Daily Archives: December 6, 2014

He wasn’t any better when you hired him, dude.

This is cold, Bernie.

It might have been more useful if you had expressed that sentiment to Boom, though.

18 Comments

Filed under Charlie Weis Is A Big Fat..., Gators, Gators...

Is the McElwain hiring a cautionary tale for Georgia?

From MrSEC:

This time around the Gators were handicapped a tad by the $8 million in buyouts — that’s the maximum anyway — they’re going to pay Muschamp and his crew over the next few years in buyout money.  Still, they’ve handed out an additional $5 million buyout to free McElwain from CSU.  That’s a lot of money at one time.  But if Foley could have landed a bigger fish the University of Florida would have been capable of finding the necessary money to hire him.

Whatever the reason for it, Florida has once again hired someone who’s a bit of a wild card.  Gator fans will talk themselves into believing in McElwain — as all fans do in the post-hire afterglow — but would any of them bet their homes on the three-year vet from Colorado State being theanswer in Gainesville?  Probably not.

While the UF football program has been a dominant force for much of the past 25 years, the Gators have still had their share of struggles.  Struggles which many ignore as they stare lustily at the school’s three national championship trophies from 1996, 2006 and 2008.  Did you know that Florida has had seven five-loss seasons in the last 13 years?  That’s hardly the level of success Florida fans demand and it explains why Foley is now hiring his fourth football coach since 2002.  It also suggests that McElwain is no sure thing.

Now I can’t say I agree with Pennington’s premise in its entirety, because every hiring market is a unique animal.  But I do think this year’s Florida coaching search illustrates a trend that all you armchair ADs who think you could do Greg McGarity’s job standing on your head because “man, Georgia is one of the top coaching jobs in the country!” ignore at your convenience.  It’s a trend that at its core stems from all the money big time college athletics is awash in these days.  The reality is that at a major program, a coaching transition rarely comes cheaply.  You start by having to payoff the guaranteed contracts of the men you let go.  (In Foley’s case, $8 million.)  And don’t pretend you can pinch pennies by simply letting a coaching staff play out their contracts in their entirety – you do that and you kill your program’s recruiting over at least the last two years of the old regime.

And then you have to go out and spend major bucks on the next guy.  And that doesn’t just mean his salary.  It also means the salaries for his assistants.  And the money to be outlaid for facilities and support staff.  (Think you can keep putting off the inevitable with the IPF?  Guess again.)

And what kind of head coaching background are you going to chase?  Any way you go comes with its set of risks and rewards.

  • Existing head coach at P5 conference school or NFL.  The least risky path will also be the most expensive.  You want a hot name (you’re Georgia, remember)?  Well, it’s gonna cost you.  A lot.  For example, Gary Patterson isn’t a mid-majors dude anymore.  He’s at a Big 12 program vying for a spot in the national playoffs.  TCU is going to fight you tooth and nail, because everybody’s got money now. (To Foley’s regret, Hugh Freeze, by all reports, will make $4 million a year at Ole Miss now.) Can you outbid?  Sure, anything’s possible.  But you’d best be prepared going in to make him at least the second-highest paid head coach in the conference (which means he’ll be the second highest paid head coach in all of college football).  And definitely up the salary pool for his assistants.  And spend a shitload of money on whatever infrastructure upgrades he demands.  Your total financial commitment could easily hit $50-60 million.  Does that sound like the Butts-Mehre Way?  And that’s just the money. Imagine what the discussion over local policing and school punishment policy is going to sound like.  It’s so easy, right?
  • Existing head coach at lower level school.  The path Foley took cost him a lot of money to replace one branch of the Saban coaching tree with another.  It may not be a bad hire, but it certainly lacks the sexiness of other recent hot mid-majors hires like Saban, Petrino and Petersen.  And why not?  Nobody in this year’s pool has a similar resume.  So in comparison, you overpay for a McElwain or bet on the come with an early riser like Memphis’ Justin Fuente and hope for the best.  But how easy a sell will that be for your fan base?  I guarantee you Richt’s resume is going to look better to many folks in the immediate term.
  • Hot assistant coaches.  A riskier choice – just ask Jeremy Foley – but one that might save you a few bucks if you pick someone who lacks the leverage of a big time head coaching name.  The catch is the ones you’re most likely to take a run at are people like Kirby Smart, established brands at big time programs, who really aren’t going to come cheaper than what McElwain came to Florida for.  And the Kirby’s of the world are going to have more leverage than you think, because they’re being paid quite handsomely in their current position without all the pressure.

Pennington concludes by saying, “It’s just not easy to pry a proven winner from a strong football school.”  So tell me how you’d go about your business making the change.

193 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Musical palate cleanser: “Okay, let’s get Bob back in the band.”

You may not be familiar with the name Bobby Keys.  But if you’re someone like me who thinks ’70s era rock is the shiznit – yes, I’m old – then you ought to have some appreciation for how big a deal a guy who could make an argument to being the best rock saxophone player ever was.  He contributed on so many seminal tracks, like this one from the “Mad Dogs and Englishmen” Tour, with Joe Cocker and Leon Russell:

But his biggest claim to fame will always be his work with the Rolling Stones.  (Dunno about you, but reading Keith Richards eulogizing over someone who died from the long-term effects of overindulgence is sad, weird and ironic all at the same time.  But I digress.)  Keys played on so many Stones songs that he might as well have been considered as much of an unofficial member of the band as Ian Stewart was.  Think I’m exaggerating?  Well, Keys was someone who contributed enough that a post like this isn’t a stretch in any conceivable sense.

That list has “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” in the top slot, but I’ll take another song from Sticky Fingers as my favorite Keys bit.  (Keef calls it “the most perfect rock & roll solo.”)

The final word:  As Bob said, “It’s time for the last roundup.”  R.I.P., my man.  You had a helluva run.

15 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

As metaphors go, it’s not a bad one.

Boy, this brings back memories of a hot day in Clemson a decade or so ago…

Last night’s game was just as lopsided, too.

10 Comments

Filed under Pac-12 Football