It’s not a fair fight, and the SEC likes it that way

Here's SEC commissioner Mike Slive, I believe informing the media Wednesday of the conference's new Swiss bank accounts and land acquisitions along the Mediterranean.

Here's SEC commissioner Mike Slive, I believe informing the media of the conference's new Swiss bank accounts and possible land acquisitions off the coast of Spain. (AP photo)

The real SEC — which is believed to have once been less powerful and lower in stature than the government agency with the same acronym –opened its three-day media bazaar Wednesday at a nice hotel in Alabama. I’m guessing it’s because all of the nice hotels in the Caymans were booked.

The SEC isn’t a conference anymore. It’s an ATM with a practice facility. The conference recently signed two television contracts worth $3 billion. That apparently didn’t satisfy Georgia’s thirst for disposable income, because the school then negotiated its own marketing rights deal with ISP Sports for $92.8 million.

Why General Motors went to Washington for a bailout and not Athens is beyond me.

“Sometimes, it does make you stop and think a little, especially with this economy we’re in,” Georgia athletics director Damon Evans said Wednesday. “It says a lot that, with all of the struggles out there, we can still strike deals like this.”

And then the relative money quote: “A lot of institutions are struggling. We’re not struggling.”

The playing field is tilted. Fair or unfair, the SEC has a significant competitive advantage over everybody else.

Georgia Tech can upset Georgia on the football field, as it did in Athens last season. But it’s not an even fight between the comptrollers.

SEC schools have more money. That means they can build bigger and better facilities. They have bigger recruiting budgets, which means they can lure better players. They have more successful programs, which means they can sell more tickets and attract more sponsorships and tempt more football coaches who might otherwise seek their paycheck in the NFL.

This might shock you. But the NFL used to pay more than the SEC.

If your school is in another conference, this should worry you. Pro athletes have a general belief that any inflated contract is good for everybody in the “union” because it raises the bar and establishes a new comparable for negotiations. But I’m just not sure it works that way in college. The SEC isn’t a comparable. It’s like somebody in Iowa looking at a home built on the cliffs of Malibu and then telling his contractor, “I want that view in Des Moines.”

The ACC has two years left on its television contracts at about $37 million per year. The SEC’s new deals average out to $200 million annually. Realistically, how much does the ACC think it can close the gap? The economy stinks and ACC football teams generally have been out of the national title picture.

Georgia just paid $300,000 for expensive pool dividers called “bulkheads.” Relatively speaking, everybody else is running out to Home Depot for that blue and white rope.

An ACC spokesperson said Wednesday that commissioner John Swofford was at a retreat and couldn’t be reached for comment. (Tech athletics director Dan Radakovich declined to comment on Georgia or SEC finances.) But Swofford recently said he didn’t know how the SEC’s deals would impact his conference, telling the Orlando Sentinel: “Every circumstance is different. Timing is different. The marketplace can be different, depending on when you’re negotiating …”

Close to 1,000 media credentials have been issued for SEC media days. That’s up from 836 last year, despite declining newspaper budgets. (Even with more Internet and blog sites, every media outlet has a shrinking travel budget.) Compare this to the Sun Belt Conference, which held its media day recently via web conferencing in order to save $30,000 per school.

But the Sun Belt isn’t Damon Evans’ problem.

“We do have an advantage,” he said. “We can spend more, which creates more opportunity for success. I’ve heard of cutbacks related to positions and sports programs at other institutions. But you don’t hear those things coming out of the SEC.”

No. They’re just enjoying the view.

160 comments Add your comment

Hillbilly Deluxe

July 22nd, 2009
3:58 pm

And of course the players who make all this money for them should be happy with just a scholarship. Doesn’t seem fair to me but what do I know?

Lee

July 22nd, 2009
4:06 pm

Hillbilly, you’re right, you know nothing. The players don’t have to CHOOSE to go to an SEC school. I’m sure Alcorn State will also give him a scholarship and a free education.

Valdosta Dawg

July 22nd, 2009
4:08 pm

Well with all that cash it is time to bump Sanford stadium up to around 105,000! No new executive suites, open up more season ticket chances for all of us in the DawgNation!

Bama Aaron

July 22nd, 2009
4:23 pm

I take it Jeff got his degree in journalism from a non-SEC school? Who cares if the fight isn’t seen as fair, but there’s no such thing as a fair fight. Only the winner and the loser. Guess which one the ACC is?

Pi$$onaDawg

July 22nd, 2009
4:24 pm

More seats in the SEPTIC TANK of the SOUTH for non-grad rednecks that can’t hunt? WHY? Billy Payne and his friends have money and don’t need to be around DRUNK WALMART FANS awayfrom the AC in the BOXES.

Volman

July 22nd, 2009
4:29 pm

Who would want a degree from the University of Georgia? Not me.. I’ll “settle” for Georgia Tech. UGA is a joke when it comes to academics.

Huh?

July 22nd, 2009
4:32 pm

I still like my idea of buying Bobby Dodd stadium and demolishing it for use as a UGA parking lot when any Dawg team is in Atlanta. Damon, give me a call please.

Volman

July 22nd, 2009
4:33 pm

“Huh”— How is that Voldosta State degree working out for you?

Saint Simons

July 22nd, 2009
4:34 pm

45-42!!!!!!!!!! hahahahahahahahahahaha

Horace

July 22nd, 2009
4:36 pm

The ACC plays football?

Voice of Reason

July 22nd, 2009
4:42 pm

Volman- where is Voldosta? learn to spell it before you belittle a degree from a pretty darn good university.

Pi$$onaDawg

July 22nd, 2009
4:43 pm

HUH, Atlanta/GRANT FIELD has indoor plumbing, no pond, and unless hunting Getto Thugs is legal, then nothing for UGA fans to park to go to. Wait, wait, wait, you can go to the Dome and watch what is his name hold a clipboard? Yea, DJ “Shock Me with your UGA degree” #3 as he tells Matt how it was done in the SEC under Richt.

Supersize that order, mutt

July 22nd, 2009
4:44 pm

Horace, they sure did last November. Remember? 45 – 42. And Clemson beat SC. Of course, Florida beat FSU, but they beat the mutts too, I’m sure you will bring up the LSU debacle, but even that can’t take the pleasure out of coming from behind in the 3rd quarter to beat the mutts in Sanford and Son Stadium. THWG

Voice of Reason

July 22nd, 2009
4:44 pm

also, GT and UGA are very different in the types of degrees they offer so you are “settling” for something totally different. UGAis a joke i academics? According to who?

Voice of Reason

July 22nd, 2009
4:46 pm

pi$$on- does Tech have any former QBs good enough to even hold a clipboard in the NFL? didn’t think so.

It would also probably be ggod to make hunting thugs legal so your students could safely walk on campus without getting mugged.

Voice of Reason

July 22nd, 2009
4:47 pm

Pi$$onaDawg

July 22nd, 2009
4:48 pm

Buck BLEW loves Valdosta so it must be a great place.

gatorman770

July 22nd, 2009
4:50 pm

Better be quiet or Obama and the Socialist Democratic party controlled congress will get involved and tax the SEC for working hard and being successful and give the money to the smaller conferences in “fairness” and “neighborliness”!

Pi$$onaDawg

July 22nd, 2009
4:51 pm

Joe Hamilton was in TAMPA BAY for Years holding that clipboard then in the Arena League. Not great but no better or worse than the UGA GODs that had their hands under another man’s butt and cocksack.

Evil Richt 2009 S.E.C. World Tour: "Banned in Columbus"

July 22nd, 2009
4:52 pm

I listened to an interview last week with the commissioner of the Mountain West Conference who made the argument that a college football playoff was inevitable because there was “just too much money being left on the table” by not having one. It struck me how amusing that idea must sound to SEC athletic directors.

Voice of Reason

July 22nd, 2009
4:52 pm

gatorman770- hahahaahahahahahahahaha! well played sir.

bb

July 22nd, 2009
4:56 pm

The leveling factor as Hillbilly pointed out is that SEC schools will still only be able to give 85 scholarships just like every other FBS team and they cannot pay the players above that. Players will still go to other schools because they will not see any extra value in playing for an SEC team.

And the last I checked the game will always be played on a 100 yard long field, which I believe all the other FBS schools have, not in the upper reaches of a 100,000 seat stadium.

