Daily Archives: January 25, 2022

Twitter is the opposite of Montana.

This is pretty funny.

Sorry, Cam, but Twitter knows best.  Them’s the rules.

72 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

It’s only money.

Way to go, Auburn!

A year after reporting record revenue and a $17.9 million profit margin, Auburn’s athletics department saw its revenue decrease by $30 million year over year and operated at a $9.7 million loss, according to a copy of the university’s annual NCAA financial report obtained by AL.com through a public records request. It’s the first time in seven years that Auburn athletics has operated at a loss.

You probably won’t be surprised why.

… After reporting $33,820,864 in ticket revenue during the 2019-20 fiscal year, that number plummeted to just $3.7 million during the 2020-21 fiscal year, according to the document. Auburn reported just $3.2 million in football ticket sales, which was down from $31 million the prior year, and just $180,757 in men’s basketball ticket sales, which was down from $2.1 million the year before.

The loss of ticket revenue from the university’s two most profitable sports, paired with a significant jump in severance payments due to former coaches and administrators, played into the athletics department operating at a loss for the first time in seven years. Auburn reported just $734,877 in severance payments due to former coaches during the 2019-20 fiscal year, but that number ballooned to $16.6 million during the most recent fiscal year. Of course, the bulk of that was due to the turnover within the football program, with Auburn doling out $16.08 million to former football coaches during the 2020-21 fiscal year following the firing of former coach Gus Malzahn and the majority of his staff.

In retrospect, maybe paying out millions in buyout money during a pandemic wasn’t the sharpest business decision.  But at least they got a better record out of it… oh, wait.  And if Harsin turns in a losing record this season?  Lather, rinse, repeat.  Boosters, to your checkbooks!

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UPDATE:  While over in Athens

Georgia athletics reported a surplus approaching $21 million for the fiscal year that ended last June in the first full academic year impacted by the pandemic and limited attendance.

The Georgia Athletic Association reported total revenues of $153,177,131 and total expenses of $132,555,972 for a difference of $20,621,159, according to a draft IRS Form 990 that was accepted by the athletic board’s finance committee on behalf of the full board in a meeting on Tuesday morning.

36 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, It's Just Bidness

Look who’s having a stupid contest.

Georgia fan:  Gee, the latest bunch of recruiting violations UGA was hit were stupid and petty.

Tennessee fan:  Hold our beer!

On Oct. 16, before UT played a home game against Ole Miss, fans packed the Vol Walk pathway, where players and coaches make their traditional trek from Gibbs Hall to Gate 21 of Neyland Stadium.

Recruits were at the football practice facility and overseen by UT’s recruiting support staff. They were supposed to watch Vol Walk from a parking lot overlooking the route. But congestion from the huge number of fans hemmed in the recruits and botched that plan.

“After getting stuck at the top of the street where buses would unload the football team in approximately 5-10 minutes, and being unable to get back to an area away from the street because of directions from police officers working crowd control, (the assistant director of recruiting) made the decision to direct the prospects toward the stadium as quickly as possible,” the university report said.

“At that point, because of the number of fans, this involved walking down the street and created an impermissible gameday simulation.”

So rather than watch Vol Walk, recruits participated in it — or, at least, a preview of it before the team did the real thing.

Yes, there are sanctions for that.

UT took action and self-imposed sanctions: rules training for its staff; reduction of recruiting contact opportunities by one; designed different route for recruits around Vol Walk to avoid a repeat occurrence; and coach Josh Heupel was notified that a similar violation may result in his suspension for one or more games, which is standard language for deterring future infractions.

The SEC further ruled that UT could not have in-person off-campus contact with the involved recruits for 14 days, beginning Dec. 8, and the assistant director of recruiting could not engage in recruiting activities from Dec. 10-12.

And the NCAA required UT to suspend the assistant director of recruiting for one game, and the football program reduced its recruiting evaluation days by two.

Dumb and dumber:  Tennessee and the NCAA, a meteor recruiting violation.

30 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Recruiting, The NCAA

Big offense, or big offensive players?

Two noteworthy items from today’s Seth Emerson’s piece, inspired by Burton’s departure for (presumably) greener pastures ($$):

First, I love this quote from Terrence Edwards.

“I don’t think you necessarily have to have these gaudy stats to be thought of as a high draft pick,” said Edwards, pointing out that he himself wasn’t drafted. “But kids and parents love stats.”

Chicks will always dig the long ball.

Second, stats.

• Georgia is the first college football national champion since 2008 to not have a 1,000-yard rusher or receiver. (Florida that year was led in rushing by Tim Tebow with 673 yards, and in receiving by Louis Murphy with 655 yards.)

• Georgia this past season was also the first team in SEC history to gain at least 6,500 yards without a 1,000-yard rusher or 1,000-yard receiver.

The key points in each of those items perhaps being that a) Georgia won the national championship, and b) gained a healthy amount of yards (6,644, second most in the SEC and sixth most in the country).

That Todd Monken fella’s not too bad at his job.

Seth goes on to make another very good point about the offensive philosophies at Alabama and Georgia, respectively.  It’s not just that ‘Bama emphasizes the pass more; they also concentrate touches with their top players considerably more than does Georgia.  (Alabama’s top two receivers combined for 46% of the team’s total catches; Georgia’s, 31%.)  If your top guys are that much studlier than the rest, that’s sensible, but as we saw in the national championship game, it can leave you exposed if those top guys can’t play.

The point here isn’t to criticize either coach’s approach.  Obviously, there’s more than one way to skin a national championship cat.  But maybe this makes it a little easier to understand Burton’s decision while also showing that Georgia’s offense may be built well enough to survive it.  Or, to put it another way, I’ll sweat Monken’s departure, when it happens, a lot more than Burton’s.

62 Comments

Filed under Alabama, Georgia Football, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics

“What does the future of college football look like?”

I may not be able to do the deep dive some of the folks quoted in this version of Matt Brown’s Extra Points manage, but I feel pretty confident in saying after reading it that a collective bargaining agreement with college football players is a matter of when, not if.

You’d best brace yourselves for it, peeps.  Like Omar, it’s coming.

35 Comments

Filed under College Football

Getting the band back together?

According to Jake Reuse over at On3, Mike Bobo is being hired as an offensive analyst.

Man, who could’ve seen that coming?

(h/t AirForceDawg)

34 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

247Sports way too early SEC projections

Without any further adieu, here’s how they see it, by divisional order:

EAST

  • Georgia (12-0, 8-0)
  • Tennessee (8-4, 4-4)
  • Kentucky (8-4, 4-4)
  • South Carolina (7-5, 4-4)
  • Florida (6-6, 4-4 3-5)
  • Missouri (4-8, 1-7)
  • Vanderbilt (3-9, 0-8)

WEST

  • Alabama (12-0, 8-0)
  • Texas A&M (10-2, 6-2)
  • LSU (9-3, 5-3)
  • Ole Miss (8-4, 4-4)
  • Arkansas (7-5, 4-4)
  • Mississippi State (7-5, 3-5)
  • Auburn (5-7, 2-6)

Observations:

  • Most obviously, if Harsin finishes with a second straight losing season, he gone.
  • I don’t know how I missed this, but Ole Miss plays at Georgia Tech this year.
  • If Florida finishes 6-6, Napier will break the streak of double digit wins in a coach’s first season there.
  • Sure, first instinct will be to mock the jubilation emanating from Knoxville if that’s how UT’s season plays out, but I’ve gotta say, were I a Vol fan, a second place divisional finish coupled with a win over the Gators would make me pretty happy, too.
  • All that being said, if LSU bounces back to go 9-3, it would be hard not to pick Brian Kelly as the SEC Coach of the Year.

34 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

It’s the red zone conversion rate, stupid.

For all the talk about Bennett’s monster fourth quarter and the Ringo pick-six, there’s an argument to be made that the national championship game turned as much on the respective performance of the two offenses in the red zone as anything else.

