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

gbal

June 8th, 2012
1:58 pm

Look – I know that there is bias in polls as there would be in any committee…. but the fact that there are so many molls and computer elements that play into the BCS formula dilutes any bias that might bee there. i reall think the BSC formula is the least biased ranking system we could ask for and unless everybody plays one another you never know for sure.

Look what the BSC formula did at the end of the season when all the teams were mixed and going head to head. There were 17 games that involved top 25 ranked teams per the BCS…

Yes you can argue 1-4 and who should have played for the NC, but that is going to be taken care of with the playoff…

Of the 17 games involving ranker teams, 13 games, the highest ranked team actually won … thats 76% which is pretty darn good. The 4 heigher ranked teams that lost…. #2 beat #1 …#17 beat #16 (UGA)3 OT …#13 beat #11 OT …. and #23 beat #15 Clemson. I say the BCS ranking at 76% gits it pretty right and using it to determine playoff teams is the way to go.

GTBob

June 8th, 2012
2:02 pm

Just stupid. 4 best teams, period. Will not happen any other way.

Can you give me a fair and unbiased way of determining who the 4 best teams are? I couldnt care less if the ACC never ever gets a team in. I just want to see a reasonably fair system instead of multiple rematches because the teams passed Kirk Herbstreits eye test.

We Run the East

June 8th, 2012
2:02 pm

Clemson is most overrated program in country right now. Dabo will not survive this year, mark it down. Or has Clemson alumni and administration just gotten complacent. SEC is dominating the games, the $, the recruits, the coaches, etc…

GTBob

June 8th, 2012
2:04 pm

I say the BCS ranking at 76% gits it pretty right and using it to determine playoff teams is the way to go.

So you think Stanford should have made the playoffs last year over Oregon?

We Run the East

June 8th, 2012
2:05 pm

Final BCS ranking would do it for me. sorry to bash ACC, but it has become so easy i could not help myself!

gbal

June 8th, 2012
2:05 pm

GT – Just glad your not in any NCAA position. Not knocking Clemson or the ACC but this is the example closest to me being a fan of the ACC… but to say Clemson would have earned their way in to a 4 or 8 team field losing 3 games … Thats just not right and would make a joke of the NCAA.

GTBob

June 8th, 2012
2:07 pm

Dabo will not survive this year, mark it down.

He signed a contract extension yesterday. I am going to take a wild guess and say he survives past this year.

GTBob

June 8th, 2012
2:10 pm

Thats just not right and would make a joke of the NCAA.

The NCAA has absolutely nothing to do with the post season in FBS college football. If they did then there would be a real playoff that every team could play their way into. Not a 4 month beauty contest.

GTBob

June 8th, 2012
2:14 pm

Final BCS ranking would do it for me. sorry to bash ACC, but it has become so easy i could not help myself!

The ACC deserves 1000x the bashing it gets so keep going. As for the BCS, nobody outside of the SEC wants BCS rankings to determine anything . Gee, I wonder why that is.

We Run the East

June 8th, 2012
2:15 pm

What about when he takes his 4th loss in a row to SC? Must be that clemson has become soft. Just plain stupid to extend the contract of a coach who’s last game was a HISTORIC loss? Clemson is just whistling past the graveyard, trying to tell recruits, “All is well, nothing to see here, it’s all good…” I ain’t buying it.

GTBob

June 8th, 2012
2:23 pm

Just plain stupid to extend the contract of a coach who’s last game was a HISTORIC loss?

Clemson vastly exceeded expectations last year and Dabo is recruiting very well. You don’t fire a guy for one bad game.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

June 8th, 2012
2:23 pm

DIT……………here is WHY

We all suspect that big-time student athletes sometimes aren’t the best and the brightest academically.

