Daily Archives: December 4, 2014

Show everybody the money.

You want to make your dealings public, Gators?  Fine, let’s air that sucker out.

“… the largest such buyout in college football history…”

Wonder if that will escalate the way coaching salaries have.

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Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, It's Just Bidness

“Winning 10 games is important to everyone.”

Which means what, exactly, if Georgia loses its bowl game?  That Mark Richt will be on double-secret probation or something?

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Filed under Georgia Football

Money for nothing

Matt Hayes isn’t my idea of what passes for an astute observer of the college football scene, so for him to get this right should tell you how obvious the current situation is.

This is where we are in the game: Money means nothing — because everyone has it, no one is afraid to spend it and anything is possible.

Like Hugh Freeze, one of the game’s hot young coaches, getting a $1.5-million-a-year raise (to $4.5 million annually) from Ole Miss to stay in Oxford and not leave for Florida. He’s 24-14 in three years at Ole Miss, and 11-13 in the SEC — and he’s now among college football’s highest-paid coaches.

Like Dan Mullen, who a year ago had just saved his job with a late-season run, soon signing a contract extension at Mississippi State instead of leaving for more prominent jobs at Michigan and Nebraska. You better believe he’ll make the same or slightly more than Freeze, and both will be fat and happy with a four-year deal at a place they know, in a job they’ve built, with people they trust.

When money is even, loyalty and ease of living (see: pressure to win big at powerhouse schools) become top priority.

Even the NFL is feeling the money pinch. According to one industry source, Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin was pursued by multiple NFL teams last December, but instead signed a contract extension through 2019 with the Aggies worth $5 million annually. All that cash for a coach who was then 20-6 in two seasons in the SEC, with third- and fourth-place finishes in the SEC West.

After three years, Sumlin’s SEC record stands at 13-11 and he has added a sixth-place finish in the West to his resume — and he’s among the five highest-paid coaches in all of college football.

For some, it’s hard to grasp how much TV money is flowing through the coffers of the P5 conferences these days.  But it shouldn’t be. (Especially when you consider how much money Charlie Weis has stolen been paid in the past few years.)  And maybe, just maybe, that’s part of what’s running through the head of CSU’s president as he seeks to hold Florida to paying the full asking price for Jim McElwain’s buyout.  After all, there’s so much money floating around now, if a coach is that sought after, why not figure somebody’s eventually going to pay it all?

And on the flip side, it seems like there are few things more valuable these days than a head coach who wins almost three-quarters of his games, makes a few conference championship games, helps a program generate $70+ million in annual revenues, all while expressing gratitude over being paid a salary that ranks in the bottom half of the SEC.  You think Greg McGarity doesn’t appreciate that he could do a lot worse?

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UPDATE:  In case you’re still not convinced, take a look north to see what a 6-6 season gets you.

In other “As the Coaching World Turns” news, Tennessee is currently working on a new contract for coach Butch Jones, reports VolQuest.com. Tennessee AD Dave Hart told the site that those conversations are already underway and that, “It will get done in an appropriate fashion” since Jones’ focus is on recruiting right now. Jones is already locked into a six-year deal worth in the neighborhood of $18 million, but as we all know by now, that’s yesterday’s news. Getting Jones under a new, more lucrative and extensive contract will help keep potential suitors at bay.

There is a decent likelihood by the time the next SEC Media Days rolls around that, except for Derek Mason, Mark Richt will be the lowest-paid coach in the room.  That’s some crazy shit right there.

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UPDATE #2:  New coach makes bank.

 

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Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

Upon further review, it’s not about the squib kick edition

So I finished watching the replay of Saturday’s game.  Normally, I’d come back with a few bullet points on some particulars that didn’t catch my eye watching the action live, but all the broadcast did was boil things down in my mind to two big picture impressions.

First, Georgia Tech’s success running the football masked what should have been a bigger story.  Jeremy Pruitt’s defense was eighteen seconds away from holding the Jackets to their lowest point total of the season.  Had they pulled that off, it would have been one of the greatest bend-but-don’t-break efforts of Mark Richt’s tenure.  As it was, Tech’s longest play from scrimmage all day was 25 yards.  Pruitt’s game plan was built on limiting big plays to keep GT from scoring easily and he succeeded.  For the commenter asking yesterday why Georgia played two deep with the safeties all game, there you go.

Second, for all the angst over spotty special teams play, a questionable decision to squib kick, Quayvon Hicks being in the vicinity of another pooch kick and anything else you care to come up with, the reality is that Georgia lost this game because of its lack of success in the red zone, due to a rash of turnovers and abysmal offensive line play.  And as poor as the red zone offense was, it easily could have been worse:  both offensive touchdowns, remember, came on fourth-down conversions.  Ordinarily, we tend to roll our eyes when the coaches blame a loss on poor execution, but this is an occasion when the finger-pointing has some validity to it.

Which may be why for me this loss sucks the worst of the three this season.  Tech may have been the best of the three opponents that beat Georgia, but it was still a game that the Dawgs let get away.  And not because the players didn’t show up, as was the case in Jacksonville, or because the opposing head coach was in the heads of Georgia’s coaches, as was the case against Spurrier.

Nope.  This was a game where the coordinators knew what they had to do to win, and stuck to it.  It was a game where Georgia’s players fought hard until the end, as the late lead showed.  But for all that, it was also a game where everyone did just enough wrong to let it get away.  Argh.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Way to go, college athletics.

As I feared, you’re on the verge of letting the camel’s nose into the tent.

To paraphrase Gordon Gekko, greed is good, but only to the extent you can keep the government out of your business.

Maybe the NCAA ought to replace Mark Emmert with a Wall Street banker.

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Filed under Political Wankery

You knew the job was dangerous when you took it, Jeremy Foley.

Did you honestly think Colorado State would sympathize with your self-inflicted financial plight (“the Gators also must pay about $6 million for the remainder of Muschamp’s contract”) and waive collecting McElwain’s entire $7.5 million buyout?

Quite the shrewd customer you’ve turned out to be.

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UPDATE:  Granted, my three-dimensional chess skills are lacking, but I think Bud Elliott is reading way too much into Florida’s tactics.  Besides, whatever kids CSU recruits – doesn’t a $7.5 million buyout hint that there’s always been a concern he’d leave for greener pastures?  And besides that, what kind of message would it send if the school waived the buyout?

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UPDATE #2:  Well, Foley may not have outmanuvered CSU, but it sounds like he did okay squeezing his new coach.

$2 million?  Man, how badly does McElwain want the UF job?

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, It's Just Bidness