Thursday, February 9, 2012

Who is McGarity Talking to?

The buzz today mostly centers around McGarity's comments last night which alluded to the possibility that Georgia might not play Auburn every year going forward.  My question...who is that message really aimed at?  McGarity doesn't make that comment on the record to the Athletic Board without having a bigger audience in mind.

There are really only two possibilities:
1.  ESPN/CBS as the Target -- The SEC wants a major bump in revenues from ESPN/CBS in broadcasting rights.  To get that bump, given that we expanded without a specific monetary promise of greater revenue* from our TV partners, they need some sort of leverage.  The idea that the SEC desperately wants to avoid a 9 game schedule could be little more than a negotiating ploy.  "We're so willing to avoid an 9 game schedule, that we would be willing to give up UGA vs. AU and Bama vs. UT to stay where we are....unless you made us one hell of an offer." leak our fear that the AU series would be lost due to the emphasis we're placing on the 8 game schedule.

2.  The Fans -- This could be McGarity's way of bracing us for the worst in hopes that whatever solution we ultimately end up with is better than the tradition killing loss of the yearly AU series.

Personally, I think the ADs and Presidents care more about money than:
-- Making fans happy
-- Making coaches happy
-- Making players happy
-- Making faculty happy
-- Making TV partners happy

And there is more money in a 9 game SEC schedule than an 8 game SEC schedule.  A better inventory of TV games means more dollars from TV.  Plus, this is a competitive market. The ACC and Big XII both have a 9 game league schedule going forward while the Big Ten and Pac 14 have scheduled a cross conference competition every year to act as a defacto 9th league game for the Big Ten and potentially the same for the Pac 14.

Therefore, my thought is to follow the money on this one.  If we're not going "all in" with greed vs. the best interest of the fan, coaches or players, then no one is going to be happy and no objective will be met fully.  So...assume we're all in with greed.  Everything else suggests that is the case.


*I think we can all agree that it was dumb to make such a move without a greater revenue guarantee on the front end.

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