Daily Archives: April 23, 2020

Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends.

How do you know when a conference commissioner is bullshitting you?  When another conference commissioner tells you ($$).

On April 15, the 10 conference commissioners and one athletic director who make up the College Football Playoff Management Committee held a call with Vice President Mike Pence. As Pence pressed the group on what it would take for them to allow college football to resume, the response from the committee was clear: no school, no games. “Our players are students,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said later that day. “If we’re not in college, we’re not having contests.”

That was one more piece of discouraging news for anxious fans who are hoping their teams might take the field this fall, even if no fans are allowed in the stadiums. Bowlsby’s comments gave the impression that unless campuses are open to all students, then sports will not take place.

As is often the case in these uncertain times, however, it is hard to state things in absolute terms. Follow-up interviews with six conference commissioners, including those from four of the Power 5 leagues, revealed that the scenarios under consideration are wider than the Pence call suggested. That offers the hope that games could in fact resume before campuses are completely open.

“I don’t think anyone said ‘all’ or ‘completely,’ ” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said. “I think the best way to say it is until our campuses start to open up, I don’t see student-athletes being invited back. I certainly don’t envision student-athletes being brought back exclusively.”

In other words, it depends upon what the meaning of the word ‘exclusively’ is.  Bill Clinton would make an excellent conference commissioner, don’t you think?

They’re playing football.  It’s a matter of when, not if.

44 Comments

Filed under Blowing Smoke, College Football

This is how you brand.

Kirby Smart doesn’t need Waffle House to recruit.  He doesn’t mug wearing 404 hats.

What he does do is point to the NFL Draft, which has the potential to be a pretty special occasion for Georgia, starting tonight.

… All told fifteen Bulldogs are draft eligible. The record for most Red and Black players selected in the modern draft era is eight, a feat accomplished in 2002 and 2013.

Breaking that record would be a PR win for a staff that’s billed itself as able to turn top high school talent into top NFL talent. One could argue that it’s essential that this class has a great showing. It’s the second class of Kirby Smart recruits in the draft, but arguably the first class of recruits really fully recruited and developed by this staff.

If in fact all goes well, the Bulldog coaches will be releasing graphics and tweets over the course of the next few days ostensibly to congratulate the former ‘Dawgs. But those are really a message to the future ‘Dawgs watching.

Gosh, that could be bigger than Virtual G-Day for recruiting.

Okay, let’s have a little fun.  Give me your over/under on the number of Dawgs who go in the first round tonight and the over/under on the total number who get drafted.  Then tell us on a scale of one to ten how much bragging Georgia will be doing about it to recruits over the next month.

21 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting, The NFL Is Your Friend.

This time it’s for real.

Okay, no surprise:  your average P5 AD is… well, average.  He/She operates in a world where it’s expected that all the money rolling in will be spent on something.  And since that something isn’t labor-related expense, outsized amounts are going to flow to people like Bobby Petrino and Charlie Weis.  It’s the nature of the beast.

The funny part is how these folks expect to be perceived as shrewd business people.

That’s not the funniest part, though.  Now they want you to believe that the coronavirus has taught them a lesson and that, going forward, it’s not going to be business as usual.  Cross their hearts and hope to die ($$).

“For now, the days of buying out coaches’ contracts like drunken sailors are gone,” one Division I athletic director said on the condition of anonymity in order to speak freely.

Something that won’t happen this fall that did last fall: a school paying a $20 million buyout to get rid of a head coach before the end of his second full season, as Florida State did with Willie Taggart, then hiring a new staff. There’s no way to justify something like that in this financial climate.

“No,” Castiglione said. “There’s not.”

One senior administrator referred to it as “course-correction.” Another used the term “recalibration.” Either way, it could be one area of college athletics that faces something of a reckoning in the coming months and years. And after years of skyrocketing salaries for head football and head men’s basketball coaches with leverage largely in their agents’ hands, it comes as welcome news to those in athletic departments.

I’m sure Jimmy Sexton went to bed last night with the cold sweats thinking about how much harder it’s going to be negotiating with an athletic director who would only talk tough anonymously.

Here’s what “recalibration” actually looks like.

But on the other side of the pandemic — once we reach the middle of the decade — two expanded revenue streams suggest a bright outlook for budgets:

1) As Navigate explained in December, the (seemingly inevitable) expansion of the College Football Playoff would be highly lucrative:

“Based on the average payout by ESPN on a per-TV-viewer basis, we estimate that an expansion to eight teams would bring in at least another $420 million per year, and expansion to 16 teams would add another $560 million annually.

“That’s tens of millions of dollars in additional revenue for the conferences — and millions for the individual schools.

“Combine that with the current payout for the four-team event, $467 million per year from ESPN, and the total for eight teams would be $887 million per year. A 16-team event would generate up to $1.45 billion per year.”

2) The next round of media rights deals will bring massive cash to the Power Five, as well.

Navigate’s latest projections call for an increase in value of 50-to-100 percent.

“The next set of TV deals, we believe, will be enriched, not harmed, by what’s happening right now — that shift toward home (viewing),’’ Maestas said.

“We’re about to release projections, and it’s roughly a 50-to-100 percent jump in TV money for all the conferences other than the ACC; they’re just stuck in a very long deal.

“This return to a new normal (after Covid-19) — these universities won’t be down for long. All those deals come up in the next four or five years. That means every major Power Five will take another significant step forward in their budgets.”

Yeah, that’s some day of reckoning coming.  Be afraid, Jimmy.  Be very, very afraid.

9 Comments

Filed under It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant, It's Just Bidness

Another “but you already knew that” chart

Hey, guess what?

Georgia’s defense was really, really good last year.  Its offense?  Not so much.

You’re welcome.

9 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

TFW all you’ve got is hope

Sadly, Nick Saban finds he has time for this shit.

“I think college football is really important to college athletics. I think everybody knows that quite a bit of the revenue that supports all the sports at any university comes from football,” Saban said. “But you also have to make sure it’s going to be safe to be able to do it. I really can’t make any predictions. I’m hopeful that sometime in the summer the players can come back here and we can get around the players and they can get back to school.

“We’re doing as much research as we can, whether it’s talking to Abbott about what kind of testing programs we could implement here for the safety of the players and our students.

“But I don’t think anybody knows what is college football going to look like? What is any football going to look like? Are we going to have seats between fans? Are we going to come up with a solution that allows people to go to games? Are we going to have to test people to get in stadiums? Are we going to have to play games with nobody? Are we even going to be able to play games at all? I’m hopeful. And we’ve got so many great people in this country that do research and develop and they solve the problems that I feel confident that somebody will come up with some solution that will get us back to normal sometime here soon.”

There are some problems even Saban can’t throw analysts at to game a way out.

3 Comments

Filed under Nick Saban Rules

We have always been at war with Eastasia.

Damn, it looks like we’ve had the NCAA all wrong.  It’s always been a friend to the working man or woman.  No, really.  Just ask Jack Swarbrick.

“Since regular students have the opportunity to exploit their name, image and likeness, we’ve always felt students who are athletes should have a version of that,” said Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick.

You guys sure have had a funny way of showing it, Jack.

10 Comments

Filed under The NCAA