Daily Archives: August 19, 2022

Playing the Lane game

This is fucking hilarious.

It would be entirely fitting if he gets an NIL deal out of the notoriety.

16 Comments

Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin

Name that caption, Gator man edition

Behold, the flower of the Florida fan base:

There’s a “son, fat, drunk and stupid” joke just dying to be made here.

32 Comments

Filed under Name That Caption

Boys, those johnsons aren’t gonna measure themselves.

Yes, because that’s what real college football fans care about — which conference gets paid the most.  It’s kind of like following recruiting, except with dollar signs.

Seriously, it shouldn’t matter to us as it does to college presidents (even though it directly impacts us in more than one way).  Except for one thing.  And for that, you need to read this refresher on the SEC’s history of negotiating shitty broadcast deals ($$).

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey has never had a chance to sell all his league’s rights, and the SEC hasn’t had a chance since 2008 to use the leverage that comes with having all its inventory available. Sankey took over in 2015 for Mike Slive. At the time, the league was in the middle of a 15-year deal with CBS that paid $55 million annually so the network could broadcast the best SEC game each Saturday. Disney/ESPN owned the rights to the other games, but the terms of that deal had changed.

The original deal that Slive and consultant Chuck Gerber forged in 2008 called for Disney to pay the league about $2 billion over 15 years starting in 2009. The terms of that deal changed after the SEC added Missouri and Texas A&M. The SEC partnered with Disney to create the SEC Network. The new deal between Disney and the SEC would extend to 2034…

… Knowing networks were counting their pennies ahead of the next NFL media rights deal — which was finalized in 2021 — the SEC decided to see what its best game of each week might fetch. The answer? A reported $300 million from Disney in a deal locked down in 2020. In 2024, the best SEC game would move from CBS to Disney-owned ABC. By agreeing to the deal, the SEC cast its lot entirely with Disney and also re-synced its rights. For 2034, the SEC can put its entire rights package on the market.

That deal likely will reset the market, but that is a long time from now. How long? Because the Big Ten did seven-year deals with Fox, CBS and NBC, it will have sold its rights again before the SEC gets another crack.  [Emphasis added.]

I’m not suggesting Jim Delany is a genius, but one way in which he clearly ran rings around Slive and Sankey was in reading the broadcast market.  He was a shrewder Jed Clampett than the SEC commissioners.

And why should that matter to us (again other than that we’re the ones ultimately paying for it)?  Because of Slive’s and Sankey’s piecemeal approach, we’ve been saddled with a poorly thought out scheduling mess in the wake of the last round of conference expansion that was driven, at least in significant part, by Slive looking for an out from a shitty broadcast deal he’d cut.  Fast forward to now and it’s hard to see much progress in that regard.

As the SEC staggers around trying to figure its way forward on a deal it’s locked into for over a decade, just keep that in mind as Greg Sankey assures you he’s got this scheduling thing nailed down.

17 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football, ESPN Is The Devil, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

First thoughts on the Big Ten TV deal

Yes, I get that it’s a shit ton of money.

Like I said, a shit ton of money.  But, man, at what cost?

The Fox-CBS-NBC triumvirate will provide the Big Ten with an NFL-like lineup of games on over-the-air TV.

“The goal was to own each of these windows,” said Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren, the former Vikings COO who used the NFL as a model for the Big Ten’s own rights negotiations. “To capture the hearts and minds and the fan avidity, I think you’ve got to make it very simple for your fans. So, I always had this visual, especially coming out of the NFL, that we’d have partners in each one of those windows. And then we’d have some special events, like two games on Black Friday.”

Is it just me, or does “make it very simple for your fans” simply translate into making it easier to capture casual viewers?  Because, let’s face it, that’s where college football has been headed in a commercial sense for a while now.  And the proof would seem to be in the pudding with this deal here.

That being said, I can’t help but think of an argument the NCAA and schools raised during the O’Bannon litigation.

At their core, Dennis’ findings indicate fans would be greatly disappointed if college athletes were paid and many fans would shift their time, energy and dollars to other endeavors. For instance, 69 percent of Dennis’ respondents expressed they’d probably stop going to games. He also determined that if “star” college players were paid more than other college players, 73 percent of the public would identify “less fairness in balance of competition” in college sports. Dennis also found that if college athletes were paid $20,000 a year, 38 percent of the U.S. public would be less likely to view or attend college games. The percent rises to 47 percent and 53 percent when the proposed pay increases to $50,000 and $200,000, respectively. Collectively, these numbers cast a dark light on how fans would regard compensating Division I men’s basketball and football players.

Now there’s a take that didn’t age well, unless you assume that the business model in play here expects larger amounts of money to be paid for smaller audiences.

Finally, there’s a quote from Kevin Warren that made me raise my eyebrows.

“I think what it does, it affords us the opportunity to make sure that we can continually do the things we need to do to take care of our student-athletes, to fortify our institutions, to build our programs,” Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren told the AP.

Now, you can dismiss this as simply another disingenuous “doing it for the kids” plug.  Given the track record of folks like Warren, that’s entirely understandable.  But what if this is the rare case where it’s not?

Matt Hayes:

The bigger move on the horizon — one that will change college football and bring distinct division and strife within the 130 FBS teams — is the expanded Playoff.

A Playoff that will, by the time a 16-team structure and format is complete, be worth well over $1.2 billion annually. Playoff revenue that will lead to direct pay-for-play for players.

