Hopefully you read the story that was posted after the Georgia Tech Caravan event Tuesday night at the Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center. Pretty good information that came out of it. I’ll post some more notes from what Dan Radakovich had to say, including some stuff he told Kelly Quinlan of Rivals and me afterwards, and then get to Paul Johnson, Brian Gregory and MaChelle Joseph Thursday.
1. He said it has been a “good, not great” year for Tech athletics. He said that after the superior 2009-10 year, it’s hard to repeat that level of success. He noted the growth of a number of programs, men’s basketball in particular.
“Certainly, women’s basketball, they were part of the solution, but when you look at the totality – two ACC championships, women’s basketball going to the Sweet 16, I think all in all, it was a good year,” he said.
2. Radakovich took part in the BCS meetings in April. He said that each answer to each question only presented more questions and discussion.
“It’s a very difficult circumstance to work through all of the different issues that come up as you deal with the BCS,” he said.
For instance, if bowls will be used as the semifinal sites for a four-team playoff (assuming the championship is a non-bowl event), how are those two bowls chosen? What happens with the other two BCS bowls (among Fiesta, Rose, Orange and Sugar) the years they’re not hosting a semifinal?
If it’s on campus, what happens if a school with a small stadium like Wake Forest hosts the game?
How will the teams be chosen? How will money be divided?
Radakovich’s preference is for the bowls to be a part of the playoff to keep them as a reward for players. Of the proposal to put semifinals on campus, “that one, I just haven’t been able to wrap my arms around,” he said.
Regarding the criticism of bowls that they’re a money-loser for schools, Radakovich said that, “first of all, it’ll be a lot more money (with a playoff), but I have to tell you that the school may have lost money on that individual event, but because of their conference revenue share, they never lost money.”
As for selecting teams, “I think it’s really hard to move away from the current circumstance of how the BCS is done. I think there needs to be some adjustment to the formula, but as I stand here today, I couldn’t exactly say what those adjustments might be.”
Radakovich has an issue with the influence of preseason rankings on end-of-season rankings, i.e., that a team that starts off at No. 5 or 10 has an easier path to getting to No. 1 than a team that starts off unranked. His suggestion was that if teams must be ranked preseason, then include 25 teams without ranking, just listed alphabetically. I have to say that’s the first time I’ve ever heard that.
3. Radakovich said “it’s going to be very difficult” for Tech to play in the Chick-fil-A kickoff game. The primary obstacle is that when Syracuse and Pitt join the ACC (expected in 2013), league teams will play a nine-game schedule. With Tech committed to playing Georgia annually, Radakovich and coach Paul Johnson don’t want to pick up another BCS conference opponent.
Johnson did bring up something interesting. He apparently had a discussion with an ESPN representative at the league meetings who was curious what fans would think of playing the Georgia-Georgia Tech game early in the season (presumably in the Chick-fil-A kickoff game). He asked those attending the caravan event, and didn’t get much of a reaction.
4. Regarding speculation and reports about ACC schools jumping or trying to jump to the Big 12, Radakovich said that “a lot of folks write things that are on the Internet that may or may not have great qualifications to do so. I found out two days ago that I was in Dallas, and I wasn’t.”
That said, Radakovich said that he and school president G.P. “Bud” Peterson “continue to monitor the situation. We look at it from Georgia Tech’s standpoint and the Atlantic Coast Conference’s standpoint. We do discuss it, look at the landscape.”
He doesn’t foresee change in membership, reiterating the unanimity expressed by league members in support of the league.
He said that expansion “could be” part of the ACC’s future, but noted that the league’s expansion committee is not meeting and wouldn’t unless commissioner John Swofford re-activated the committee. The league probably wouldn’t make any moves at least until the football playoff format is resolved.
“Until there’s a little more clarity as far as that’s concerned, I just think that we need to take a deep breath and say, ‘O.K., let’s see how this one major change is going to work before other things occur.’”
5. Regarding a possible bowl alliance for the ACC champion, Radakovich said that will be a topic of discussion for a conference call of league athletic directors this week. He said that league associate commissioner Michael Kelly has been working on “trying to set something up similar to what you had seen announced last Friday with the Southeastern Conference and the Big 12.”
6. The department will almost certainly schedule next year’s spring game for Friday, following the success of this year’s experiment. Radakovich said some things will need to be adjusted, but “I think it’s found a home.”
7. Following McCamish Pavilion, the renovation of the tennis facilities and possible work on the golf practice facilities, no more upgrades or builds are planned. The Bobby Dodd Dome will have to wait, apparently. (kidding)
Thanks for reading.
Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog