Monthly Archives: February 2013

Your scheduling talk won’t save you now.

Phil Steele breaks down the SEC schedules for this season here.  His South Carolina analysis tells us something we already knew.

South Carolina-Head coach Steve Spurrier has been quick to note that the Gamecocks have the best record against their SEC East competitors over the past 2 years but have failed to make it to Atlanta due to the uneven crossover division schedules. This year that all changes as the Gamecocks avoid all 3 of the best teams in the SEC West, but they do open up with B2B games against North Carolina and a road trip to Georgia. They do get an all-important bye prior to a home game against Florida and then also get in-state rival Clemson at home in the finale.

Hopefully, Spurrier will be honest enough to admit things broke his way this year when the scheduling questions come flying at SEC Media Days.

Miles will probably still be grumbling, because LSU pulls Florida and Georgia, while Alabama manages to dodge the big three in the East again while drawing Tennessee and Kentucky.  But the folks who really have grounds to complain are at Arkansas.

The Hogs play Florida and South Carolina from the SEC East in back-to-back weeks and those two games are sandwiched between Texas A&M and Alabama, which gives them arguably the toughest 4-game stretch of any team in the country for 2013.

Arguably?  I’d hate to see who’s got it worse than that.



Filed under Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, SEC Football

They’re only in it for the money.

I don’t think Chip Towers’ post on Georgia’s reaction to the new NCAA recruiting rules is unreasonable in its logic, but that doesn’t mean it’s unquestionable.  For one thing, he makes an assumption that hasn’t played out yet.

Bylaw on “non-coaching staff members” expressly forbids people in positions such as Steele from analyzing video of prospects or interacting with prospects or current players in any on-field coaching capacity. Yes, the new proposals allow them to communicate with prospects by mail, email, text or phone call. But all indications are those proposals are going to be overturned by schools by the end of the override period, which is March 20th. Then what are these new hires going to do?

I haven’t seen anything yet that suggests all the proposals are going to be overturned in their entirety.  I do think the most expensive stuff – the unlimited mailings, for example – isn’t likely to survive.  But the non-coaching staff issue?  I’m far from sure about that, because there are already a lot of schools invested in that area.  Including, as Towers points out in his very next paragraph, Georgia:

Besides, a closer look reveals that Georgia is pretty well-stocked as it is when it comes to “non-coaching personnel” in the athletic department. A quick check of the Bulldogs’ administrative directory shows that UGA already has a director of football operations (Brad Hutcherson), a director of player development (John Eason), a director of player welfare (Dave Van Halanger), a director of on-campus recruiting (Darryl Jones), a recruiting program coordinator (Connie Connelly), a program coordinator (Bryant Gantt) and a recruiting assistant (Ben Bradenburg). That doesn’t count Josh Brooks, whose responsibilities as assistant AD for internal operations have mostly to do with football; Mike Cavan, a former major college head football coach who primarily works as an athletics fundraiser but is also a de facto football consultant for Athletic Director Greg McGarity; and several graduate assistant coaches and video coordinators.

As these are people already there, there’s no expense issue in adapting to the new rules.  It’s more a matter of how much additional on-campus recruiting responsibilities are placed on those folks as part of their job descriptions.

Towers concludes by asking a question that infers there’s little to be achieved from this – I mean, how many people do you need to oversee 100 players and sign 25 prospects a year to scholarships? – but here’s what I wonder.  If there’s nothing to be gained from it, why did Nick Saban hire Kevin Steele in the first place?  And why is Greg McGarity fighting so hard to overturn the change?


Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Recruiting

Musical palate cleanser, cable bills blues edition

With the news that a cable company is suing Viacom over bundling a bunch of crappy channels nobody wants with the stuff that does get watched, here’s The Boss weighing in:

Now I know this is largely bs…

The manner in which Viacom sells its programming is illegal, anti-consumer, and wrong. Viacom effectively forces Cablevision’s customers to pay for and receive little-watched channels in order to get the channels they actually want. Viacom’s abuse of its market power is not only illegal, but also prevents Cablevision from delivering the programming that its customers want and that competes with Viacom’s less popular channels.

… because, let’s face it, if Cablevision were to succeed, it would pocket most of the savings as opposed to passing them on – this is a cable company we’re talking about here, right? – but you’ve got to start somewhere.  If nothing else, the rhetoric promises to be fun to watch.


Filed under It's Just Bidness

This is how you get to arguing that Trent Dilfer was a better quarterback than Dan Marino.