The SEC schools may be able to build more and better facilities and hire the best coaches, but their student atheletes will not be able to practice 1 minute longer than any other school.

the bok

July 22nd, 2009
4:58 pm

All this shows is that college was, is, and always will be the ‘free’ minor league for the NFL. It is so amusing to hear people in the south talk about how they support ‘their team’ when the great majority of them never went to college; never mind the school in question. These are not student athletes when most of them couldn’t spell SEC if you spotted them the s and the e. The fact that so much money is spent on something so meaningless as football is a sad commentary on the misguided principles of too many people.

Huh?

July 22nd, 2009
4:58 pm

“HUH, Atlanta/GRANT FIELD has indoor plumbing, no pond, and unless hunting Getto Thugs is legal, then nothing for UGA fans to park to go to.”

Au Contraire. The SEC Football championship game. The SEC basketball tournament. The Chicken Bowl when we have a really really bad year and win only a measly 9 games. Our bi-annual beatdown of the Techies in Atlanta (I guess we’ll have to move it to the Dome). I could go on and on. There are loads of reasons to have a nice convenient parking lot slap dab in the middle of Atlanta for the convenience of UGA fans and alumni. I see no better place than Grant Field. We could probably get that pile of crap at a bargain too in this down market. Damon, please call.

PBR=America in a can

July 22nd, 2009
4:58 pm

I love how fascinated, memorized, jealous, envious, scared, pathetic, & obviously virgin tech fans are with anything UGA. They wake up and until they go to bed obsess over The University of Georgia. So do us all a favor and go to a tickle pile blog or play some WOW. Yall are worse than diarrhea when you think yall will shut up about your 3 point win yall start spewing sh!t again. So do us a favor this time and walk(cut) down the street and not across.

NGL

July 22nd, 2009
4:59 pm

It looks like everyone is excited about another Florida Gator National Championship!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hahahahahahhahahahahahahahahaha GO GATORS!!!

Kevin G

July 22nd, 2009
5:03 pm

UGA With the exposure it is getting now on tv nationally especially this season is fixing to have an even bigger national fan base. I love it. Every body hate on us that does not like it . . . Ha ha. We will play anybody anywhere anytime

Gay4Jkts

July 22nd, 2009
5:03 pm

pretty much sums up the entire fanbase of the Joke by the Coke. bunch of little babies crying about academics and BS. SEC will continue to dominate…deal with it sissies. next time try to bring something intelligent to these blogs.

Horace

July 22nd, 2009
5:03 pm

SEC overall winning %s and wins and losses vs the ACC

Alabama .88 winning % 30 wins 4 losses
LSU .81 22 wins 5 losses
Georgia .73 98 wins 32 losses
Tenn. .71 66 win 25 losses
Auburn .69 43 wins 18 losses
Vandy .63 39 wins 23 losses
Florida .59 49 wins 33 losses
Kentucky .53 20 wins 17 losses

Ole Miss .50 3 wins 3 losses break even against the acc

S. Carolina .475 155-172 losing record against ACC
Miss. State .375 4 wins 7 losses against ACC
Arkansas 0.0 0 wins and 3 losses against ACC

Overall the SEC has 8 teams with winning records against the ACC, 1 with a .500 record, and 3 teams with losing records against the ACC. Of further note is the absolutely dominating head to head performance of Alabama at 88 % and LSU at 81 %. Georgia and UT also have impressive over 70% winning records and Auburn is nearly at 70 with a 69% winning rate.

Now for a look at the ACCs head to head record against the SEC

Georgia Tech .51 winning % 177 wins 169 losses

Duke .46 winning % 41 wins 47 losses
Maryland .43 26 wins 35 losses
Miami .41 58 wins 81 losses
Boston Coll .41 14 wins 20 losses
Florida state .40 44 wins 66 losses
North Carolina .36 35 wins 65 losses
Virginia Tech .33 18 wins 38 losses
Wake Forest .29 12 wins 29 losses
Clemson .28 42 wins 111 losses
NC state .27 10 wins 28 losses
Virginia .24 8 wins 26 losses

So it looks like GT is the only ACC member who has a winning record against the SEC and even then its barely .51 %. Overall the other 11 ACC member’s performance against the SEC in all time head to head is nothing short of abysmal as any fair minded person can clearly see. Its horrible. Only 1 team with a barely over 50% winning record, 2 teams in the 30 % winning ratio against the SEC and 4 teams with winning %s in the 20s against the SEC. Also, 4 teams that are in the low 40% winning against the SEC.

