Category Archives: It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

“We’re going to take the highest paycheck, because we need the money.”

Louisiana-Monroe’s Todd Berry gets down to the essence of mid-majordom:  need paycheck, will travel.

“That’s the way it is, and we kind of knew that coming into it. We’re not funded very well, which has been pretty well documented, so we need those checks, and generally the people who tend to pay the most money are the ones that can’t get games.

“Whether it’s Georgia or Alabama or Oklahoma or Texas A&M or Florida State or TCU, they tend to pay the most money. You don’t have a ton of control over your schedule, because they pay the most money, and you will play them whenever they tell you to play them. We’re also talking to Tennessee for somewhere down the road, too.”

And since I’ve always been a sucker for gallows humor, I can’t let this pass:

Louisiana-Monroe traveled to LSU, Kentucky and Texas A&M last year, which caused sixth-year Warhawks coach Todd Berry to joke Monday about not getting an invitation in July to SEC Media Days. Perhaps an invitation will be awaiting next summer, because the Warhawks not only open Saturday at Georgia but visit Alabama on Sept. 26.

Man, that’s a tough September for anybody, let alone a Sun Belt squad coming off a losing season.

6 Comments

Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

Oh, wait. You people were serious about that?

The city of Birmingham pledged $500,000 a year in support for UAB football, but neglected to include that amount in its just passed budget, because, according to Birmingham Finance Director Tom Barnett, the city had not anticipated that it would need to deliver on that promised funding so soon.

Too bad you can’t spend bullshit.  Oh, yeah, along those lines…

The UAB football program still has the mayor’s support, the finance director said.

As the cliché goes, that and five bucks will get you a mocha latte at Starbucks.

3 Comments

Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, Political Wankery

You may say he’s a dreamer.

Karl Benson is the Sun Belt commissioner.  He’s also detached from reality.

Benson said he wants Sun Belt teams to try to shed their “addiction” to lucrative, nonconference games against heavily favored Power Five opponents. He wants to improve the Sun Belt’s chances of having an undefeated team to reach a College Football Playoff access bowl and increase the league’s portion of CFP money divided among Group of Five schools.

“This isn’t anything new I’m saying, but it’s the first time we’ve had all 11 schools around the table that had been with the Sun Belt for a period of time for stability,” Benson told CBSSports.com. “Rather than playing multiple million-dollar payday games, we’re better off to get a return on our investment, so to speak, on the back end by being able to win games against our peer opponents.”

As Solomon points out, there are two rather sizable holes in his gameplan.  One is Marshall’s experience last season, going unranked by the selection committee despite its gaudy record because its schedule was deemed too soft.  It’s great to aspire to be king of the dipshits, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get to date the homecoming queen.

Second, he’s seriously underestimating how much his schools need the upfront money.

… Also, money games produce a likely loss on the field but guaranteed money to help balance athletic department budgets. This year, the Sun Belt’s 11 teams combined play 19 of their 35 nonconference games against teams from the SEC, Big Ten, Pac-12, ACC and Big 12.

There’s no way that extra pop from the access bowl – which Benson himself estimates was worth about $2 million last season – is gonna make up for dumping that.  But, hey, it never hurts to dream.

9 Comments

Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

“So we all are excited about that.”

You know the story of how the classic definition of chutzpah is someone who kills his parents and then begs the court for mercy because he’s an orphan?

Well, Ray Watts is that kid.

13 Comments

Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

Money to burn

In the last year, UAB shelled out more money to consultants ($546,869) to shut down and then reopen its football program than it did to its football coach ($500,000).

Which makes you wonder why the school feels the need to ask fans to make pledges to support the program – or, perhaps more accurately, why it would expect fans to hand over a blank check to do so.

3 Comments

Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

“I would not have built that stadium.”

This is sad.

The attendance at University of Akron home football games wasn’t just bad last year, it was the worst among all 125 NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision teams.

The Zips, who play at 30,000-seat InfoCision Stadium, reported drawing a total of 55,019 fans for six games, according to data the NCAA recently released.

It was the lowest number reported by the university since 2005, when the team attracted 54,464 and played at the decrepit, off-campus Rubber Bowl.

It’s also expensive.  The stadium was built in 2009, at a cost of more than $60 million.  And that’s not the only expense the school suffers.

… With the university subsidizing the football operations by about $8 million, it’s not good that fans and their much-needed cash are staying away from games.

That has forced the university — already making annual debt payments of $4.3 million on the stadium — to dip deeper into its own pocket to drive up attendance artificially.

The NCAA requires universities to average 15,000 fans in actual or paid attendance over a rolling two-year period to remain in Division I. In 2013, the school bought 56,710 tickets valued at $10 each.

I’m sure it seemed like a good idea at the time.  Then again, with fans like these…

“I don’t know what it is about Akron,” LaBate said. “If you live in Columbus, you kill to go to an Ohio State game. It’s the way you grow up. That culture doesn’t exist in Akron. I don’t know why.”

… there are probably a lot of things that seem like good ideas.  Maybe they need to think about adding WiFi.

(h/t)

26 Comments

Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

Tuesday morning buffet

Buffet away, dudes and dudines.

12 Comments

Filed under Academics? Academics., College Football, Gators Gators, Georgia Football, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football, What's Bet In Vegas Stays In Vegas