Daily Archives: April 24, 2022

Forget it, Jake. It’s Athens.

I see Mudcat’s car is at it again.

33 Comments

Filed under Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football

There’s spending, and then there’s spending effectively.

Andy Staples ($$) wrote something the other day…

… It also shows how increasing the investment in football once a solid foundation has been set can lead a program to greater heights. Former Georgia and Miami coach Mark Richt got fired in Athens after going 9-3 in the 2015 regular season. This move was viewed as necessary at the time and has since looked even more prescient as Kirby Smart led the Bulldogs to an SEC title in 2017 and a national title in 2021. Georgia is now a perennial national title contender, and it spends like one.

But Richt wasn’t getting the same kind of financial investment in the latter stages of his tenure. Georgia donors complained because then-athletic director Greg McGarity seemed reluctant to open the checkbook. From 2010-13, Georgia never spent more than $27.2 million in a season on football. When the Bulldogs played Alabama in an SEC title game for the ages in 2012, the Crimson Tide were in the midst of spending $14.5 million more than Georgia on football that school year. Those donors finally convinced Georgia’s administration to begin spending more like the Crimson Tide spend, but it came too late to help Richt. And maybe Richt wouldn’t have used those dollars as efficiently as Smart has. Smart, who had been Nick Saban’s defensive coordinator at Alabama, understood exactly how the Crimson Tide allocated all that money. He used Georgia’s increased spend — which hit $49.2 million when he won the SEC in 2017 — to develop an infrastructure to rival Alabama’s. That’s why Georgia sits only a few spots from Wake Forest on this list. The Bulldogs won on the cheap in the Richt era. And now they’re winning even bigger with a bigger spend in the Smart era.

… that reminded me of something I posted in the wake of the Richt firing.

If you manage an SEC football program, there’s a difference between being committed to winning and being financially committed to winning.  Everybody wants to win.  The hard part is figuring out how to allocate resources to make sure that happens.  And, no, that doesn’t mean spending money like a drunken sailor.  (We’re looking at you, Tennessee.)  It simply means that if you think your rightful place is among the Alabamas, Floridas and LSUs of the world, you’d better take a hard look at what they’re doing and make sure you’re giving your coaching staff the opportunity to keep up with them.

Are things on a better track now?  Hard to say.  Yes, spending on certain things has crept up, but look what it took to get B-M’s collective head out of its ass.  And the jury is still out on whether the increase is being spent wisely.

Nick Saban’s arrival in Tuscaloosa changed the SEC over the next decade.  Mark Richt didn’t start adapting to the new reality until it was too late.  If I have to give Greg McGarity credit for one thing, it’s that he recognized he was in over his head with regard to building a football program that could successfully compete at the top.  It was lucky for both him and us that he found someone in Kirby Smart who wasn’t.

34 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Nostradamus on amateurism

I’m not trying to pick on a commenter here, but I’m legitimately fascinated by a comment from yesterday.  Or, more accurately, by the ramifications of a comment.

Dear Senator,
We who feared this NIL process, saw something like this coming down the road. I believe you did also. You just did not want to recognize the problem.

If you were someone who indeed did see what was coming, isn’t it implicit that you knew college athletes, at least in revenue producing sports, were undercompensated for their services?

If finger pointing my way now helps, be my guest, but it sure would have been more productive to have been pointing at schools and the NCAA warning them what you saw coming if they didn’t ameliorate the situation.  My two cents, anyway.

58 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Beast of the East

Inject this directly into my veins:

Here’s a look at how the Bulldogs have fared against the SEC East under current head coach Kirby Smart:

KIRBY SMART (2016-PRESENT), SEC EAST RUNDOWN

2017, 2018, 2019, 2021 SEC East champions

  • Florida: 4-2
  • Kentucky: 6-0
  • Missouri: 6-0
  • South Carolina: 5-1
  • Tennessee: 5-1
  • Vanderbilt: 4-1
  • OVERALL: 30-5

Anecdotal Notes: In four of the past six seasons, Georgia has won the SEC East. It is important to note that the Bulldogs did not play Vanderbilt during the 2020 season with multiple postponements and cancellations related to COVID-19.

Although Florida would have won the tiebreaker, Georgia would have likely rolled through the Commodores and claimed a share of the SEC East crown. That would have given the Bulldogs claim to at least a share of five consecutive SEC titles.

The majority of college football fans would agree that you cannot judge a collegiate coach by his first season. After an 8-5 campaign and going 4-4 in conference in 2016, Smart has only lost two games to SEC East opponents.

The most embarrassing of the two was a 20-17 double-overtime loss to a South Carolina team that would finish 4-8 in 2019. Georgia was No. 3 and would finish the season at No. 4. The other loss came in 2020 to Florida by a 44-28 score in a contest that would ultimately decide the division.

Total score vs. SEC East opponents since 2017: Georgia 1,072, SEC East 388

Shutouts vs. SEC East opponents since 2017: 4 (2017 at Tennessee, 2019 vs. Kentucky, 2019 vs. Missouri, 2021 at Vanderbilt)

Dayum, that feels good.

10 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football