Some highlights:

Football players average 220 points lower on the SAT than their classmates. Men’s basketball was 227 points lower.
University of Florida won the prize for biggest gap between football players and the student body, with players scoring 346 points lower than their peers.
Georgia Tech had the nation’s best average SAT score for football players, 1028 of a possible 1600, and best average high school GPA, 3.39 of a possible 4.0. But because its student body is apparently very smart, Tech’s football players still scored 315 SAT points lower than their classmates.
UCLA, which has won more NCAA championships in all sports than any other school, had the biggest gap between the average SAT scores of athletes in all sports and its overall student body, at 247 points.
Some “universal truths,” according to the Journal-Constitution:

All 53 schools for which football SAT scores were available had at least an 88-point gap between team members’ average score and the average for the student body.

Schools with the highest admissions standards, such as Georgia Tech, the University of Virginia, the University of California-Berkeley, UCLA, and the University of North Carolina, had the biggest gaps between the SAT averages for athletes and the overall student body.

Football players performed 115 points worse on the SAT than male athletes in other sports.

The differences between athletes’ and non-athletes’ SAT scores were less than half as big for women (73 points) as for men (170).

Many schools routinely used a special admissions process to admit athletes who did not meet the normal entrance requirements. More than half of scholarship athletes at the University of Georgia, the University of Wisconsin, Clemson University, UCLA, Rutgers University, Texas A&M University and Louisiana State University were special admits. . . At Georgia, for instance, 73.5 percent of athletes were special admits compared with 6.6 percent of the student body as a whole.

UGA Insider

June 8th, 2012
2:29 pm

The “Kentucky Kiss” seems like such a long time ago. Richt must beat USCe on 10-6.

We Run the East

June 8th, 2012
2:32 pm

Ok, GTB, you got me, i agree. NOT. dabo has had more than 1 bad game. I think he is overmatched, way more than Bobo or others.

gbal

June 8th, 2012
2:34 pm

I think if it has to be 4 teams, the top 4 ranked should be in… Id rather it be 8 and have confrence winners in IF they end the season ranked in the top 10..

Really against auto in for confrence winners but to appease everyone I could go with this.

Again clemson in with an auto for winning confrence….Lost 3 games… to GT, NC State, and SC… then the confrence goes on to a 2-6 bowl record… and you say confrence winners should automatically be in.

Those against the SEC… look at their bowl record 6-2 … vs top out of confrence teams and tell me again that they are not deserving because of their schedule?

GTBob

June 8th, 2012
2:35 pm

Ok, GTB, you got me, i agree. NOT. dabo has had more than 1 bad game. I think he is overmatched, way more than Bobo or others.

Ok, so Clemson should fire him after a successful season and hire who in his place?

GTBob

June 8th, 2012
2:38 pm

Those against the SEC… look at their bowl record 6-2 … vs top out of confrence teams and tell me again that they are not deserving because of their schedule?

Would you be in favor of just taking the 4 best SEC teams every year and making them the playoff teams? What is the point in even allowing other conferences to compete?

gbal

June 8th, 2012
2:51 pm

Absolutly not…. thats not what its about with me at all. I simply want a system that does the best job possible at insuring that the best teams make a playoff. be it a 2, 4, or 8 team playoff….. and I think that the more teams you allow … 8 is my number, the better chance you have of insuring that the best teams play it out… but there is always going to be a bubble argument.

gbal

June 8th, 2012
2:53 pm

confrence power will shift in time and I will still argue that the best teams should be in.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

June 8th, 2012
2:56 pm

gbal………..i think USCali will be in the BCS CG this year.

Old Dawg

June 8th, 2012
3:00 pm

16 team playoff or no playoff at all.

As for the professor getting arrested, at least he isn’t an athlete.

Bama fan

June 8th, 2012
3:01 pm

As a Bama fan I find it bizarre that Bama is recruiting Henry and also that it looks like he will flip to us.

Eddie Lacy is a star in the making and TJ Yeldon a 5 star freshman early enrollee tailback stole the spring game with 179 total yards while Lacy sat out the spring to recover from turf toe. Third team tailback Jalston Fowler from last year is also back. At 6′3 242 lbs this guy broke several 50+ yard td runs last year and would be a starter. And last there is former 5 star freshman Dee Hart who set the Fla state record with 50 tds in a season as a senior and also was the MVP of the U.S. Army all american game- he holds the distinction of being the only back to rush for over 100 yards in the mvp game. He would have figured prominently last year except for a knee injury that garnered a redshirt.

And on top of all that we already have 2 highly rated rbs for the class of 2013 including the no. 1 rb out of Georgia.

I guess it would be great if Derrick Henry came but frankly I’m embarrassed at all the talent we already have at running back. Where the hell we gonna put them all?

gbal

June 8th, 2012
3:02 pm

I agree with that. I hate seeing LK’s head swell!!!

TexaninMexico

June 8th, 2012
3:39 pm

Clemson would have never made the play-off last season since there were more than 4 conference champions ranked ahead of them: #1 LSU, #3 Oklahoma State, #5 Oregon, and #10 Wisconsin. I like the B1G proposal, only conference champions if they’re ranked in the top 6 if there’s not enough champions in the top 6 than you can fill the slots with at-large teams. last season the play-offs would have consisted of LSU, Ok State, Oregon and Bama as neither Wisconsin, Clemson, West Virginia or TCU were ranked in the top 6

WDE

June 8th, 2012
3:51 pm

Did you hear the news coming out of Tech today??? Me either….

CEPH

June 8th, 2012
4:08 pm

I haven’t seen anyone beating down the door to hire Richt OR any of his assistants So his buyout clause is a moot point. Sounds as if UGA would be content to let him walk away to some great promised land because it sure as hell won’t be to some other great football .program. Mars Hill would be a nice fit for him and the water girl. Oh gosh, I woke up from my dream Richt is still there!!!!!

CEPH

June 8th, 2012
4:10 pm

I’m not sure Henry will be on the offensive of the ball, he looks pretty damn good playing defense.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

June 8th, 2012
4:17 pm

WDE
June 8th, 2012
3:51 pm

Did you hear the news coming out of Tech today??? Me either…

Did you hear the News coming out of UGa?

http://www.ajc.com/news/gwinnett/cross-dressing-uga-professor-1454499.html

A highly-acclaimed University of Georgia German professor was arrested Thursday for prostituting himself for $60, authorities say.

Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office UGA German professor Max Reinhart was arrested Thursday in Gwinnett County on charges of prostitution and keeping a house of prostitution.

Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office Police say UGA German professor Max Reinhart dressed in drag (as “Sasha”) and offered 30 minutes of services for $60.
Max Reinhart, 65, was charged with prostitution, according to Gwinnett Countypolice .

Gwinnett County police detectives found an ad for a individual named “Sasha” in the transexual services section of the web site, backpage.com, police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith said.

NO NEWS out of TECH is better than the NEWS coming out of UGa.

SSIgator

June 8th, 2012
4:37 pm

Still@theKool-aidBAR -

“NO NEWS out of TECH is better than the NEWS coming out of UGa”

No kidding. And the UGA gang thinks Athens is such a safe place?

“Clarke County deputy shot outside courthouse”

http://onlineathens.com/breaking-news/2012-06-08/clarke-county-deputy-shot-outside-courthouse

SSIgator

June 8th, 2012
4:44 pm

Also, they had so many of these that they had to do a three part series to report them all:

Athens-Clarke County Registered Sex Offenders (Part 3)

http://onlineathens.com/slideshow/athens-clarke-county-registered-sex-offenders-part-3#slide=0

Ah, yes. Ain’t life in Athens grand?

SSIgator

June 8th, 2012
4:51 pm

Oh, and also this little diddy:

“UGA research center sells seats on advisory board, group says”

http://onlineathens.com/local-news/2012-06-07/uga-research-center-sells-seats-advisory-board-group-says

Glad to know that they are looking out for the public’s health in an “impartial” manner. Pretty unbelievable if not for the fact that it was associated with UGA.

SSIgator

June 8th, 2012
4:54 pm

Still@theKool-aidBAR -

“But But But Being the #1 party school makes everybody want to attend the Drunk Fake Blonde White Girls College and Plantation of Georgia”

And then on the weekend they are all invited by Damon Evans to the Atlanta Driving Club for a little R & R.

