Fan talk: Buyouts for coaches, Derrick Henry, SEC realignment and more!

Greg McGarity, Michael Adams and Mark Richt are all on the same page ... for now. (AJC file)

Greg McGarity, Michael Adams and Mark Richt are all on the same page ... for now. (AJC file)

I’ll be off Saturday, so let’s take an early dip into the Junkyard Mail, starting with a letter dealing with Thursday’s finalizing of Mark Richt’s new contract. …

George Wilson writes: Bill, I’m happy that they FINALLY got Mark Richt’s new contract finalized, but what’s up with getting rid of the previous $2 million buyout if Richt decides to leave? I don’t really understand what Greg McGarity’s thinking is on that one. Why make it easier for another school to come along and poach your coach?

I think it’s just an acknowledgment by Greg McGarity that buyout clauses don’t really prevent a school from losing a coach and sometimes they just wind up making the parting even more unpleasant. If a coach of Mark Richt’s stature and tenure wants to leave, he’s usually not hurting for money and the other school frequently pays much of the buyout anyway. Has any coach ever changed his mind about leaving because of a buyout clause? They’re not really needed. As The Athens Banner-Herald noted, Nick Saban doesn’t have a buyout in his contract with Alabama. Plus, let’s face it, Richt has made it clear he has no desire to go anywhere else and his extended family are all now living in Athens. And there’s also the other side of the coin: Under the new contract, not only does Richt not have a buyout, but UGA owes him less money if they fire him (which, let’s be honest, is more likely to happen than Richt up and leaving on his own). The amount Richt would be owed if he was fired was reduced from $2.4 million per year to $800,000 per year for the three new years on the contract. Along those lines, I thought the most interesting aspect of Thursday’s proceedings was UGA President Michael Adams’ comment on why they went ahead and extended McGarity’s contract after only two years. “I just felt like it was important for the benefit of the athletic association and the university that we get him locked in at a time that was slightly longer than the head football coach. That would well position the university for any changes that might take place in the future,” Adams said. Sounds like that’s some maneuvering just in case Richt returns to the hot seat a couple of years down the road.

Derrick Henry faces a loaded depth chart of running backs whether he goes to UGA or Alabama. (Associated Press)

Derrick Henry faces a loaded depth chart of running backs whether he goes to UGA or Alabama. (Associated Press)

Rodney Brown writes: Hi Bill, thanks for the great Blawg. I hear the rumors about Derrick Henry possibly switching to Alabama and I keep wondering why that is. As quoted from Lisa Horne on Scout.com in her “Running Grades” report, she states, “Alabama: The defending BCS champions have lost Trent Richardson to the NFL but head coach Nick Saban stocked the cupboards with talent. Eddie Lacy, Dee Hart and T.J. Yeldon (early enrollee) should keep the Tide rolling. Hart returns after a knee injury and if everyone is healthy, why not red-shirt Yeldon? That we’re talking about red-shirting Yeldon is all you need to know about the backfield situation at Alabama — it’s loaded.” With this being said, why would a talent like Henry even consider going to a school with a deeper backfield than Georgia’s and see that as a good thing? We all discovered in the SEC Championship that with enough backs you can wear down even one of the top defenses in the country. Wouldn’t his playing opportunities be better here, with our stable of backs, than with Alabama?

Why might Derrick Henry consider going to Alabama, even with their loaded backfield? The same reason so many other players want to go to Alabama, probably: two national championships in the past three years. But you make a good point and hopefully someone will point out to Henry just how deep Bama is in running backs already. Of course, if Henry does choose to flip his commitment from UGA to the Tide, there’s always the possibility that it might prompt another running back recruit to opt for the Dawgs. Or even for one of Alabama’s commitments to flip to Georgia. We’ll probably find out soon since Henry is visiting Bama this weekend. His most recent comment on the subject, though, was: “I am still committed to Georgia, but I am looking around.”

Hal Welch writes: Bill, Not to belabor the scheduling question more than it already has been. But aren’t the two real permanent rivalries we wanted to protect Bama vs Tennessee and UGA vs AU? OK, now stay with me here, that’s two teams from the east and two from the west.  Now, we added two teams correct? Both of which are from West of the Mississippi right? OK, so we move Bama and Auburn into the east, put the freshmen into the west and rock on no? Permanent games survive, intra-divisional games can be done with as we wish and all’s well with the world. Or was that too easy? What am I missing here?

And along the same lines Scott Barman writes: Bill, Hello from your nation’s capital, a place where “compromise” is treated like a four-lettered word. While the SEC might be political in its own right, I am sure that the presidents and coaches would be open to a compromise. Considering that the SEC did not want to expand beyond the eight game football schedule, wouldn’t a better compromise be realignment of the divisions to move the rivalries together and move to a 6-2 format? Think about how good it would be for the SEC to have Georgia, Florida, Auburn, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt in one division. Not only would it preserve the rivalries but imagine how the networks would be falling all over themselves to broadcast SEC games. It would take the SEC from the premier conference to the elite conference. What do you think?

I think maybe you guys are trying to insure that LSU wins the SEC West every year! While there’s a certain logic to the notion of moving Alabama and Auburn into the East, I think a realignment like that is a lot more drastic action than is needed. Simply adding a ninth conference game to the schedule would allow everyone to stay in place, ensure the continuation of the permanent rivalries, and have teams playing cross-division opponents more frequently. Plus it would upgrade the offerings the conference has for TV. I believe that’s much more likely to happen a year or two down the road, mostly at the behest of the conference’s TV partners.

Jim Parry writes: It would be a joke to not have top 4 ranked teams in new playoff format. Regardless of being a conference champion or not. If the powers that be rule favoritism of a conference champ over a more worthy team and turn it into a geography tournament, then they should make sure no more than one team from each conference can play in the Final Four in basketball. Where was the outrage when 3 Big (L)east teams played in it years ago? There was none, nor would it have been warranted. There should be no complaints about having top 4 teams in any final four of any sport.

I agree, of course, that the playoff should be the overall four top-ranked teams, not the four top-ranked conference champions. And you’re right that no one has objected when a conference has had more than one Final Four entry in basketball. But in college football right now there’s a surprising amount of anti-SEC feeling, and not just from the Big 10. I engaged in a Facebook discussion recently with some folks from the Pacific Northwest and the gist of their comments was that SEC teams pad their records by only playing eight conference games and filling out the schedule with cupcakes. They’ve got a valid point, though I still can’t believe anyone would rather have a playoff that might feature, say, the No. 1, No. 4, No. 7 and No. 11 teams just because they’re conference champions than one that would include the top four teams. But we shouldn’t underestimate the determination of the rest of the country to end the SEC’s run of national titles.

We’ll get to more letters next week. In the meantime, if you have something you want to discuss concerning UGA athletics or a question for the Junkyard Blawg, send it to junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

191 comments Add your comment

Dawg Days!

June 8th, 2012
11:07 am

How about just a “How bout them Dawgs!”. GATA!!

dawg sc

June 8th, 2012
11:07 am

SSIgator

June 8th, 2012
11:07 am

$800,000 for a NC. That money will be safe in the UGA bank account.

SouthSide Dawg

June 8th, 2012
11:08 am

SSIgator

June 8th, 2012
11:10 am

“Why make it easier for another school to come along and poach your coach?”

George, you really don’t need to woory about that. If UGA can win a bowl game once again, maybe that might get someones attention.

Dawg Days!

June 8th, 2012
11:17 am

SSIgator….congratulations on your program. My hat is off to the success and integrity of UF. God bless.

georgiaboi29

June 8th, 2012
11:29 am

I dont know about you, this Henry kid doesnt really know what he wants to do. We have lost some good recruits at rb because we didnt want to sign another RB in the 2013 class. If he flips i hope Tyren Jones changes his mind and commits to georgia on signing day. He’s a beast

ARdawg

June 8th, 2012
11:30 am

“SSIgator….congratulations on your program. My hat is off to the success and integrity of UF. God bless.”

LOL :D

ARdawg

June 8th, 2012
11:32 am

Henry doesn’t sound committed but, not many kids are nowadays

Just a fan

June 8th, 2012
11:36 am

Hey all i am a uga season ticket holder that recently got transferred to Tampa fl and am looking to sell my tickets for this upcoming season if you are interested please email me at fantasynfl3100@yahoo.com

Still@theKool-aidBAR

June 8th, 2012
11:39 am

Who would want a 65 year old Pimp?
Why did they show the working girls?
Can we find these chicks on Craig’s List?
UGa girls are tops on the SugarDaddy.com
A University of Georgia German professor was arrested Thursday for prostitution, authorities say.
http://www.ajc.com/news/gwinnett/uga-professor-charged-with-1454499.html

RxDawg

June 8th, 2012
11:41 am

One of our proffesors just got caught running a brothel. I’m sorry, but I can’t help but laugh about this. What will be interesting is if the nerds want to make fun of us about this. Because deep down, they might just be that much more impressed haha.

Skokie Dog

June 8th, 2012
11:44 am

“Why make it easier for another school to come along and poach your coach?” LMAO! Who has been trying to lure our head coach away in recent years?

SSIgator

June 8th, 2012
11:46 am

“UGA professor charged with running brothel”

Uh, oh. Solicitation arrests of UGA players will be on the upswing now that their source is out of action. The 2012 theme – “sprechen sie deutsch” baby?

RxDawg

June 8th, 2012
11:47 am

“Think about how good it would be for the SEC to have Georgia, Florida, Auburn, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt in one division.”

That sounds great, but it’d be lopsided as it could get. Poor poor Vandy, for god’s sakes they’d win maybe 1 game a decade. UGA, UF, AU, UA, UT are all historic power players. USC is ok, but only recently. Historicly they are cellar dwellers too. But that’s too much power packed into one side.

LSU would have a field day and win the west at least every other year.

MATH GENIUS

June 8th, 2012
11:48 am

Henry won’t play RB in college. He is growing too fast. ie: Charles Grant. This kid is almost an exact replica.

If you want to make multi- million dollars, your future should be at DE.

Good luck to Derrick Henry. We would love to have you in Athens! Go Dawgs!

charliedawg

June 8th, 2012
11:49 am

I’m for the conference chanpions getting an automatic bid…..to a 16 team playoff. And none of this nonsense about too many games or we need to protect bowls. . If 1AA (FCS for those of you under 5) can do it, D1 (FBS) can do it. You could then incoporate an RPI factor like in basketball for more difficult schedules thus allowing for at least one more non-cupcake game, since 1 loss won’t be so costly in a season.

And the bowl system doesn’t work, period, and it’s hurting the sport. There is less interest in watching them than ever (demonstrated by falling ratings and attendance). The Rose Bowl can figure out some other way to sell more flowers.

And should we change the FBS designation to FBS/FCS4?

RxDawg

June 8th, 2012
11:50 am

Ha, read your response Bill about LSU. Looks like we both caught that. I’m with ya on 9 SEC games. It makes sense and makes for more meaningful games.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

June 8th, 2012
11:50 am

Jim Parry…………….64 teams start in the basketball Tournament. if 4 teams from the same Conference make it that far so be it.
When SELECTING only 4 teams for football you will KILL half of the TV viewers if not almost ever region of the US has a team to watch.
The Bama v LSU game SUCKED for TV viewership and the same will happen it 2 SEC or 2 PAC10 team are in 2 of the games and maybe meet in the Championship game NOBODY TVs will be watching.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

June 8th, 2012
11:59 am

8 team Playoff at the MAX. College football doesn’t need to play 16 or 17 games. 2 games on New years day and the Championship 1 week later.
12th game
13th game Conference Championship
14th 1st round Playoff (8 teams)
15th 2nd round Palyoff(8 teams)
16th Championship

Still@theKool-aidBAR

June 8th, 2012
12:00 pm

Also with 4 team playoff and 2 teams from the same conference have to play each other in the first game. No way they can be allowed to have same conference teams play for the Championship like last year.

gbal

June 8th, 2012
12:04 pm

“They’ve got a valid point, though I still can’t believe anyone would rather have a playoff that might feature, say, the No. 1, No. 4, No. 7 and No. 11 teams just because they’re conference champions than one that would include the top four teams.”

I can’t understand it either and hope we would not go there. Its much like not keeping score in rec t-ball. Everyone has to be equal and fair. BUT here is a compromise I could live with….

1) Go to 8 team playoff.

2) Keep the BCS ranking system. NO COMMITTEE which would be even more biased.

3) Win your confrence you are in, PROVIDED you are ranked in the top 10.

4) Any of the 8 slots not filled by confrence winners go to the highest ranked.

Its not perfect and there would always be questions if the best teams really made the cut but it would give confrence champs a shot and also insure that the field is comprised of at a minimum, top 10 teams.

gbal

June 8th, 2012
12:11 pm

kool aid – so the goal should be put together a playoff that will provid the most TV viewers!!!! Thats nuts. Its competative sports man. The best teams should make the field…

OK lets just to this… keep up with TV ratings of all ncaa game thru the season. forget W’s and L’s… forget the score… whichever teams have the highest cumulative TV rankings at the end of the season… they make the playoff. This will be fun to keep up with the rankings thru the season now wont it.

GTBob

June 8th, 2012
12:27 pm

And you’re right that no one has objected when a conference has had more than one Final Four entry in basketball.

Those teams had to win 4 games against tough opponents just to get there. Its called earning it, which is something college football teams don’t have to do. I shouldn’t be surprised though that SEC fans want to directly compare a 68 team tournament to a 4 team tournament on the basis of fairness. That is perfectly logical.

GTBob

June 8th, 2012
12:31 pm

They’ve got a valid point, though I still can’t believe anyone would rather have a playoff that might feature, say, the No. 1, No. 4, No. 7 and No. 11 teams just because they’re conference champions than one that would include the top four teams.

Some of us think winning a conference championship is more impressive then finishing second in your division. Biased rankings are the worst possible way of deciding who is in the playoff and the results will be worse then what we have now.

funny...

June 8th, 2012
12:42 pm

So the East should be:

Georgia
Florida
South Carolina
Tennessee
Alabama
Auburn
Kentucky

West
Arkansas
MSU
Ole Miss
LSU
Aggy
Mizzou
Vandy

Yeah, that looks balanced

gbal

June 8th, 2012
12:42 pm

Enter your comments here

Still@theKool-aidBAR

June 8th, 2012
12:46 pm

gbal
Just for FUN.
Last UGa wins the SEC
so do UGa, LSU and Bama make the 4 team playoff?
That would have NOBODY watching. TV is where the MONEY is at. If you don’t know that then you are crazy.
If you can’t WIN your Conference then you don’t deserve a shot at the National Championship.
SELECTING 4 teams based on the POLOTICS of Polls and Selection Committees will not make the National Championship Game any better.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

June 8th, 2012
12:50 pm

funny…
It would the the Slightly Educated(West 3 AAU members) & the Slightly Less Educated(East 1 AAU member)

gbal

June 8th, 2012
12:53 pm

GT – You dont really think that do you? You think that Clemson who finished the regular season ranked #15 but won their confrence championship … lost 3 games…then to had 70 put up against them in a bowl game was more impressive than Alabama loosing by 2 pts in a regular season to LSU. That Clemson would be more deserving and is a better team…. should be in a playoff???

I can agree that bias plays in the polls in picking 1-2. but in picking the top 8 with confrence champs in if they make the top 10… I think this works. cant be completely 100% fair unless we went to a 64 team like bball.

gbal

June 8th, 2012
12:56 pm

I suggest 8 as stated above and let confrence champs in if they end season ranked top 10….. and not nocking ACC because I am a fan, but Clemson in at #15 with three losses because they won their confrence??? I just dont see it as being entertaining.

Bob in Buford

June 8th, 2012
12:58 pm

Why do you say that the pac 1 have a valid point about the SEC padding their scheudules? Didn’t Oregon have a chance to prove their worth against LSU, who also played Backwards Virginia? Alabama played Penn State. We played AZ State, and OSU just cancelled a series with us. UT has played UCLA and Oregon.

Bob in Buford

June 8th, 2012
12:59 pm

AAU is a political organization. UGA has higher admission standards than florida.

ajp

June 8th, 2012
1:00 pm

If we go to a playoff, can we then go back to calling it Division 1
and Division 1AA?

Mr. Dawg

June 8th, 2012
1:01 pm

I’ve said for years that no playoff system will ever be satisfactory to everyone and that it would create perhaps even more controversy. I’m not necessarily opposed to a playoff system. But the never ending debate tells me we were just as well off with the current system. People just love to argue.

just do it and get it over with

June 8th, 2012
1:01 pm

Do away with the bowls…combine all D-1 conferences into North South East and West, wish appropriate subdivisions to accommodate the numbers. Since there are so many teams, the division winners and 6 wildcards from each conference make the playoffs. 40 teams in the playoffs, reduce regular season to 4 or 5 games and the season would be over around…..January.
Folks, just leave it alone.

gbal

June 8th, 2012
1:01 pm

If you can’t WIN your Conference then you don’t deserve a shot at the National Championship.