Alabama actually was the team with more red zone opportunities, four to Georgia’s three. However, when it came time to cash in, Alabama only managed one touchdownGeorgia produced two red zone touchdown conversions.  Thus, even though ‘Bama led the trips, Georgia wound up with the points, 17 to the Tide’s 15.

There was a lot of bending, but not breaking on the night.  Dayne Young and Brent Rollins do a nice job of walking through what that looked like with this:

One interesting point there was that ‘Bama had some self-inflicted wounds along the way.  Maybe they were feeling more pressure than we thought.

10 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

NIL assist

Well, now, here’s an interesting development.

Amazingly enough, considering all its warts, I don’t think HB 617 does, either, at least as long as it’s not a matter of the support being provided in exchange for the player attending the school to play sports.

I’ll be curious to see how much more aggressive Georgia gets with this.  Given Smart’s approach to getting and keeping talent in the fold, my guess is pretty aggressive.

13 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery, The NCAA

Today, in bidness decisions

He’s right, you know.  We’ve entered the era of the empowered player and that gives Jermaine Burton the freedom to decide what’s best for him and Nick Saban the option to provide that.

But that’s not so much the point to this post.  I really wanted to respond to a comment last night and didn’t want to bury it in a comment thread.

First of all, I’ve got to say I’ve been waiting 15 years or so to find out whether it would be possible for a GTP reader to be irritated with a head coach after winning a national championship.  It seems it is, so I appreciate getting that question answered.  But I digress.

As for the meat of his criticism, well, Mark Richt cured me of being emotionally invested in a Georgia coach.  Kirby isn’t infallible.  He had a piss poor game plan on defense for the SECCG and I said so at the time.  I’m sure there will be mistakes made in the future.  He’s human and that’s how it works.

Further, if Burton stays healthy this season, he may produce at the level suggested in the comment.  If he does, more power to him.  He will have made the proverbial business decision and it will have paid off for him.

To all of which I can only say, so what?  I only care about statistics and coaching decisions to the extent they pay off in wins and losses and, in this particular case, whether it ultimately pays off with a national title.  So, for me this only matters if Jermaine Burton turns out to be the difference between Alabama winning a natty and Georgia winning one.  Color me skeptical 2022 turns on that.

But, more importantly, think about what an attitude like this is really saying about the season that just took place.  Should Kirby Smart have changed the offense to suit the desires of Burton, such that he would have found it in his best interest to stay in Athens for another season?  What if he’d instructed Monken to do so and the change had cost Georgia the natty?  Would it have been worth it?

There’s also something Graham brought up that I’d thought about when Burton announced he was entering the portal:

No, not the Saban quote, the fact that Burton’s led a nomadic football life.  (Don’t forget he switched late in his recruiting from LSU to Georgia.)  Some people can’t settle down.  How much should a head coach cater to that?

Part of Burton’s frustration stems from him being injured.  Part of it stems from seeing production that would have gone his way shifted to others who stepped up when he was injured.  And part, no doubt, stems from Kirby Smart’s philosophy on how to build a championship contender.  Last season, Alabama attempted eleven more passes a game than did Georgia.  Jermaine Burton may not have liked that.  Some of you may not have liked that.  Me, I didn’t care because in the end Georgia was the team that got to hoist the trophy.

Smart’s won a natty.  But for a busted coverage, he’d have two right now.  Jermaine Burton or no Jermaine Burton, that’s gonna earn the benefit of the doubt from me.  I said after the SECCG that Smart’s first decision wasn’t whether to bench Bennett in favor of Daniels, but whether he believed his defense would bounce back such that Bennett’s play wouldn’t crack under the pressure of playing chase to an opponent’s dynamic offense.

Kirby got that right.  Who’s to say right now that after the preseason he won’t have as good a handle on what it will take for Georgia to succeed in 2022, even if Burton racks up big numbers at ‘Bama?  Not me.

If Burton’s departure affects your perception of what this program has accomplished and will accomplish, that’s your problem.  As I suggested to someone in the comments the other day, maybe you’d be happier playing fantasy college football than following Georgia football.

87 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football