Daily Archives: December 21, 2015

Now he belongs to the ages.

Adios, Russ.

Some have a hard time with retirement.


Filed under Georgia Football

“We’re going to leverage the success of football.”

You know the crap the schools feed us about needing football revenue to support other sports?

Well, this is what they have in mind by that, at least in the SEC.

Johnson’s approach is being replicated across the Southeastern Conference as its members, flush with football money, begin to shower a healthy slice of the cash on basketball. This season alone, the conference welcomed several prominent coaches — not only Johnson but also Mississippi State’s Ben Howland, formerly of U.C.L.A. and Pittsburgh, and Tennessee’s Rick Barnes, formerly of Texas.

… But success will not come cheap. Alabama is paying Johnson $2.8 million per year through 2021, nearly $1 million more a year than it paid its previous coach, Anthony Grant, whose firing cost the Crimson Tide another few million. Howland’s salary is double that of his predecessor, Rick Ray. And where Auburn had paid Tony Barbee $1.5 million a year, it pays his replacement, Bruce Pearl, $2.45 million a year, in addition to a $500,000 bonus. (Pearl achieved success at Tennessee before the N.C.A.A. effectively suspended him for three years for lying in the course of an investigation into recruiting violations.)

Several SEC programs have commenced pricey upgrades to their facilities. Florida plans to spend $64.5 million on its arena. Arkansas just opened a $25 million practice center.

It is no secret where the spare change comes from: The SEC Network, the College Football Playoff and conference expansion have all raised revenues, a large majority tied to football. From 2013 to 2014 — not including individualized revenue sources like ticket sales and donations — the conference’s take increased to $436.8 million, or $31.2 million per member, from $292.8 million, or $20.9 million per member.

All for the kids, of course.



Filed under It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

“Things that the Georgia fans aren’t used to experiencing.”

This year’s TaxSlayer Bowl pitch:  Come for the football game.  Stay for the amenities!

Unlike the Georgia-Florida game when the stadium seats 84,000, the set-up in the stadium will be like it is for a Jacksonville Jaguars game. That means pool decks on the upper deck north end zone will be operational, party cabanas will be used and alcohol will be served in the stadium.

Probably not enough, though.


Filed under Georgia Football

How bad was Auburn’s offense this season?

Welp, it pretty much stunk, especially by Malzahn’s standards.

If I were a current Auburn quarterback, I wouldn’t get too comfortable, either.

Malzahn has spent plenty of late nights attempting to address the Tigers’ offensive woes. On the recruiting trail, the Tigers targeted and received commitments from two mobile quarterbacks. John Franklin III, a transfer from East Mississippi Community College, is expected to compete for the starting job in the spring.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

A book about “giant entertainment businesses that happened to do a little education on the side”

If you’re looking to do a little last minute holiday shopping for a college football fan who’s a bit cynical about the business side of the sport, here’s a recommendation.

At Texas, Michigan, Auburn, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Penn State, Notre Dame, Louisiana State University and Arkansas, revenues have increased to $762 million from $229 million from 1999 to 2012. That is a whopping 233 percent increase. Mr. Gaul observes that during this period “profit margins had ballooned to hedge-fund levels,” generated by television broadcast rights, luxury suites, seat donations and corporate advertising. Mr. Gaul reports that the big universities “have netted 90 percent of all the new money that has flowed into college football the last decade or two.”

… Meanwhile, the bank vaults remain open and the money is pouring in. No one Mr. Gaul spoke with seemed concerned with whether this incredible growth might be a bubble. He said that when he asked that question of the commissioners of the Big Ten and the Pacific-12, “they only laughed in response.” Until proven otherwise, they and others will do as the former Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds suggested: “Football is the train. You ride it for all it’s worth.”

Yeah, baby.


Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

“You can always go home again.”

Here’s a really nice story about Willie and Bryan McClendon.

For a family that’s pretty much bled red and black for ages, they’re pretty philosophical about Bryan’s future after the bowl game.  But you have to think it’ll hurt if he’s not with the Dawgs next season.


Filed under Georgia Football

Musical palate cleanser, it’s not about Lane Kiffin’s wife edition

Way back in 1971, I had a friend who raved about an album I hadn’t heard and did everything short of frog marching me into a record store to buy it.

It was Derek and the Dominos’ Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs.  He was right.  As many times as I’ve listened to the title track since I bought the record, it still manages to grab me right from the introductory riff (which came from Duane Allman).  It’s a remarkable piece of work.

As much as it’s about the musicianship, it’s Clapton’s passion that seals the deal.  He rarely sounded this involved with his work and it elevates everything.

But, yeah, those guitars.

I hated the acoustic jazz version Clapton adapted many years later.  It sounded sleepy and passionless.  But reinvented with the help of Wynton Marsalis as a New Orleans-style dirge-like blues, it connects with me again.  (Check out Marsalis’ look at about the 5:40 mark as he watches Clapton wail away on the guitar.)



Filed under Uncategorized