Moar hate

Hey, it’s not just me using the word.

“As a defensive player you can’t really get up and get excited to play a team like Georgia Tech,” Jenkins said. “That offense sucks for you. There’s a chance you might get hurt. There’s a chance you’re going to be bruised up, banged up afterward. It’s not a type of offense you get excited to play. That’s why it attributes to the hate a lot of Georgia players have for Tech.”

I attribute it too, Jordan.  GATA.


Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football

The Lord giveth.

Remember this minor kerfuffle over Richt’s brother-in-law?  A real threat to the Republic, that was.

Welp, Casey Cagle’s using it to raise money to run for governor.

You see, Cagle has apparently begun organizing his 2018 campaign for governor. Around saving religion and college football. At the same time.

Here’s the headline of the fundraising letter that’s hitting mail boxes in his name: “Don’t Let Atheists Ban Georgia’s Football Chaplains.” The text includes these paragraphs (emphasis in the original):

An out-of-state group, “The Freedom from Religion Foundation,” has sent threatening letters to several Georgia universities demanding the schools dismiss their football team chaplains.

‘Murica, people!

Although if it works, maybe McGarity ought to look into using it to raise a few more bucks for the reserve fund.


Filed under Georgia Football, Political Wankery

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right…

Bruce Feldman is reporting that Kirby Smart has emerged as the leading candidate to succeed Steve Spurrier at South Carolina.

If that happened, wouldn’t Georgia’s in state recruiting be even more fun squeezed by Saban and Smart?


Filed under 'Cock Envy

A small lesson in how things could be done.

This is what convincing B-M to loosen the purse strings gets you:

Richt and defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt have lobbied for a bigger budget in recent years and have gotten their wish. The indoor practice facility is in the works, the salaries for the coaching staff have increased and the recruiting budget reached seven figures.

According to figures provided by UGA through the Open Records Act, the football program’s recruiting budget for 2015 was $1.34 million. In 2014, it was $717,091. The one-year increase of 87 percent now places UGA’s recruiting war chest in the upper echelon of the SEC.

Those resources allow for the coaching staff to send more letters, stage more memorable official visits and travel across the country to meet with prized recruits. UGA has always recruited well, but what kept it from having the No. 1 or No. 2 class in the nation was allowing a few of the state’s top prospects to get poached by rival schools. That budget increase should be the means to prevent it. The rise of the SEC Network and the cash payout to each member school has had to help this area.

Richt said he believes recruiting is going extremely well right now. The class currently ranks No. 6 nationally, but could rise if UGA receives good news from its top undecided targets.

Nobody is suggesting that Richt should simply be handed a blank check to do with what he pleases.  What he should be allowed to do is make a credible case for what he wants, detail how he intends to use the increase in funds and, most importantly, deliver. Which appears to be the case in this specific area.

Amazing how accountability can work.  Although the irony doesn’t escape me that Richt may not be the guy who winds up reaping the rewards from that.


Filed under Georgia Football

A few thoughts on the Tech game

Well, I’m a little surprised, but from reading this, it sounds like Georgia Tech is slightly less reliant on running the ball than Georgia Southern.


1st Down: Tech has run the ball 80 percent of the time on first down this season but it has had some luck through the air. The Yellow Jackets are completing over 50 percent of their passes and have thrown four touchdowns to just one interception on the down.

2nd Down: Georgia Tech is a run-heavy team in all second down situations. Second and long (more than seven yards) is the closest to being 50/50, but Johnson often opts to keep the offense on schedule in those situations with the run.

3rd Down: Georgia Tech has thrown only one third and short (less than four yards) pass all season. It has run the ball 49 out of 50 times in that spot. The Yellow Jackets still tend to run the ball on third and medium (four to six yards) with 64 percent run. Third and long is the only down and distance where the pass is most prevalent.

But, yeah, the raw numbers bear that out.  GSU runs the ball roughly seven carries more per game than does Tech, while attempting five fewer pass attempts per game.  Some of that is probably due to the nature of the seasons each is enjoying, I would guess.

It’s also worth noting that GT has returned to its traditional level under Johnson of an under-50% completion rate on its pass attempts.  (Justin Thomas’ rate is actually lower than the overall team’s.)

So I’d say we know what Pruitt wants to see.

On defense, I will be shocked if, after seeing Georgia’s game tape from last Saturday, Ted Roof does anything different from what the Eagles dialed up.  The man loves to blitz as it is and there was nothing shown from last weekend that would discourage him in that department.  That means Schottenheimer gets another opportunity to figure out the best way to counter that… this time, for an entire game.  The same can be said for Georgia’s offensive line.


Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football

“At the heart of the problem is an addiction to lavish spending.”

Matt Hayes (yeah, I know) cites a report that claims 86 percent of college athletes live below the poverty line.  Now before you go running off from that, note that Hayes manages the correct take in response:

However, a majority of students in college—those who play sports and those who don’t—fall well below the federal poverty line. Moreover, many current student athletes wouldn’t qualify academically under current freshman guidelines.

The NCAA sees this as a tradeoff: Athletes receive a free education, are trained by coaches and athletic trainers at the top of their profession, and receive free academic tutoring (among other things) to play and make millions for their schools. Athletes—and the NCPA—of course see it differently, and have a solid argument.