The SEC VS ACC debate is over.

Pi$$onaDawg

July 22nd, 2009
5:04 pm

voice, #14 Hamilton did as well as your Eric Z, M. Bobo, D. Greene, & DJ. I guess DJ is telling Matt how they did it in the SEC when Matt comes back to the Falcons sidelines to get his notes. George G. is on O’Leary’s staff, Weisnhunt(?) coached the Steelers then Head Coached the Cardinals to the Superbowl against his former team. Donnan, Dooley, Goff took what job after leaving the DOGS? Wait, Wait, Wait their new job is being buried in the endzone with UGA VI and it’s friends.

MiltonDawg

July 22nd, 2009
5:05 pm

SEC is where its at. Corporate sponsors will continue to flock to us because the conference is so much better than the ACC.

Supersize that order, mutt

July 22nd, 2009
5:10 pm

Pi$$onaDawg, don’t forget Billy Lothridge, Heisman runner-up at Tech in 1963. He didn’t do all that much as a QB in the pros, but he played 9 years, 6 in Atlanta, where he successfully handled the punting duties, as well as being a backup QB.

Kevin G

July 22nd, 2009
5:12 pm

Like what was said on college football live . . The sec east is like the american league east in baseball. Florida is the yankees and georgia is the red Sox. Florida will Have their time to shine and win some NC like the yankees did in the 90S. Georgia will win some in the coming years like the red Sox finally started doing. The time is coming to an end for florida. Florida will always be Competitive but this is just a cycle that always happens in all sports

Gen Neyland

July 22nd, 2009
5:12 pm

Yes, we of the SEC have become the New Wave Football Carpetbaggers. The view from up there is nothing short of fabulous, so I hear. Too bad I personally won’t get a cut of the dough…

BAMA STAN

July 22nd, 2009
5:16 pm

12 NATIONAL TITLES – 21 SEC TITLES!!!

Volman – your attack on UGA academics is actually shows how out of touch you are with academics in the SEC.

Since the State of Georgia incorporated the Hope Scolarship – the caliber of student has risen to where it is extremely competitive to get into UGA. Same now applies at Univ. of Tennessee – which stated that it wants to “follow the footsteps of the University of Florida and University of Georgia in becoming recognized as a TOP 25 Public University.

Auburn and Alabama also focussing on increased respect.

ROLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL TIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Pi$$onaDawg

July 22nd, 2009
5:19 pm

So, Kevin G when the Gators are DOWN UGA will win the SEC and a shot at the NC? That only seamed to work some 29 yrs. ago. Bama has won, the Gators have won, LSU has won, a 13-0 Auburn should have had a chance to win, but I still don’t see a DOG in the Hunt as you would suggest. I guess all the other teams in the SEC EAST are the Yankees and UGA is always is the CUBS.

Pi$$onaDawg

July 22nd, 2009
5:20 pm

I forgot the VOLS with Tee Martin won too. Did I leave anybody out? UGA was not even close ever.

Otto

July 22nd, 2009
5:30 pm

The SEC fought long and hard for this. It used to be the Big 10 and PAC10 with the funding and media advantage. The SEC now has every advantage going its way stadium sizes, tv contracts, and most of all AL, GA, and FL are some of the most talent rich areas of the country.

It is a shame D1 CFB is handicapped to 85 scholarships. The limit has allowed 2nd tier programs to beat top level programs once or twice a year.

honky jones

July 22nd, 2009
5:40 pm

It’s a plantation! Predominantly young black males playing for the entertainment of rich white southern alumni. Pay the athletes, enough b.s. about the value of a physical education degree from a sec school. Puleeze!

Huh?

July 22nd, 2009
5:45 pm

Pi$$onaDawg, can you even comprehend how stupid you sound talking trash about national titles? Lets just say its like a fat guy standing on the sidewalk talking trash to people running a marathon. You are a Techie are you not? If we want some insight on what its like to play on Blue Turf and get absolutely blasted in the Chicken Bowl we will be sure to let you know, but nobody is at all interested in what a Tech fan has to say about winning national freaking titles. Let the LSU and Florida fans say all they want about UGA not winning national titles, but a Tech fans? I’m sorry but that’s just hysterical. Go polish your commemorative Chicken Bowl ring and leave the big boy college football talk to the professionals. This is no place for a Tech fan.

lakesidegator

July 22nd, 2009
5:47 pm

Hey, “suupersize that order, mutt” — Billy Lotheridge was prosecuted on charges related to a telemarketing scheme in Santa Rosa county, Florida. I was the prosecutor. It’s been a while ago, early 90’s I think, and he didn’t go to jail, just probation. His lawyer was a former Gator football player. It was a sad time, as Lotheridge was a hero of mine back when he played at Tech. You may want to re-think name-dropping him, though, in future posts to UGa folks.

$hitonaJacket

July 22nd, 2009
5:48 pm

Donnan-Just elected into the college football hall of fame
Dooley-Successful career as a Athletic Director
Goff-I’ll give you Goff, we were just glad he went away.

Will Muschamp-Current defensive coordinator and next head coach at University of Texas
Kirby Smart-Defensive coordinator at University of Alabama

Now, lets talk about the Tech guys:

George O’Leary-Fired from ND before he set foot on campus due to fraud on his resume.
Joe Hamilton-Resigned from GT in disgrace after getting arrested for drunk driving and marijuana possession.
Chan Gailey-Well, go ask your buddy ‘m’ about Gailey.

So, what was your point POAD?

I also find it comical that you make fun of ’sidewalk Walmart fans’ when we can clearly tell from your writing that you never stepped foot on the GT campus. If by some miracle you did, it just confirms that all the talk about GT’s academic superiority is just hot air because you are quite simply a moron.

Lars Taint

July 22nd, 2009
5:49 pm

Pi$$ on a Dawg must have just started watching football last year. UGA finished 2nd in nation 2 years ago. I think that would qualify as being close. Also, in your post about the SEC East, of all those teams you mentioned (except for Florida) are in the West, genius.

Supersize that order, mutt

July 22nd, 2009
5:59 pm

lakeside, I did not know about Lothridge’s telemarketing scheme, nor can I find any mention of it in any Google links. The question, however, was about whether Tech had ever had any QB’s who made it in the pros. Pi$$ named a few; I merely reminded him of Lothridge. Regardless of what he did after his football career was over (whether good or bad), he DID make it in the pros, although as a punter.

Borat Obama

July 22nd, 2009
5:59 pm

SEC blah blah blah This is all meaningless rubbish. You are stupid people, you Volunteers and Gators and Bulldogs and whatever else is out there. You call each other rednecks and make stupid arguments over stupid things.

Supersize that order, mutt

July 22nd, 2009
6:01 pm

Donnan in the hall of fame? WHY??? Must be because of his record at Marshall; he pretty much sucked at UGAG. He was fired, wasn’t he?

jhaynes

July 22nd, 2009
6:01 pm

all i want in life is to beat fla, ala, tenn, lsu, sc, vandy, kentuck, miss, old miss, aubrn, and anybody else that plays ga in whatever sport.

Jeff Schultz

July 22nd, 2009
6:06 pm

Somehow, I figured this would turn into the Ugas vs. the Buzz. Oh well, …

Bama – are you mocking Cal State Long Beach, because we will tear you UP!

Saint Simons – first one to mention the score, you get a prize, I think.

Gen Neyland – first carpetbagger reference. I think you get a prize too

Bama Stan – and the last national title was, uh, how long ago?

$hitonaJacket

July 22nd, 2009
6:12 pm

Yes, he was fired from UGA and yes he was elected mostly for his career at Marshall. All that and you can only comment on Donnan? Yeah, I would be embarassed by the clowns I listed from Tech and keep my mouth shut as well.

And if we want to go way back on the QBs, we can throw Fran Tarkenton out there who achieved more in the NFL by himself than the combined careers of every single Tech QB.

SEC

July 22nd, 2009
6:14 pm

Im kinda tired of hearing “if you didnt go to the university you shouldn’t be a fan or you have no voice to debate”. First i did go to UGA, 2nd i have never lived in “atlanta” and i am a falcons fan, a braves fan, and a thrashers fan. I do not live in gwinnett and i have attended the gwinnett braves games. Am i allowed to do so since i dont live there. Im sorry they dont have the grayson falcons. I was born to bleed red & black and thats all i will ever do. Just because somebody did not attend the university does not mean they can’t be a fan. I actually applaud them even more. GO DAWGS!!!! GO SEC!!! F**k tech and the ACC