What do you figure the odds are that Greg McGarity reads Bill King’s latest column?
Determining which teams have the best fan bases might seem the subject of a bar room debate, but marketing professor Mike Lewis of Emory’s Goizueta Business School has been tracking fan bases, both pro and college, for years, and publishes annual rankings based on scientific metrics.
… Actually, Georgia’s 2018 ranking of 6th is down a bit from 5 years ago, when the Bulldogs ranked first in the SEC and second nationally, behind only Texas. That drop seemed a little surprising to me, considering Kirby Smart’s program has been considerably improved in on-field results over the past couple of seasons, and Georgia’s fan base has drawn national raves for the way it showed up en masse on the road at places like Notre Dame and the Rose Bowl.
But, Lewis told me, it’s “not really slippage — [the UGA] fan base is still amazingly supportive. It’s because the revenue has not moved up at the same rate as the performance.”
Lewis said that is “probably due to the athletic department not rapidly increasing prices. I’m in Atlanta, so I understand the serious passion of that fan base — I suspect UGA could increase revenues pretty easily.”
So, yes, I guess fans should be grateful the UGA Athletic Association is not charging as much for tickets as Lewis thinks it could.
The next McGarity’s Minutes almost writes itself, doesn’t it? (Although it’ll probably ignore the second half of King’s piece, which concludes with “… it still wouldn’t be a bad idea for the folks who run UGA athletics to provide a bit more TLC for that fan base — and pay more attention to its concerns — so Bulldog Nation remains as fiercely loyal as it’s been up to now.“)
Alabama had a helluva 2018 season, running the table until being blasted in the national title game. Since then, Saban’s had significant staff turnover, with seven new assistant coaches on board.
Greg McElroy thinks that’s fine.
“I think in most years I would be concerned, but in this year in a lot of ways it might be addition by subtraction,” McElroy told Sporting News. “Not to discredit the previous coaching staff, but when you have so many new voices there can be some mixed messaging within the coaching staff.
“When you’re new to the staff and you don’t know how the program is run that can lead to some miscommunication,” he said. “That’s kind of what transpired this year, and that showed at the end.”
Alabama won fourteen straight games, including the SECCG and the CFP semifinal game, but somehow there was miscommunication that was a problem. But now, that’s fixed, according to McElroy.
“He’s going back to the familiar coaches that know him, that know his system. All these guys are veteran coaches. He’s going to go back to something he’s familiar with.”
But I thought Saban was the plug and play head coach, that the Process was so well organized any assistant coach could be slotted into place without a hiccup. Not to mention that both of his coordinators last season were products of the program, not brand new guys flown in last year.
So, did Saban screw up last season, or is McElroy just BSing here?
It looks like we’re back to the original theory of the crime.
… Fields’ situation was something entirely different, as a former baseball player shouted racial slurs about him. It’s a situation Smith, an African-American, related to on a personal level.
“I went through some of those situations,” he said. “I understood exactly, personally, how he felt. I’ve been in numerous situations where I was the only African-American in a group and have had an individual attack me. I sympathized with him. I certainly was personally and professionally supportive of his request.”
The Patterson request took eight weeks before the NCAA made its final decision, mostly because of stringent objection by Ole Miss until, finally, the Rebels relinquished their flat-footed stance. The process for Fields was only five weeks, partly because Georgia originally objected before acquiescing and coming to a cordial resolution.
“The institution that the young person is leaving from, in my view, should not have a say in what that young person does,” Smith said. “That makes no sense. Georgia was awesome, by the way. They were phenomenal. But it could have been a situation where they were vindictive, but they weren’t. I just think we’re in a sad state, the way we’re managing it. I hope there’s a better outcome down the road.”
I’m beginning to think I need to add “Sasser’d” to the Lexicon.
Smith, by the way, now takes the position that every football and basketball player should be granted a one-time right to transfer without restriction. That strikes me as a sensible approach, which means it’s probably doomed.
The University of Maryland has instituted the majority of the recommendations from the two investigations that stemmed from the death of Jordan McNair and is creating a panel to monitor their progress, university President Wallace Loh told the Board of Regents on Friday.
If there’s one thing bureaucracy is consistent about, it’s showing faux concern by creating panels and commissions. Idiots will applaud while nothing changes.
In a year’s time, I expect Loh to create another panel to monitor this panel’s progress.
John Martyn’s “Man In The Station” is one of those quiet songs you have to strain a little to catch, but it’s beautiful, moving and totally worth the effort.
For some reason, Visor Man decided to take a shot at his last place of college employment, where I thought he received better treatment than he dished out.
“I tell you the football gods have been smiling on me the last two (AAF) weeks,” Spurrier said about the Apollos being fortunate to be 3-0. “I think all the crap I had at South Carolina those last two years, they’re coming back. They’re smiling on me a little bit.”
So the football gods were handling recruiting? That explains a lot.
Amidst another sad tale of a public stadium failing to fill all the grandiose promises of economic fulfillment comes perhaps the greatest epitaph you’ll ever see.
“People drive into the stadium, they tailgate and they drive out. The fastest way they can get in and the fastest way they can get out. Even our package stores haven’t seen an influx of economic benefit.” [Emphasis added.]
When you can’t even do it for the liquor stores, you know you’ve got a real lemon on your hands.
Zion Williamson’s injury is like watching a controlled experiment on the virtues of amateurism.
It’s always interesting to hear from guys after they’ve left the team about recent events. Here’s what D’Andre Walker had to say about Georgia’s effort (using the term loosely) in the Sugar Bowl.
“I knew that question was coming. But I don’t think they were giving maximum effort in that game. I feel like they felt like they didn’t have anything to play for. We thought we were going to be in the playoffs, but we didn’t. I feel like they didn’t take the game very seriously. And then … me not being out there, that was another big thing. Deandre Baker wasn’t out there as well. Everybody’s mindset had pretty much altered, and it was getting ready for the next year.”
Man, I hope that’s not what getting ready for the next year really looks like.
Well, shee-it, Dawgnation.
“It benefits Auburn,” Dooley said. “You could imagine some of the Georgia people are not happy with it, because you get into a routine of when the game is scheduled. … No question, it’s very good for Auburn, and Georgia has evidently gone along with it.”
Now there’s some high praise indeed for our beloved athletic director.
UPDATE: David Ching has some additional thoughts.