Daily Archives: January 9, 2019

A win for the reserve fund

Not only does Georgia walk away from paying Jim Chaney more than any other offensive coordinator in America, it gets a little ching ching back from the Vols.

That’ll put a smile on McGarity’s face.

Now that I think about it, that contract will probably do the same for Jimmy Sexton.

38 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Georgia Football

Athens North

Columbia, South Carolina, the place where former Georgia players go to coach 8-5 teams.

20 Comments

Filed under 'Cock Envy, Georgia Football

About Sam Pittman

In case you’re wondering about his future, you’re not alone.  Here’s the first report I’ve come across on his future, via Dawgnation’s Jeff Sentell:

A source close to that situation has told DawgNation that Pittman plans to return as offensive line coach for the 2019 season.

Despite recent events, that source said that Pittman will remain in Athens.

It is not yet known what level of a financial package the Bulldogs might have offered to Pittman to ensure he remained with the team.

Back up the Brink’s truck, in other words.  Whatever money they saved on not matching UT’s offer to Chaney is likely to be swallowed up with Pittman’s new deal.  He’s worth it.

27 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

What if you build it and they won’t come?

This (h/t) is a pretty sobering assessment of bond-financed stadium expansions.

Attendance is declining across the board (“Even the University of Alabama, a perennial powerhouse playing in Monday’s national championship game, is reducing capacity in 101,821-seat Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, White said.”), but spending on facilities continues at almost the same rate as ever.

About $3 billion of bond-financed college football stadium projects are underway or completed over the past five years, according to a Bond Buyer review. That’s down about $300 million from the height of the “stadium arms race” in 2013.

A report from Moody’s Investors Service five years ago found that on average, the athletic operating expenses of Division I universities had nearly doubled since 2004 compared to growth of 58% for total expenses. In that report, Moody’s itemized risk factors for college football, including the threats of lawsuits over head injuries, rising coaching salaries, the threat of disciplinary measures over recruiting and demands for player pay, among others.

What’s an athletic department to do?  Why, that’s easy.  Go upscale with the fan base and whore yourself out to Mickey.

Five years later, report author Dennis Gephardt, a Moody’s analyst, says that major colleges and universities have managed to maintain athletic revenues through sales of luxury boxes and premium seating along with lucrative television contracts, factors that make empty student seats a less urgent concern. Even the so-called Power Five Conferences — the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, and Southeastern Conference — have seen attendance fall in recent years.

How troubling are things getting?  Take “even Tennessee” as your canary in the coal mine.

The University of Tennessee’s Board of Trustees approved a two-phase, $340 million renovation in November 2017. The work was to be completed by the start of the 2021 season, when Neyland celebrates its 100th year.

The $180 million first phase of the project was to be funded with bonds, fundraising, athletic department revenues and partnerships. Construction was to start this year, but Tennessee’s new director of athletics hit pause on the project.

On Nov.1, Athletics Director Phillip Fulmer, who’s been on the job less than a year, announced that his department is continuing to review the Neyland Stadium Master Plan Renovations.

“To be very clear, I am super excited about the Neyland Stadium project going forward in the near future,” Fulmer said at the time.

Construction on the first phase of the renovation project has been delayed to provide more time for two classes meeting in the south stadium hall to move out, Fulmer said, adding that renovation plans were also under review.

“We simply need time to study all ideas of scope and design as we seek to maximize the fan experience and our return on investment for the next 100 years of Neyland Stadium,” he said.

Attendance at games wasn’t mentioned as a factor that caused the project to be delayed.

Of course not.

Anyway, just think about the likely ramifications of game attendance becoming less financially significant.  And despair.

27 Comments

Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

Your 1.9.19 Playpen

I’ll throw out two topics for you to chew on in the comments.

First, a political one.  Is there anyone in the country, on the left or the right, that still has a shred of respect for Lindsey Graham?

Hell, does Lindsey Graham still have a shred of respect for Lindsey Graham?

The second topic is decidedly non-political and actually comes as a reader request:  tell us how you came up with your username/moniker.

Those comments aren’t gonna write themselves, so get to it, peeps.

311 Comments

Filed under GTP Stuff

Don’t bury bowls, ’cause they’re not dead yet.

Put this in your playoff expansion pipe and smoke it.

The average attendance at bowl games rose by more than three percent in 2018-19, snapping a streak of seven consecutive seasons in which the industry saw an overall decline.

The average attendance for bowl games this season was 41,802. That’s up from last season’s average of 40,508 according to NCAA attendance figures.

I have no idea why.  It comes in the face of declines in 20 of 38 games, including nine of which were by double-digit percentages.  (Though some of that is no doubt attributable to the CFP’s curious insistence on dodging New Year’s Day, and, as the article notes, playing the title game in Northern California instead of Atlanta.)

In any event, don’t be surprised when people questioning the need for an expanded playoff cite this as a data point in expressing concern over how a larger playoff field would impact the bowls.

6 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Justin Fields’ shit is about to get real.

And if the Georgia program doesn’t already have enough on its plate, it’s now time to deal with Thomas Mars.

Tom Mars, the attorney who represented Patterson and more than 30 college athletes in the last six months, is doing the same for Fields in conjunction with Ohio State’s athletic department.

Outside speculation about a rationale for Fields’ case that would pass NCAA muster centers on an incident at the Sept. 29 Georgia-Tennessee game in which a Georgia baseball player, Adam Sasser, repeatedly yelled a racial slur invoking Fields.

“I’m very confident that the NCAA will grant Justin a waiver so he can play next season, but not just for the reasons people have speculated about on social media,” Mars said in a statement to The Dispatch. “There’s more to it than that.”

Mars did not elaborate on potential other factors.

Hey, it’s not just about racism!  That’s a relief.

90 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

OC, can you say…

Dawg fans, you won’t have Jim Chaney to kick around anymore, it seems.

Tennessee is turning to a familiar face to become its new offensive coordinator.

Sources close to the situation told GoVols247 on Tuesday night that Georgia’s Jim Chaney is expected to be named the new offensive coordinator for the Vols and barring unforeseen circumstances will join Jeremy Pruitt‘s staff.

An official announcement could come as early as Wednesday.

Chaney previously coached at Tennessee for four years under Lane Kiffin and Derek Dooley and has overseen prolific offenses for the Bulldogs the past two seasons, and plucking him away from an SEC East rival is a major coup for Pruitt and a Tennessee offense that mustered 17 points or less in five games in 2018.

The Vols have been in the market for a new offensive coordinator since two days after the season-ending loss to Vanderbilt when Tyson Helton left Tennessee to become the new head coach at Western Kentucky.

Tennessee’s coach, coming off a 5-7 debut season, has been thorough in the process of researching coaches and has spoken with multiple candidates and coaches since Helton’s departure. Pruitt knew the importance of this hire and wanted to make sure he made the right decision. And he will feel he’s made the right decision in Chaney, an experienced play-caller who’s overseen prolific offenses at multiple college stops and a proven develop of quarterbacks at the collegiate level.

Chaney’s salary was $950,000 in 2018, according to the USA Today database for assistant coaches. His contract at Georgia reportedly ran through the 2020 season, and it’s unclear what the Vols will have to pay in terms of a buyout. Tennessee paid Helton $1.2 million this season.

And here is where things start getting interesting.  First of all, Chaney’s contract status at Georgia appears to be a bit murky.  Per Marc Weiszer,

There had been speculation about Chaney and Tennessee in the days since Georgia’s 28-21 Sugar Bowl loss to Texas on Jan. 1.

So much so that the length of Chaney’s contract—which was to run out before next season—came into focus. A Georgia spokesman said Monday that Chaney was thought to have two years still left, but there was no word from the school when asked exactly when Georgia and Chaney had extended their deal. Georgia via an open records request disclosed in December that quarterbacks coach James Coley and running backs coach Dell McGee were completing the first year of a three-year contract but there was no similar deal released on Chaney.

Extension or not, it appears the move is monetarily driven.

The cost of running a championship caliber program at Georgia could be going up with offensive coordinator Jim Chaney expected to finalize a lucrative offer to take the same role at Tennessee.

Sources say Chaney has negotiated a deal with the Vols worth between $4.5 and $5 million over three years — a significant raise from the contract he has had in place that paid him $950,000 annually ($2.85 million over three years) through June of 2021 at Georgia.

“This move is about money for Jim,” a source close to the situation said late Tuesday night. “Jim’s nearing retirement and it’s a chance for him to make a significant amount more than Kirby (Smart) was willing to pay him to stay.”

Ah, now there’s a question:  in the end, whose decision was it?  Here’s another: was the money too much?

Apparently, Georgia found itself in a bidding war with Jeremy Pruitt over Chaney’s services, something I imagine didn’t exactly thrill Greg McGarity.

