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

Pay the man.

For those of you who’ve indulged yourselves making up Greg McGarity’s shopping list after he cans Mark Richt, keep in mind that HOT NAME isn’t gonna come without a fight, financially speaking.

Exhibit A:  Houston just proposed doubling Tom Herman’s salary to $3 million a year.  That’s after a whole ten games on the job.  Ten.

Which isn’t to say that Herman couldn’t do better at, say, Missouri, where the guy who hired him at Houston is now the AD.  But it’s also not to say that he won’t go anywhere without getting major bucks to do so.  All Houston has done is raise the height of the floor.

Whichever HOT NAME signs first this winter will set the market.  Jimmy Sexton will see to that.  Things will just take off from there in a feeding frenzy.

Does that sound to you like the kind of thing the Georgia Way does well?


UPDATE:  Memphis looks to jack up Justin Fuente’s salary, too.


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

The Sun Belt, where money is no object

If the money to play D-1 ball is such a dicey proposition, can somebody explain the following to me?

  • New Mexico State offered the Sun Belt more than $4 million to stay in the conference… and was turned down.
  • Eastern Kentucky has proposed building a $10 million stadium in an effort to join the Sun Belt.
  • And as part of its successful bid to join the Sun Belt, Coastal Carolina is spending a bunch to upgrade its facilities, including more than doubling the seating capacity of its football stadium.

That must be one helluvan attractive conference, peeps.

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

Driven to drink

An Orlando bar announces it will give away free beer to its patrons during UCF games until the team wins one.  That could take awhile.

And that could lead to the real problem:

Whitacre says he hasn’t heard from the school’s athletic department, which probably is rooting harder for its team to win this weekend. If not, the student crowd, or at least the upperclassmen, could be spending the Oct. 10 home game versus Connecticut at the bar instead of being in the stands.


Filed under 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.


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.


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 “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.


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.


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