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

Joey

June 10th, 2012
8:13 am

testing 1 2 3

Joey

June 10th, 2012
8:28 am

Bill, in your Facebook discussion, you should have mentioned that yes, LSU should be ashamed that it did indeed play a cupcake – from the Pacific Northwest – last season, with the usual results. LSU 40 Oregon 27.

LSU also played W VA, while Bama played Penn St, UGA played Boise and Tech. SC plays Clemson annually, as does UF with FSU.

Most SEC teams play tough OOC scheds.

AAAAA Athens Bail Bonds R Us

June 10th, 2012
8:36 am

Any more UGA transvestite hookers arrested this weekend?

Neutral

June 10th, 2012
8:43 am

@AAAAA Athens Bail Bond…..

You are correct….and no more arrest at Tech, Bama, SC, TN, Auburn and FL. Good week for the Southern teams. I love the way you like to cast stones in your “glass house”.

dogs win east

June 10th, 2012
9:52 am

the dogs will beat south carolina this year and win the sec east again. florida will not be any good again.

mark

June 10th, 2012
12:19 pm

Why anyone would want an 8 team playoff much less 16 teams, is beyond me. Keep mediocrity out it. If you are not in the top four, go home, relax, and let the teams who deserve to play for it, go for it. You’re 16th and you deserve a shot?

DawgNole

June 10th, 2012
12:50 pm

Still@theKool-aidBAR
June 9th, 2012
5:55 pm

If you are Dwag and a crimiNole i don’t think you are smart enough to know how to hold your breath.

My FACTS are straight that UGa fans have spent YEARS living on but Richt averages 10 wins a years and he is a good coach that can’t get fired. You must be New to the blogs if you haven’t seen that thousands of times.
______________________

Good thing I didn’t hold my breath. Still waiting for something half intelligent from you. Not gonna happen, apparently. Take a look at that gibberish you just wrote (above) about Richt. Need a translator to figure out what you’re trying to say. Your alleged facts are NOT accurate; Richt is NOT averaging 10 wins a year and he does NOT have to win 14 games this year to maintain his average. How many times do you need to be told?

Yes, I’m fairly new to this blog, but it didn’t take me long to ferret out the biggest blowhard on here.

dan

June 10th, 2012
3:54 pm

Mark Richt’s greatest strength is he is great man who values building up his players over winning.

Mark Richt’s greatest weakness is he is great man who values building up his players over winning.

There is value in being process oriented, which I think Coach Richt is. But there is also value in having high goals and aggressively going after them. That is, and always has been, my biggest problem with Richt. I don’t think he’s ever had the GOAL of winning a National Title in his mind, and I for one wonder ” WHY THE HELL NOT??”. I mean shoot Coach you were a part of two National Title teams at FSU, don’t you want that for UGA? Look if Richt wins us a National Title and then wants to slack off like Dooley did his last few years, I’m fine with that. But this mailing it in mindset that he had after 2007 after only winning a couple of Conference titles is unbelievable! You can’t just sit around and expect things to happen, sometimes you have to force the issue! I mean c’mon Coach, don’t you WANT to win a National Title? Damn it….

Oh well, Gooo Dawgs…good luck this year!

dan

June 10th, 2012
3:59 pm

Mark Richt’s greatest strength is he is a great man who values building up his players over winning.

Mark Richt’s greatest weakness is he is a great man who values building up his players over winning.

There is value in being process oriented, which I think Coach Richt is. But there is also value in having high goals and aggressively going after them. That is, and always has been, my biggest problem with Richt. I don’t think he’s ever had the GOAL of winning a National Title in his mind, and I for one wonder ” WHY THE HELL NOT??”. I mean shoot Coach you were a part of two National Title teams at FSU, don’t you want that for UGA? Look if Richt wins us a National Title and then wants to slack off like Dooley did his last few years, I’m fine with that. But this mailing it in mindset that he had after 2007 after only winning a couple of Conference titles is unbelievable! You can’t just sit around and expect things to happen, sometimes you have to force the issue! I mean c’mon Coach, don’t you WANT to win a National Title? Damn it….

Oh well, Gooo Dawgs…good luck this year!

Still@theKool-aidBAR

June 10th, 2012
4:03 pm

DawgNole
Richt
1st 4 years………….42-10
2nd 4 years………..40-12
3rd 4 years?……….24-11
2012……………………..14-0
Total………………………120-33
120/12= 10 wins/year

DawgNole

June 10th, 2012
4:33 pm

Let’s see if I can help you. To do that, we’ll have to return to our first exchange of opinions on the matter. Here it is:

KOOL-AID: “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”‘

DAWGNOLE: “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?
________________________

I don’t know how to make it any clearer. He’s NOT averaging 10 wins per year now, so there’s no way he can MAINTAIN what he’s NOT already doing.

The bottom line is that you’re a poor communicator who’s so obsessed with taking potshots at Richt and the Dawgs that you’ve glossed over the facts in a pathetic attempt to get your irrelevant point across. And based on your response to being called on it this time, it appears that you’re fairly accustomed to getting away with your BS claims.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

June 10th, 2012
6:17 pm

Richt has 4 seasons not winning 10 games but only 2 seasons not averaging 10 wins since his 2nd year.

Frances

June 10th, 2012
6:31 pm

UGA hasn’t had a coach with both coaching ability and ethics since Harry Mehre, and that was many decades ago. The coaches have either been idiots like Ray Goff, outright con artists like Donnan, or unethical sleazebags like Dooley and Richt. Any way, they’ve been hugely embarrassing to the university and to the people of this state.

Wilson Pickett

June 10th, 2012
7:13 pm

UGA football reflects their HC. They’re not tuff enough to run the ball when they want to and not tuff enough to stop those that can run the ball. VanGorder and Calloway supplied the discipline for the good years but that is over. Keep wishing and hoping. The dream team is a good thing for you folks. Almost a tradition one could say.

Sussex Club

June 10th, 2012
7:35 pm

Load that Dawg backfield up
with plenty of good running backs.

DawgNole

June 10th, 2012
7:42 pm

Still@theKool-aidBAR
June 10th, 2012
6:17 pm

Richt has 4 seasons not winning 10 games but only 2 seasons not averaging 10 wins since his 2nd year.
______________________

That is a true, fact-based statement–finally. Your original one that I questioned was not. Thanks for doing the math.

Richt’s done a pretty good job, although–as many have pointed out–there have been precious few victories over ranked teams lately. Last season was a good example: he won 10 straight but lost to the 4 best teams on the schedule. This season offers a similar opportunity schedule-wise. He needs to take it to the “next level” by beating higher ranked teams.

Rick James

June 10th, 2012
9:19 pm

@Still@theKool-aidBAR

Rick James and you just PROVED why Polls are a joke. the Polls based on opinion before the 6th week of the season are based on NOTHING. What a team did last years doesn’t mean crap. The 3 best in the SEC are better because they play 7 weak sisters of the SEC? LSU has a new QB, Arkiesaw has a new coach, and Bama has a mostly new defense and new RB
———————————————————————————————————–
And you just proved my point..You say the SEC is better because the teams play 7 weak teams.I totally disagree but wont waste my time on that.I say when a team wins a conference championship such as the ACC which is a very weak football conference it should carry no weight in the national playoff.A second,third or fourth place SEC team will out rank an ACC champion anytime.Why? Strength of schedule,in spite of your opinion.The nation’s best teams dont always win conference titles.We saw that last season.

Neutral

June 10th, 2012
9:54 pm

Seems like the last week of the season….UGa killed GT, SC killed Clemson, Vandy wasted WF and FSU had a total of 82 yards offense in a thrilling win over FL. You are right…..we feed off the “WEAK SISTERS”!!!! Gotcha meathead and thank goodness for the ACC….otherwise we wouldn’t have so many wins!!!!

Creflo A. Dollar

June 11th, 2012
8:03 am

If Richt would hire me as Disciplinary Coordinator, I’d whip those bozos of his in line real quick.

Your Daily Reminder

June 11th, 2012
8:07 am

Just a reminder, folks – in the Big Three men’s sports…

GEORGIA TECH RUNS THIS STATE!!!

Neutral

June 11th, 2012
8:18 am

Hey meathead…..why did you pick only 3 sports and just 1 year???

UGA RUNS THIS STATE!!!!!

Whiskey Breath

June 11th, 2012
8:29 am

Schools are not lining up to poach Ga. Sounds like something Ga fans would come up with.
Richt’s agent would float a balloon at the end of a lousy season just to create some demand.
He would then make up some schools that he claimed wanted him. Richt didn’t have a problem with that. Nobody is beating down the door! The AD did a smart thing the way he handled the buyout.
He knows he is going to have to shove him out maybe in a couple of years.