Smart was under the impression as late as Monday that Chaney would be staying, and the Bulldogs offered Chaney a raise to maintain his post.

Tennessee’s offer, however, grew too rich for Smart to match without disrupting his offensive staff’s financial harmony.

“Offensive staff’s financial harmony” is your euphemism of the day, kids.

There is a faint whiff of Richt-era economics to the circumstances.  Keep in mind that there was a significant gap between what Georgia paid its two coordinators last season and that there wasn’t a similarly sized gap between the performance of Georgia’s offense and defense, statistically speaking (as an example, both units finished fourteenth nationally in scoring.)

The reality is that Georgia is flush and if the program wanted to match Tennessee’s last offer, it could have done so and gone on to pay the rest of the staff what it takes to keep things harmonious.  Somebody chose not to and we’ll probably never hear the reasoning that went into making that call.  But it’s the most intriguing aspect surrounding Chaney’s departure.

Is it a coup for Pruitt?  Given what the Vols are laying out for Chaney, I have no doubt it’ll be celebrated in Knoxville as such.  And human nature being what it is, I’m pretty sure Pruitt’s taking some personal satisfaction in making McGarity squirm.  My take, though, is closer to Dan Wolken’s.

Indeed, Tennessee knows what it’s getting better than most, in that it’s a return gig.  More power to both Pruitt and Chaney.

As far as Georgia goes, Kirby is now looking to fill both coordinator positions.  He’s got to do that against the backdrop of finishing up his 2019 class recruiting, too.

Based on the internet chatter I’ve seen, there’s a significant block of Dawgnation that is cheered by Chaney’s departure.  Here’s one prominent example of that sentiment.

All well and good, but there’s definitely an element of be careful what you wish for in play now.  Georgia only gets better if it makes a good hire for Chaney’s replacement.  Logic suggests that James Coley is going to get a long, hard look as an internal promotion.  Coley’s pros and cons are pretty apparent ($$):

Coley was by Chaney’s side in the press box this season. Coley was pursued by Texas A&M last year to be the offensive coordinator under Jimbo Fisher (the play-caller). Smart retained Coley by offering a raise and moving him to quarterbacks coach, plus offering him the title of co-offensive coordinator.

The “co” could now be dropped from Coley’s title. He was the play-caller at Miami from 2013-15, with the Hurricanes ranking 67th in total offense in his final season there, and 48th and 47th the previous years. Coley is a strong recruiter, helping Georgia reel in a number of south Florida prospects, most recently cornerback Tyrique Stevenson.

I doubt Coley is the kind of guy who’s going to bring a radically different approach to Georgia’s offensive scheme, but I also doubt that Kirby is looking for someone to bring a radically different approach to Georgia’s offensive scheme.  Count that as another point in Coley’s favor.

One other issue to keep in mind is easy to overlook.

Instead, a position group already in flux with Nauta’s decision to turn pro and freshman Luke Ford’s decision to transfer to Illinois will be further in flux. Whoever the Bulldogs decide to take over tight ends will be that group’s third position coach in three seasons.

That coach will inherit rising senior Charlie Woerner and redshirt freshman John FitzPatrick. The Bulldogs also signed 4-star prospect Ryland Goede of Kennesaw Mountain in the early signing period last month. Several walkons play the position as well.

Talk about a bunch that’s gotten short shrift in the last three seasons.  At least they won’t have to hear the jokes anymore about how this was going to be the season for sure when Chaney got the tight ends involved in the offense.

Interesting times, no doubt.  Stay tuned.

*********************************************************************

UPDATE:  In case you’re wondering…

I could be wrong, but I think that makes Chaney the highest paid offensive coordinator in the country.

130 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Fabris Pool results, bowl edition

The results from the last pick ’em of the season are in and there’s no tiebreaker.

STANDINGS for WEEK 1
Rank
Selection Name
Standings
Adjustment
W-L
Pts
Tie Breaker Game
44-16
1 raven316 Adj 25-14 25   30-29

Congrats to raven316!

And that’s that… until next September, that is.

2 Comments

Filed under GTP Stuff

Musical palate cleanser, ass shakin’ edition

There’s never a bad time for a Rolling Stones song, so let’s get this Wednesday off to a good start with “Dance Little Sister”.

By the way, that single sleeve at the beginning of the clip is worth the price of admission by itself.

10 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized