Daily Archives: May 26, 2015

“Even in the NFL, they have a salary cap.”

Nick Saban’s had enough of this COA bullshit.

“We need to have the same rules in the big five in all leagues,” Saban said. “If we’re going to compete for the championship, and everybody is going to play in the playoff system, then we need to get our rules in alignment so that we are all on a level playing field.

“These things need to be global, otherwise we are going to become a farm system for all of the other leagues.”

“Even in the NFL, they have a salary cap,” Saban said. “When we don’t have a cap that makes it equal for everybody, it really goes against everything we’ve tried to do in the NCAA that we’ve tried to do for parity.”

Oh, mah heaven, Miz Scarlett!  Ah do believe Ah’m feeling a bit lightheaded!

So what do you think Saban wants now – another antitrust lawsuit over price fixing, or a players’ union so college football can legally bargain for a salary cap?  ‘Cause it’s one or the other.



Filed under Look For The Union Label, Nick Saban Rules


If you’ve hung around here for a while, you know I’ve been a big fan of Jerry Hinnen, going back to his days at the late, lamented Auburn-centric blog, The Joe Cribbs Car Wash.  Jerry’s since moved up to the CBS Sports beat and today he’s posted something that should make everyone here uncomfortable.

This isn’t the first time he’s pulled thatI know what he’s up to.  But if you want to take his piece at face value, there’s one particularly interesting set of facts he’s laid out I want to mention:

Three against-the-spread trends worth watching:

1. Since 2011, Georgia is 15-7-1 as a favorite of 10 points or less. If your sense of recent Bulldogs teams is that they show up when they expect to get a challenge and get sloppy when they expect to breeze, that’s not entirely wrong. (Also worth noting: five of those seven losses came in 2013, several after the Bulldogs’ roster had been wrecked by injuries.)

2. Since 2006, Georgia is 7-3 against Auburn. And one of those losses had been a surefire cover until a certain Tigers’ prayer was answered. Whether facing Tommy Tuberville, Gene Chizik or even Gus Malzahn, Mark Richt has mostly had the answers in the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry.

3. Since 2011, Georgia is 7-3-2 off a straight-up loss. Richt has done particularly good work the past two seasons in this department, going 5-1-1.

We focus on the brain farts because they suck, because they’re infrequent enough to stand out and because they suck.  But the reality is over the past three seasons, this program has been pretty resilient.  As Jerry notes, play an injury-free 2013 season and Mark Richt looks a whole lot better today.

But the bigger point he makes that I want to emphasize is that Georgia has more than held its own against Auburn over the last decade, regardless of who’s coaching.  I’m not saying I predict the Dawgs will take Alabama, but I’m not quaking in my boots over the thought of facing the Tigers.  So a split against the West wouldn’t surprise me at all.  How many games that means Georgia can lose in its division and still make it to Atlanta is the real unanswered question right now.


Filed under Georgia Football, What's Bet In Vegas Stays In Vegas

Bert’s gonna Bert.

Good to see the juices are flowing early in Destin.

I guess if he’d been around in the early nineties, he would have been puffing his chest about about the six-game schedule.


Filed under Bert... uh... Bret Bielema, SEC Football

You can’t put a price tag on facilitating happiness.

Chip Towers has quite the tale to tell about that shiny, new, more-expensive-than-you-thought IPF (now dubbed IAF, since it will be used by other Georgia programs):

I talked to one board member who guesses that the cost will be closer to $40 million than the widely referenced $30 million when it’s all said and done. We’ll see.

What happened to the old plan, you may ask? I’m hearing that politics got involved.

UGA had taken its idea of razing the Hoke Smith Annex and building next to Stegeman Coliseum to the Board of Regents to get its nod of approval and negotiate any real estate hurdles. But that’s not where the plan got tripped up.

Apparently what started out amicably enough with the current tenants of the Hoke Smith Annex – primarily the College of Agriculture and Environmental Science’s Extension Service — eventually got into one of those what-else-can-you-do-for-me deals and Athletics simply didn’t want to play. Besides, Richt had long been a proponent of having the facility only if it could be built within the current footprint of the Butts-Mehre complex. Right-hand man Jeremy Pruitt echoed that sentiment last fall.

The bottom line is Richt apparently finally is going to get a Taj Mahal of an indoor facility right in the precise location where it was proposed to be built 17 years ago when Jim Donnan was head coach.

Did I mention it’s going to cost more than you thought it would?  Sounds like a few others wanted to get their hands in the honey pot.


Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

The AJ-C goes all in with its Georgia coverage.

Some of you may have seen the news that Seth Emerson has up and gone to the AJ-C.  He’s not replacing anyone there; instead the paper has made the move to double down with its coverage on the Georgia beat.

I know I differ from some of you in that I have an appreciation for the beat writers.  I’m a fan of Seth’s.  (I can’t help but be amused, though, by the thought of what some click-happy editor is going to do with the headers to some of his articles.  Or the comments he’ll be getting there.  But I digress.)