“(University) Presidents are desperate for revenue because they can’t hold (pay-for-play much) off much longer,” an industry source told SDS. “After they’ve all worked their own conference (media rights) deals, there’s only one revenue stream left to supplement players.”

“We have to get ahead of (pay-for-play),” a Power 5 athletic director told SDS. “We didn’t with NIL, and now we’re all kind of scrambling to make it fit universally. There has to be a clear path this time (with pay-for-play).”

That is something I, too, wonder about.  In a sense, it’s the final frontier for where all those additional broadcast dollars are going to be put to work.  Sure, Jimmy Sexton won’t be missing any meals, and, yes, there are facilities to be built, but that sort of spending grows more and more marginal.  What wouldn’t be marginal would be schools paying players to play.  And if you’re in a conference at the top of the college football revenue food chain, it’s the most efficient way to provide separation between you and the schools that aren’t.  Which is the vast majority of the P5 (using that term ever more loosely these days).

I’m not saying it’s guaranteed we’re headed there.  But it’s not illogical to suggest we are.

25 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football, It's Just Bidness

Who are they scheduling for, anyway?

In his Mailbag yesterday, Seth Emerson makes a Cocktail Party-related point ($$) about Georgia’s future home scheduling.

But when it comes to the home schedule, as weak as it has been for Georgia in many years, that should change post-expansion because the SEC is getting rid of divisions. No more guaranteed home games every other year with Vanderbilt, Missouri, Kentucky (sorry, Mark Stoops) at the expense of rarely seeing Alabama, Texas A&M, LSU, etc. The home SEC schedule is going to be much more palatable to the fan, which ultimately may take away some of the argument for moving the Florida game.

Is “may” in that last sentence doing some heavy lifting?  Judging from the comments section here, I would say those in support of moving the Georgia-Florida game to a home-and-home series fall into one of two camps, those who want to strengthen the home schedule and those who want to give Smart their full endorsement in how he chooses to run the football program.

For the former group, then, yes, this would seem to be a valid point in favor of maintaining the Cocktail Party status quo.  But for the recruiting über alles gang, led by Kirby Smart, I’m afraid it’s a moot point.

Which brings me to the thrust of this post.  Ultimately, we Georgia fans, especially those of us shelling out money for season tickets, are consumers of an entertainment product.  As Seth notes a little later in his post, “There isn’t any groundswell of discontent about the site of the game that Smart is tapping into.”  How much should the movers and shakers in B-M take into account the wishes of the people funding the program versus the stated wishes of the head coach?

I’m not asking that in the context of worrying about folks closing the wallets.  I’m asking that in the sense of how much respect should the school show the fan base.

I’m mentioned before that being asked to be a prop in Smart’s recruiting show at G-Day doesn’t sit entirely well with me.  Being a Georgia fan isn’t a job.  It’s not even a responsibility.  It’s a choice, albeit an emotional one.  If the UGA-UF game goes home and home in the name of recruiting, I’ll live with it, but it won’t make me happy if I’m not only expected to get over losing a valued tradition, but expected to participate in making showing up for the Florida game as a recruiting obligation on top of that.

I recognize this may be something for some of you where your mileage may vary from mine, and that’s cool with me.  Curious what y’all think of this.

47 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

NCAA to schools: help us to help you

Everybody talks about what’s wrong with NIL, but does anybody want to do anything about it?

NCAA officials sent a letter to its membership Thursday noting its enforcement staff’s pursuit of “potential violations” of the name, image and likeness compensation policy and emphasizing the need for schools to help investigations.

… The NCAA has yet to issue a notice of allegations related to potential NIL violations to a school. The letter stressed the importance of schools “self-regulating.”

“To achieve success and protect fair competition from abuses, member cooperation and communication with the NCAA enforcement staff is imperative when self-regulating requirements fail,” the letter said.

The letter said “our focus is not on targeting student-athletes, but rather the actors who pose a threat to the integrity of college sports.”

The letter concluded with a plea to its 1,100 member schools with nearly 500,000 athletes to report improprieties.

“Investigations can be challenging and the enforcement staff needs help from member schools. Specific information about contacts or transactions will expedite investigations and help us secure truthful accounts,” the letter read. “We understand why coaches and student-athletes are reluctant to provide documentary evidence and details on the record, but it’s critically important in our effort to protect compliant programs.”

Yeah, I’m guessing this will have zero impact.  When you’ve been operating as an illegal cartel for decades, “snitches get stiches” is part of the lifestyle that’s hard to break.

16 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

Thanks, Roy. They’ll take it from here.

Well, now.  The man who invented the P5 conference championship game has thoughts.

Kramer is not a big fan of a 12-team playoff because he thinks it would devalue the regular season, and he also said that 16 teams (which is where the SEC and Big Ten will be with this latest round of expansion) is about as big as a conference needs to be.

Eh, what does he know.

5 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, SEC Football

TFW you have to resort to bribery

For those of us hoping a nine-game conference schedule is in the works for the SEC…

… if they’re stuck asking Mickey to throw more money at them to add the game, they’re either playing a game of 3-D chess (something I would suggest is wildly out of character for the parties involved) or we ain’t getting that ninth game any time soon.  Bastards.

16 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

Today, in youth will be served

I mean, how is this even possible?

Boom must be mellowing in his old age.

15 Comments

Filed under Agent Muschamp Goes Boom, Georgia Football