Monthly Archives: December 2010

To have and have not

Pretty stark contrast here:

The profit for the 68 teams that play in the six major conferences was up 11% from the prior school year, according to a CNNMoney analysis of figures filed by each school with the Department of Education.

In the school year that ended in 2010, the vast majority of the schools in one of these deep-pocketed conferences posted a profit. Four of them broke even and only one — Wake Forest — reported a loss.

On average, each team earned $15.8 million last year, or well over $1 million per game…

… Bowl-eligible schools in the smaller conferences weren’t nearly as profitable. Fifty-three schools split profits of $26 million. Eight lost money.

Or as a specific example,

Texas Christian University and Boise State were the two small conference teams that met in the big-bucks Fiesta Bowl last year. But TCU’s $20 million in revenue, while the most among the small conference schools, would have put it 47th among the big-dollar conference schools. And that $20 million in revenue was only enough to allow the TCU program to break even.

This is why adopting a plus-one playoff format isn’t going to matter to people like Orrin Hatch as much as it might for you or me.  Our definition of fairness in this isn’t the same.

And to get some idea of where Hatch’s priorities might lead, click on the link at the bottom of the linked article that takes you to college basketball revenues.  As you go down the list there, note how much money Louisville’s program, which is the most profitable one in the country, earned and compare that number to the top five in football.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Bobo on Murray’s room for improvement

Mike Bobo has an interesting observation about his starting quarterback:

… Murray also can become more consistent, said Bobo, who noted a curiosity about the quarterback’s season: He has tended to play better in the second and third quarters of games than in the first and fourth periods.

“I think in the first quarter he gets hyped,” Bobo said. “His mechanics get a little off; he gets juiced on his throws.” As for fourth-quarter slippage, that has been a team-wide problem that will be a focus of off-season attention.

That got me curious.  So I took a look at the tale of the tape, via the always invaluable  This is the breakdown of Murray’s passer rating by quarter:

  1. 159.00
  2. 160.56
  3. 181.58
  4. 156.21

It seems that Bobo is on to something here.  Murray’s completion percentage is lowest in the fourth quarter – how much of that is due to the problem Bobo alludes to and how much of that is due to game conditions is hard to say.  (Although, note that when you look at his performance based on the game score, he was at his worst this season when games were tied.)

By the way, I continue to be impressed with Murray’s drive to improve.  It’s one thing that gives me hope that there will be some offset to the inevitable drop off resulting from A.J.’s departure next season.  Now if the coaches could find some way to bottle it and give it out to other players on the team…


Filed under Georgia Football

Points program

Here’s a nice tidbit from Gentry Estes’ piece examining Georgia’s academic policy which Caleb King ran afoul of:

… Alabama’s written policy uses positive and negative points, with one point issued for “A missed class, tutorial appointment, mentor appointment, counselor appointment or study hall obligation,” and suspension being automatic when the total reaches 10.

UA also gives itself the flexibility to award positive points for, “Demonstrating special effort in the classroom, putting forth extra effort in study hall or by meeting proactively with faculty members.”

Does “demonstrating special effort in the classroom” mean something more than showing up?  Beats me.  You also kinda have to wonder how much input a certain head coach has into the points awarded process.

At LSU, they don’t bother with any pesky window dressing.

… Some are perhaps even less stringent. Asked for its class attendance policy, an LSU official responded, “We wish to advise that the LSU Athletic Department does not have a written student-athlete class attendance policy but does monitor class attendance.”

Before some of you get riled up and start in the comments section with talk about how Georgia shouldn’t put itself at a disadvantage with its rivals over something like this, let Mark Richt shame you back to reality.

“I just think it’s another way to tell our players, tell the players’ families, tell our recruits that we’re serious about academics,” Richt said. “We have a plan for them, and if they follow it, then they’ll be fine. If they don’t, they’ll have to suffer the consequences for it.”

It ain’t, pardon the expression, exactly rocket science we’re talking about here.  Maybe when Mike Slive gets done making sure that no kid tied to NCAA violations gets left behind playing in a BCS game, he can turn his attention to leveling the academic playing field in his conference a wee bit.


Filed under Academics? Academics., SEC Football

Even in a spread era, it’s still the tight end, stupid.

Absolutely fascinating post over at Smart Football about the chess match going on between offensive coordinators successfully deploying spread offenses, defensive coordinators and their moves to get more speed on the field to counter spread attacks and offensive coordinators’ counters to those counters that’s well worth your time to read.

For example, take a look at this.

… Even if you don’t have a tight end in the program, start to develop one.  Over 80 percent of coaches polled by X&O Labs attack odd defenses by using various tight end formations. Whether by using 11 personnel (one tight end, one back), 12 personnel (two tight ends, one backs), or 21 personnel (one tight end, two backs), the tight end is pivotal in the run game.

We’ve all seen how productive spread offenses like Oregon, Boise State and Florida have been within the last three years.  What separates those teams from traditional spread teams is the implementation and execution of the tight end on normal downs.  According to our research, using a tight end in spread personnel accounts for two valuable advantages:

1.      It changes the structure of the defense: No longer can that safety/linebacker play in space, which is exactly what he wants to do.  Now he’s forced to cover down on a bigger, stronger opponent giving you leverage to get to the alley.

2.      It provides for an instant mismatch in the run game: Many of these hybrids don’t like to get their hands dirty.  These types, who usually weigh in the 180-210 pound range, are forced to balance up and fit in the framework against bigger tight ends.

It’s definitely food for thought for those of us who believe that programs like Georgia’s which continue to run pro-style offenses have an advantage recruiting that position over spread teams.  And that pro-style offenses offer the best way to attack three-down linemen defensive schemes with power running games.


Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

The most honest man in college athletics…

may be Sugar Bowl CEO Paul Hoolahan, who, after successfully lobbying Ohio State officials and Jim Delany to avoid suspending any Ohio State players for his game, offered these words of consolation (h/t Coaches Hot Seat Blog) to Buckeye fans who felt those players should not suit up for his bowl game:

“I appreciate and fully understand the Midwestern values and ethics behind that,” he said. “But I’m probably thinking of this from a selfish perspective.”

I like this comment:

Hoolahan said the Southeastern Conference, which has its tie-in with the Sugar Bowl, was eager to “display its wares against this type of opponent,” referring to an intact OSU squad.

Damn, that Mike Slive sure knows how to work both sides of the street, doesn’t he?

I can’t wait to hear Mark Emmert’s spin on that whole “display its wares” thing.  It’ll probably have something to do with not knowing.


Filed under Big Ten Football, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football, The NCAA

Cool beans.

McGarity is on a roll today.


Filed under Georgia Football

For Georgia fans, one less hard call to make.

Here’s an example of how Greg McGarity gets it:

To some, it is a tough call: watching the third round of the Masters or attending G-Day. You won’t have to make that choice next April.

Plans are “being finalized” to move Georgia’s spring football game back a week to April 16, UGA athletic director Greg McGarity told me as we waited at Hartsfield-Jackson for a (delayed) flight to Memphis on Monday. The Masters will be played April 7-10.

The G-Day game has been played on Masters Saturday the past couple of years. McGarity figures G-Day will benefit in terms of attendance and media attention by avoiding a conflict with the Masters.

You’d think that was obvious, wouldn’t you?


Filed under Georgia Football