Still, by adding the “poverty” argument, the NCPA—a group that has been a strong advocate for student athletes—is confusing the narrative and looks desperate. Instead of talking poverty, the NCPA should continue to drive home these numbers:

— Texas football players were valued at $513,922.

— Duke basketball players were valued at $1,025,656.

That’s not all the NCPA should drive home, though.  There’s plenty more to shout about, beginning with P5 athletic departments spending money like drunken sailors on shore leave.

Big-time college sports departments are making more money than ever before, thanks to skyrocketing television contracts, endorsement and licensing deals, and big-spending donors. But many departments also are losing more money than ever, as athletic directors choose to outspend rising income to compete in an arms race that is costing many of the nation’s largest publicly funded universities and students millions of dollars. Rich departments such as Auburn have built lavish facilities, invented dozens of new administrative positions and bought new jets, while poorer departments such as Rutgers have taken millions in mandatory fees from students and siphoned money away from academic budgets to try to keep up.

Auburn?  Why, whatever would make you look at Auburn?

Jacobs’s pay has steadily risen since he started in 2005, from $407,300 to $648,700, and he’s been able to hire some help. In January 2014, Jacobs created a chief operating officer position, a No. 2 to take over the department’s day-to-day operations.

For that job, Jacobs chose Benedict, whom he lured away from Minnesota athletics with a salary of $310,000.

Benedict strongly disagreed with characterizing any Auburn spending as bloated.

“I don’t think it’s any different than any other competitive industry,” Benedict said. “As college athletics has generated more money, we’re going to invest more.”

It’s not accurate, Benedict said, to analyze college athletics in terms of profits or losses.

“There’s no for-profit company that would operate the way college athletics do,” he said. “We don’t make decisions based on the bottom line. If we did, things would operate very differently.”

Er, um… nevermind.

These guys aren’t strapped for cash.  They just operate in a world with different rules.  Which is why you have to laugh at this:

There are athletic departments that profit without a perennially great football team, and without taking millions away from students. Indiana University routinely does it, despite being in the middle of the pack of the Power Five in earnings, with $84.7 million in 2014.

How do they do it?

“Hoosier tightwadness,” Indiana Athletics Director Fred Glass said. “We don’t spend more than we take in.”

Glass expressed puzzlement when asked why so many departments struggle to turn a profit.

“If I knew the answer to that, maybe I’d be head of the NCAA or something,” he said.

Dude, with an approach like that, they wouldn’t let you near running the NCAA.

The money is there at major programs to treat student-athletes properly.  The schools just aren’t going to spend it that way until they have to.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Paralysis by analysis

Yesterday, Georgia’s beat writers were doing their job.  Which meant they were asking Mark Richt about his future.

Richt was asked at his regular Tuesday news conference if he feels like he’s coaching for his professional life in this game:

“Who me?” he said laughing. “Who made you ask that question? I know you didn’t think of that one. My focus is beating Georgia Tech right now. That’s my answer to you.”

And asking.

The second: Does Richt expect to be Georgia’s head coach next year?

“My focus right now is Georgia Tech. Who made you ask that one?” Richt said.

And making Richt think they were gonna ask again.

Then the microphone was handed to this reporter, who wanted to ask a question about the offensive line, but Richt did not know that yet.

“You’re gonna ask the same one? We  can end this thing as fast as you want,” Richt said. “I’m here to talk about the game.”

Like it or not, it’s news and the questions were fair game.  None of that bothers me particularly.

But this does.

Georgia is set to break ground on its long-awaited indoor athletic facility on Dec. 14. It’s a building that Mark Richt has pined for and quietly lobbied for during his 15-year tenure as head football coach.

But as of this week, with one game left in the regular season, it’s still not a settled question whether Richt will be around to attend that ceremony, much less coach in the gleaming new facility when it’s ready.

His bosses continue to be silent on the subject, holding to their policy with all coaches in all seasons. The belief among many close to the situation is that no decision has been made either way, and that Saturday’s game at Georgia Tech will have a big say in it.
[Emphasis added.]

Say what?  You’ve got a coach with a fifteen-year track record to evaluate and you’re taking the approach that his career may hang in the balance depending on how his team plays in one game against a 3-8 Georgia Tech?

If that’s the case – and there’s no reason to think Seth’s reporting on the subject is anything less than solid – that’s a clear sign of folks in an organization who are reluctant to make a major decision themselves, but rather hope instead that developments (or maybe Richt himself, I don’t know) will make it for them.

That ain’t no way to run a railroad, if you get my drift.  But I can’t say it comes as much of a surprise.  Butts-Mehre has a track record, too.

And this is why I keep harping on Georgia football’s problem being something other than Richt himself.  I don’t care which side of the divide regarding his fate you find yourself.  Either way, it shouldn’t be hard to grasp the idea that letting things twist in the wind like this is the worst way to manage the situation.  (Really, it’s kind of impressive that the coaching staff has managed to keep the next recruiting class together so far.)

It’s also why those of you who are convinced the football program can’t get any worse if Richt goes ought to be honest with yourselves about whether that’s really the case.  I don’t mean that in the sense of simply making a bad hiring decision, either.  I mean it in the sense that the same people who can’t come to grips with what to do about Mark Richt are the same people who will have to go about making any hiring decision to replace him.  Why would you have confidence in that process?


Filed under Georgia Football