Mark Richt will be the last speaker scheduled. But it’s on what looks to be the most entertaining day (Saban and SOD) of the show.
Daily Archives: March 5, 2012
Paul Johnson tries to sell us some historical perspective on his glorious reign – the operative word being “tries”.
You go back and you look at the last four years, we’ve probably won more games than anybody since Coach (Bobby) Dodd, so they’ve actually performed well. (Ed. note: Tech won 43 games from 2008 to 2011, third most since Dodd’s retirement for a four-year span since 1966. Tech won 46 between 2006 and 2009.)
True, he did say “probably”.
He goes on to chide the fans for having “selective memories about how it used to be”. Gee, I wonder where they got that notion from.
The momentum towards keeping one permanent cross-divisional game on the conference schedule grows. This weekend we heard from South Carolina’s president that there was a consensus towards hanging on to it, and now Greg McGarity sounds cautiously hopeful about it.
“I do feel better,” McGarity said Sunday. “The tone of the conversations that everyone had sort of gave the impression that everyone had a sense, at least the majority had a sense, of liking the rivalry game with an opponent from the opposite division. The tone led us to believe that this has a good opportunity of moving forward.”
If you assume that they keep the game and that the NCAA doesn’t change the conditions for hosting a conference championship game, that would seem to leave the SEC with three options (format in order of divisional games, rotating cross-divisional games and permanent cross-divisional game):
- Eight games (6-1-1, with home-and-home against teams in the other division). You could argue that this would be the smallest variation from the current arrangement, as the only change would be dropping one team from the other division to accommodate the added in-division game. The problem is that you’d be putting a lot of matchups on a very long rotation. Telling CBS it’ll only have a crack at a Florida-Alabama regular season game once a decade or so isn’t the best way to get it to open the checkbook. And telling the fans that they’ll have to pay a similar price to make sure there’s one more extra special cupcake game on the home schedule for which they’ll be expected to pony up for isn’t likely to go over much better.
- Eight games (6-1-1, without home-and-home against teams in the other division). I forget who tossed the idea out the other week of decoupling the rotating cross-divisional games from a home-and-home basis, but I can see the ADs gravitating towards it for one simple reason – it makes the broadcasters happier, since the frequency of the marquee cross-divisional matchups can be better managed than under a home-and-home scenario. Fans buying tickets are just as screwed, though.
- Nine games (6-2-1). From a fan standpoint it’s the most logical choice. From a broadcast standpoint, it’s the most attractive option. But the coaches dislike the added competition. And the ADs are in the middle.
As for the ninth conference game, I suspect there’s a price point where the ADs’ doubts go away and they override the coaches’ objections. The question is whether ESPN and CBS are willing to pay it. If not, that second option may start looking buttah and buttah.
I’ve long thought that college football and basketball are sweet deals for the NFL and NBA – the pros get the benefit of several years’ worth of player development and sometimes player promotion at no expense. With those pipelines in place, why go to the trouble and expense of maintaining elaborate minor leagues, as pro baseball does?
The question which John Infante asks is, even if it’s the NFL’s world and college football is just living in it, do the NCAA and its member institutions have a responsibility to develop student-athletes for a professional career?
If you say they do, that’s going to require a fairly radical restructuring of the status quo.
… You could run college athletics as a developmental league, with longer seasons, fewer games against higher levels of competition, and more incentives for producing pros than for winning games. And it would not be a revolutionary idea to provide an education and training in a discipline that the vast majority of students will never make a living from (see: many performing and arts majors).
But the best musicians are produced in conservatories and the best actors come from performing arts schools. A university can develop and produce talented entertainers, but it would be hard to argue that the specialized environment doesn’t have a number of advantages a university never will.
The fight over pay-for-play and academic standards is part of a larger discussion about what we do with athletes between the ages of about 12 and 22. To come up with an answer, we need an answer to this question: How important is going to high school and college with their peer group for professional athletes? Do they have to reach those milestones at the normal ages to get the benefits? Do they have to go to traditional educational institutions? Or is simply getting the education at some point the key?
It would be a lot easier if the NFL would step up to the plate, but it has zero financial incentive to do so. That leaves the NCAA to fumble around with yet another piece to the amateurism puzzle it struggles to solve.
It’s hard to argue with much in Paul Myerberg’s post-mortem of Georgia’s 2011 season.
The Bulldogs allowed only 27 points in the first quarter all season: Boise State, Florida and Auburn scored one touchdown apiece; Mississippi State and Kentucky added a field goal; and the rest, the other nine teams, were held scoreless. In the first half of games, Georgia outscored its 14 opponents by a score of 275-111. Against Auburn on Nov. 12, the Bulldogs put together the program’s most dominating first half of SEC play since… when?
But it was a different story in the second half…
His look forward is pretty much spot on, as well.
… So why is Georgia’s succession plan for these five former standouts so vital? Because everything else is in place to make a B.C.S. run. The offense is ready to take another step forward if the new-look line gels in time for September. The defense gets better with every snap it takes in Todd Grantham’s 3-4 system. If Richt can seamlessly insert a handful of new starters into the mix, the only thing Georgia will be missing is a killer instinct. [Emphasis added.]
Not exactly a minor detail, that.