what was available – big name assistant coaches. Inevitable, given the players involved.
That’s fine, but it isn’t the same thing as a planned strategy worth crowing about or emulating. The continuing insistence that there’s more going on here than meets the eye risks sounding positively Fredo-esque.
The likely long term impact from all this is that there a lot of assistant coaches – particularly the great recruiters – who are going to need to put Mike Hamilton and Jay Jacobs on their Christmas card lists. Now that’s a plan Jimmy Sexton can believe in.