Listy, list, list

3. Aaron Murray, Georgia

… Aaron Murray has thrown for 10,901 yards and 95 touchdowns in his career. How in the world is he No. 3 on the list? Despite his 4-10 record against top 25 teams in three seasons, Murray hasn’t been able to win the big game yet, but that’s not all his fault. Georgia tends to avoid showing up against ranked opponents on the biggest stage, and that includes Murray. Over the longevity of his career, Murray has produced numbers, but he has very little accolades and hardware to show for it…

2. AJ McCarron, Alabama

AJ McCarron has won back-to-back national championships. And if he had as many attempts as Aaron Murray over the last two seasons (789 compared to 642), his numbers would be much more prolific. McCarron has registered 5,950 yards passing and 49 touchdowns, compared to just eight INTs, in just two years as a full-time starter.

I know somebody’s gotta be three and somebody’s gotta be two, but can I ask the obvious question here:  if Murray and McCarron had swapped teams the past two seasons, does anybody really think there’d be two more crystal footballs gracing Butts-Mehre today?  Unless you’re willing to say yes to that, how is a natty relevant to a discussion of which quarterback is better?

I think about this particularly in the context of the SECCG.  ‘Bama won the game by taking the ball out of McCarron’s hands (except for that play action TD pass that you knew was coming).  Georgia almost won the game by putting the ball in Murray’s hands.  Does that Georgia’s defense couldn’t stop the Alabama running game make McCarron a better quarterback than Murray?  I guess for some people, maybe it does.


Filed under SEC Football

“I don’t think they did us any favors, that’s for sure.”

The genius sounds a mite bit perturbed with the ACC scheduling office.

On the plus side, at least he’s got his excuse ready when Tech finishes the season 7-5.


Filed under ACC Football, Georgia Tech Football

Things that make Greg McGarity shake his head.

‘Dem ol’ coaching salary blues:

University of Arkansas offensive line coach Sam Pittman has yet to coach a game and already has received a raise and contract extension.

Pittman, according to documents released by the UA in response to a Freedom of Information Act Request, will earn $500,000 annually and received an additional two years on his contract. He was hired in December at $275,000 with a deal that ran through June 30, 2014.

Yes, Arkansas’ o-line coach now makes more money than Mike Bobo and has a multi-year deal to boot.

Maybe McGarity can lobby the NCAA about that.


Filed under It's Just Bidness

“So all this talk about loopholes, there’s not a lot of ground for that.”

Not too surprisingly, the NCAA has shut down what’s been called the Manziel loophole by telling Texas A & M it would consider an intentional copyright violation for the purposes of funneling money to a player to be a violation.

You can be skeptical about how much effect that would have on a booster and a student-athlete testing the system.  However, I think this is the part that makes such a scheme more unlikely to succeed:

Hinckley said the Johnny Football phenomenon has been a learning experience on the business and legal side. He calls the situation a “three-headed monster” involving Manziel’s likeness, his intellectual property rights and the intellectual property rights of Texas A&M. Hinckley said about 20 percent of the unlicensed Johnny Football merchandise he’s seen has also infringed upon Texas A&M’s marks. Texas A&M is not allowed to market merchandise bearing Manziel’s name or nickname. It is allowed to sell his No. 2 jersey with no name attached. Still, even if Texas A&M’s marks are not used by a Johnny Football merchandise seller, Hinckley said any use of the school colors (maroon and white) could be considered a violation of the school’s intellectual property rights based on the 2009 ruling in favor of LSU against Florida-based T-shirt maker Smack Apparel.

It’s hard to see how a school would be willing to take part in such an arrangement, because in addition to risking the wrath of the NCAA if it’s caught, it’s also risking its own intellectual property rights by tolerating that.  There simply isn’t enough money in t-shirts to make that worthwhile.  Particularly when the money isn’t even flowing to the school for its trouble.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Factoid of the day

… comes via Athlon:

Auburn and Georgia are the only two schools in the SEC with at least five winning conference seasons in each of the past four decades.

That’s the kind of stuff you run into when you acknowledge there’s life before 1990, Gator fans.


Filed under SEC Football

He’s probably still got his old hat.

Good news, everyone!  Trooper Taylor’s name surfaces in Tennessee’s hunt for a replacement for Jay Graham.


Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

Don’t cry for me, FCS athletic directors.

Despite the hand wringing over this, it seems there’s still an appetite for cupcakes in Texas, thank you very much.


Filed under It's Just Bidness