In any event, take it for what it’s worth, in one sense:  it’s a compliment to our interest in Georgia sports.  Seth wouldn’t be there if we weren’t already.  And from a purely selfish sense, the more material I have to work with, the better I can blog.  I’ll take it.


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

“Just the genuine feel I got from them.”

Can’t wait to find out what graduate studies Blake Countess intends to pursue at Auburn.

I have to admit I hope this gives Jim Delany heartburn, though.


Filed under Academics? Academics., Auburn's Cast of Thousands

We all know what you are. We’re just haggling over the fee.

The Georgia Way, in one picture (Photo via Associated Press )

When it comes to the disparity in COA numbers, it seems that Greg McGarity and Jay Jacobs are of one mind – it’s a recruiting advantage.

“I think we all agree in the conference it’s an issue,” Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity told AL.com. “It does make a difference to some individuals; to some young men and some young women. I would hope the majority of the conference would love to see some consistency in those numbers.”

Tennessee ($5,666) and Auburn ($5,586) offer the most money for full cost-of-attendance not only in the SEC, but in the entire country. Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs has no problems with his school’s high figure. In fact, he told USA Today in February he thinks the high number should be helpful in recruiting.

“At Auburn, we are going to have the best student-athlete experience in the nation,” Jacobs told AL.com. “We are going to do whatever we can within the rules to provide the best for our student-athletes.”

McGarity is at least honest enough to admit (1) if he was “at the high end, I might not be as concerned with it”; and (2) it’s not possible to have one number across the board in the conference.  So, what’s the end game with pushing for transparency, as Georgia intends to do this week in Destin?  In the end, that’s up to the lawyers.

“But what I think we are trying to do is find some legal way that is within the law where we can solve a problem that was probably an unintended consequence from this vast discrepancy you are seeing.”

There’s a lot of loaded stuff in that sentence.  But if he thinks shame alone is going to work… well, that would be an SEC first.


Filed under Recruiting, SEC Football

The straw that stirs the drink in Georgia’s offense

Yesterday, in a post about solo tackle rates and Georgia’s offense, I said Todd Gurley and Nick Chubb are a couple of ridiculously talented running backs, because Georgia’s 2014 offense managed to be one of the most efficient in the country despite every team keying on shutting down its running game.

In that light, here’s an interesting observation from the man who just drafted Gurley to play for the Rams (h/t Parrish Walton):

“Here’s what it came down to for us,’’ said GM Les Snead. “Todd, for us, was one of those once-every-few-years talents, one of the best players we’ve seen come out in a while. We just felt he was somebody we couldn’t pass up. This wasn’t about Week 1 against Seattle, whether he’d be ready to go then; we will let nature takes its course on that. This was a long-term decision.

“One of the things we looked at was the team around him. I’m not sure about this, but it’s possible there might not be an offensive lineman who blocked for him at Georgia who will start at the next level, or play at the next level. When we looked at him on tape, we saw him playing against a lot of seven- and eight-man fronts, which is what he’s going to be seeing when he lines up for us. We saw him playing against not a lot of air, which is what he’s going to be seeing when he plays for us. So that translates pretty well.”

Now I think Pyke and Theus have a shot to play on Sundays, but that’s not really the main thing there.  It’s what Snead saw Gurley doing regularly in the face of a stacked box that’s key.  Making something out of nothing has been a characteristic of Richt’s best backs over the past few seasons, going back to Knowshon Moreno.  With those kinds of backs, it hasn’t mattered if the offensive line play has been less than stellar.  (Handing the ball off to Carlton Thomas up the middle?  That’s another story.)

Mark Richt likes to ride the beast when he can.  Good thing he’s got two more seasons of Nick Chubb.


Filed under Georgia Football

The new mid-major math

Louisiana Tech’s new AD steps in, finds his team has three SEC West opponents on its 2016 schedule, and proceeds to find a way to lighten the load.

Fortunately, there’s gold in them thar schedule changes these days.

McClelland said A&M administrators had asked if he’d pay $500,000 to buy out the game, which would have paid Tech $200,000. Texas Tech offered an $800,000 game guarantee, so Louisiana Tech will be $100,000 ahead even after paying A&M.

One thing college football doesn’t lack these days is willing bidders.  Lighten the load and make a profit in the process is a nice business model.  Expect to see more of it.

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

“The smartest person in the room”

Mississippi State’s athletic director slobbers all over the once and future conference commissioners:

“Mike Slive, if he’s in a room, he’s usually the smartest person in the room — unless Greg Sankey is also in the room,” Mississippi State athletic director Scott Stricklin said. “Then it’s a tie. … They’re like great chess players in that they don’t just see the next move, they see three or four moves ahead. I don’t know what that looks like, but I have confidence that Greg does…”

As they say, ignorance is bliss.


Filed under SEC Football