I you lose four games but win a weak confrence do you deserve a shot at the national championship?

I just dont think so. Yes you might have some more people watching the first half but what a boring game.

here's why I'm no playoff

June 8th, 2012
1:02 pm

As Mr Dawg says, people love to argue. Arguing among fans of different schools over why ‘their’ team didn’t get a chance to play in the title game keeps the CFB talk alive all throughout the offseason.
Really, who is talking about college basketball a month after the final four?

Still@theKool-aidBAR

June 8th, 2012
1:14 pm

gbal…..that is how the NCAA basketball tourney works. LOL

NO POLL is worth a crap before the 6th week of the season.
Until teams are done with the cupcakes and play a few Conference games there should be NO POLL issued.

Clemson was OK but as happens….SOME teams don’t match up well with other teams. BAMA LSU play the SAME style/game so they looked GREATer than they possibly were. How would a Bama or LSU match up with a USCalifornia?

Polls are basied on OPINION and different people see different Styles of play differently. That fact doesn’t man a Bama would have matched up with a Wisconsin well. Yes I think Bama beats Wisconsin but you can’t say for sure just because you don’t THINK Wisconsin has a chance. last Year UGa was supposed to have a top 5 Defense until it played GOOD teams. People think MURRAY is a Heisman candidate but can’t win a game against good teams.

59bulldawg

June 8th, 2012
1:15 pm

Yeah I like the 8 team format better too! 4 teams are not enough.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

June 8th, 2012
1:16 pm

HOW many FCS teams are there Now?

if 120

Still@theKool-aidBAR

June 8th, 2012
1:24 pm

sorry

120 teams / 8 conference = 15 teams per conference

add a few more teams to make it 16 teams per conference and align NEW conferences

9 conference game in every conferences
8 conference champs in the Playoff.

I think that will spread the Talented players out and give more balance over time.

Set Standards for ALL players to be accepted at ALL colleges.

Let the NCAA make some REAL RULES that apply to EVERY SCHOOL playing big time Football. Players have to score at least 950(or some #) on the SAT and have minimum classes in high school.

AAAAA Athens Bail Bonds R Us

June 8th, 2012
1:35 pm

AJC Headline: UGA professor charged with prostitution

A UGA professor in drag. Just when you think things can’t get any sleazier in Athens…

GTBob

June 8th, 2012
1:39 pm

That Clemson would be more deserving and is a better team…. should be in a playoff???

Clemson would have earned their way in. Alabama wouldn’t have. If you want to be considered the best team in the country then you should at least show that you were the best team in your division of your conference. Alabama didn’t do much of anything in the regular season last year. They are a bad example to use. Personally, I would make a rule also that says if you already lost to another team in the playoffs then you don’t get another chance. With a 4 team playoff there shouldnt be any rematches.

School Daze

June 8th, 2012
1:40 pm

Let the NCAA make some REAL RULES that apply to EVERY SCHOOL playing big time Football. Players have to score at least 950(or some #) on the SAT and have minimum classes in high school.

That would eliminate 94% of UGA football and basketball players.

DIT

June 8th, 2012
1:42 pm

I agree, there is no format out there; no playoff, 4 team playoff or 8 team playoff that will satisfy everyone. My opinion, do away with most of the bowl games and have an 8 team playoff. Not sure a 4 team playoff will do because there are more major conferences than 4. Just saying.

Lydia

June 8th, 2012
1:43 pm

AJC Headline: UGA professor charged with prostitution

A UGA professor in drag. Just when you think things can’t get any sleazier in Athens…

Was it Grantham?

DIT

June 8th, 2012
1:47 pm

“That would eliminate 94% of UGA football and basketball players.”

And your proof to that statement comes from……?

THE Dixie Redcoat Band

June 8th, 2012
1:52 pm

A UGA German professor arrested. Gee, who will teach German Lit. & History about an 18th century writer, poet and artist. Now this course will really prepare you for the “real” world. Gessh.

We Run the East

June 8th, 2012
1:57 pm

GTBob- Typical of an ACC goober to insist on no rematches in 4 team playoff. No way ACC would ever get more than 1 if even 1, while SEC would most likely have 2 or more, unless no rematch rule applys (UGA could not be in play off with ANY of its conference opponents). Just stupid. 4 best teams, period. Will not happen any other way.