Spike 80DF

June 8th, 2012
5:31 pm

so the Blawg has been hijacked by a techie and gator but they claim the Dawgs aren’t relevant, hahaha……

dawgster7

June 8th, 2012
5:55 pm

Henry is not going to be an SEC running back. He is going to be moved to linebacker at some point and dominate. We need to keep him, he’s another Ogletree!

DAwgs on top

June 8th, 2012
5:59 pm

the dogs will win 10 games again in 2012—take it to the bank! they have an easy schedule and a loaded team.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

June 8th, 2012
6:26 pm

DAwgs on top What BANK?

If Richt ONLY wins 10 games he will not have that 10 games per year Average the UGa fans LOVE to boast about. Richt has to WIN 14 games to maintain the 10 game per year average.

Wilson Pickett

June 8th, 2012
6:57 pm

Gald Jordan Jenkins parents think Athens is such a safe place. Then again the depth chart rules right Mr. Jenkins.

UGA running back recruiting

June 8th, 2012
7:37 pm

Expect the Dogs to land 2 of the following 4: Derrick Henry, Alvin Kamara, Tyren Jones, and Tyshon Dye.
Probably omit Jones provided Henry does not flip. Think Kamara is pretty much a lock for the Dogs (as much as a teenager can be), and have heard UGA is staying in contact with Dye also.

DawgNole

June 8th, 2012
8:01 pm

GTBob
June 8th, 2012
1:39 pm

Alabama didn’t do much of anything in the regular season last year. They are a bad example to use.
_______________________

“Didn’t do much of anything in the regular season last year”??? Hello? They won 11 of their 12 games, with their only loss coming by 3 pts to LSU–the ONLY FCS team (besides Houston) that had a better regular-season record.

You usually make pretty good sense–despite your obvious anti-UGA bias–but your statement about Bama’s regular season last year is laughable.

DawgNole

June 8th, 2012
8:04 pm

DAwgs on top
June 8th, 2012
5:59 pm

the dogs will win 10 games again in 2012—take it to the bank! they have an easy schedule and a loaded team.
__________________

With a 14 games, an easy schedule, and a loaded team, 10 wins ain’t much to write home about.

DawgNole

June 8th, 2012
8:20 pm

Still@theKool-aidBAR
June 8th, 2012
6:26 pm

If Richt ONLY wins 10 games he will not have that 10 games per year Average the UGa fans LOVE to boast about. Richt has to WIN 14 games to maintain the 10 game per year average.
___________________

He doesn’t have that “10 games per year Average the UGa fans LOVE to boast about” anyway. How’s he going to “maintain” it? It certainly appears that you’re mathematically challenged. Are you a Tech fan?

School Daze

June 8th, 2012
8:24 pm

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

And your proof to that statement comes from……?
————————————————————-
Proof? How about UGA’s 94% “Special Admit” rate. That’s just a polite way of saying their athletes barely got through grade school, and most of them read and write at a 5th grade level. They’re functionally illiterate.

Merv

June 8th, 2012
8:27 pm

Can we all just agree that Mark Richt’s players are morons and move on. Let’s face it, most of these guys will spend their lives employed in menial jobs and sucking welfare from the government teat.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

June 8th, 2012
8:49 pm

DawgNole……..you do the MATH and get back to me.

kerryb

June 8th, 2012
9:19 pm

I just love all these fans of a worthless program like GT coming on a UGA blog thinking that UGA fans give the slightest crap about what they have to say.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

June 8th, 2012
9:30 pm

kerryb………….worthless? please DEFINE worthless.

kerryb

June 8th, 2012
9:32 pm

Worthless is defined as losing 10 out of 11 against a team you want to talk smack about.

Neutral

June 8th, 2012
10:02 pm

Hey Techies……before you cast too many stones at UGa over the pervert professor, you had better recall the rapist coach at GT who was fired just a few months ago. GOTCHA!!!!

Still@theKool-aidBAR

June 8th, 2012
10:09 pm

kerryb then ALL GATORS can call the MUTTS worthless and SMILE?

Still@theKool-aidBAR

June 8th, 2012
10:19 pm

netural……..they ate my post but…………..try again.
Was the Texas A&M coach guilty of DRUGS? Yes