Evansdawg

June 11th, 2012
10:19 am

“I’m still committed to Georgia, but I am looking around.” That means you’re not committed to Georgia. What exactly are schools teaching about the word “commitment?”

Whiskey Breath

June 11th, 2012
10:53 am

Most of us fellas really want the Bulldogs to wear even tighter football pants so wez can get off.

Your Daily Reminder

June 11th, 2012
10:59 am

And I rule his gay sports site..Let’s go to Swinging Richards tonight. they wash the hot men on Mondays.

kdog 11

June 11th, 2012
12:20 pm

Ga owns the sec east with all this recruiting talent and should win the sec east easily again. this year, ga will upset alabama in the sec champ game—take it to the bank.

Old Dog

June 11th, 2012
1:47 pm

I for one am very glad they dropped the buyout on Richt. Makes it a whole lot easier to get rid of him if (when) he doesn’t perform.

robodawg

June 11th, 2012
4:48 pm

We need an 8 team playoff, chosen by a selection committee, to keep all the conferences happy. Quarterfinals take place in New Year’s Day bowl games to keep those money grubbers happy. And college football gets a real champion.

Old Dog

June 12th, 2012
7:28 am

“Poach our Coach?” We should only wish. If that is McGarrity’s thinking and someone did take Richt off our hands, I would personally thank McGarrity for a job well done – get rid of Richt and no payout needed. Then we could start our rebuilding process.

AlmaDawg

June 12th, 2012
8:09 am

Get rid of Richt and no payout needed. Then we could start our rebuilding process.

It’s the only way. But it appears that McGarity is going to waste a few more years on Richt.

Dawg Fud

June 12th, 2012
9:37 am

“I am committed but still looking around.”

Then you are not committed. Look up the definition of the word and get back to us, Mr. Henry.

Don’t get me wrong – I am not faulting the kid. Just don’t say you are committed when you don’t understand what it means.

Old Dog

June 12th, 2012
11:21 am

Old Dog

June 12th, 2012
11:22 am

Enter yoThis Old Dog needs a young male Puppy for messing around with, meet me in front of Swinging Richards tonight

Dawg Fud

June 12th, 2012
11:23 am

Oldie, I am 25 and well hung, how about Me, just a little acne problem, but with us doing the Hanky Panky, it should clear up in no time, with all that Vitamin E I’ll be swallowing.

AlmaDawg

June 12th, 2012
11:24 am

Dudes, let’s talk football, and those really tight pants our fellas wear, lot’s of Manclevage shows. Yummy

GA>lsu

June 12th, 2012
11:27 am

this year, Ga’s D will shut down lsu’s overrated offense and win the SEC!!! Dogs–back on top!

gawgadawg

June 12th, 2012
11:32 am

gtbob is president of the georgie techie DOUBLE DUMB ASS CLUB AND HIS 92 POUND WIFE DOES NOT ALLOW HIM TO TALK AT HOME OR SHE WILL KICK HIS YELLER ASS. SO HE GET ON THE GEORGIA BLOG AND RUNS HIS DIARRHEA MOUTH BUT DOES NOT MAKE MUCH SENSE AS HE SUFFER FROM A VOID BETWEEN HIS EARS

All Saints

June 12th, 2012
2:06 pm

With the football season fast approaching, please note that we’ll be resuming our weekly silent prayer for our martyred Saint Jan Kemp soon. As always, we ask that you approach this moment with awe and reverence.

14 Titles

June 12th, 2012
3:46 pm

14 titles, 2 of the last 3, going for 15 in 2012!

ga: only title in 1980??? 32 years ago???? did they wear facemasks way back then??

Brainiac(Dawg for life/Richt fan for life)

June 12th, 2012
7:46 pm

@ Lydia:

“Was it Grantham?”

Excellent question my dear!!!!! Let’s us all know immediately that you don’t know beans about coaches or professors.

A more appropriate comment/question might be “Is it Lydia?”

THE MAJOR DAWG

June 13th, 2012
8:09 am

Realignment is easy, put AUBURN in the East where they should be and Missouri in the West since they are the most west team.

Play nine games.