Category Archives: SEC and Sun Belt

Athletic & Academic Spending

It may be obvious to some that most large conference athletic associations operate on large budgets. However, what might not be as obvious are the total athletic operating expenses (including scholarship) in comparison to the full time student costs at larger institutions.

Academic spending is defined as the direct and indirect costs of educating students. The spending related to other university services and activities is not included. Athletic operating costs are defined as all athletic operating costs including scholarship, per unduplicated athlete.

At Georgia the academic spending has risen 23 percent in just six years. In 2005 the median average full time student cost was $8,891 and rose to $10,980 in 2011. Seems steep, right? Well, the athletic operating expenses at this state university rose 78 percent from $84,302 in 2005 to nearly $150,000 ($149,832, to be exact) in 2011. The most interesting portion of Georgia’s athletic and academic spending may be the fact that the institution allocates and spends 4 percent of the general fund, state or government support, student fees, or indirect facilities and administrative support. The four percent that is spent is divided and spent per unduplicated athlete.

It may also be obvious to assume that a smaller school in say, the Sun Belt conference, lacks the large spending that Georgia, or a larger school may have. That would also be a correct assumption.

Middle Tennessee State University, a school in the Sun Belt, does in deed lack the funds, but more so in athletics rather than academics.

At Middle Tennesse the academic spending has risen a mere 3 percent in six years, from $8,844 in 2005 to $9,138 in 2011. Athletics did see a larger 44 percent rise in athletics, but the rise was only from $43,072 in 2005 to $62,062 in 2013. In comparison the the 4 percent that Georgia allocates from the general fund, Middle Tennessee allocates 47 percent. This 47 percent that Middle Tennessee allocates is clearly a much larger amount than Georgia’s 4 percent. Middle Tennessee may allocate more money because they are a smaller school that relies less heavily on private donations.

SEC Profiles

The Red & Black’s profile on Georgia Cornerback Shaq Wiggins parallels the Allison Schmidt profile we read in class the other day by picking a personal aspect of the athlete to delve into his distinct personality before going into his actual athletic prowess. Shirkey, however, maintains the focus on Wiggins’ personality throughout the article, sprinkling in stats and analysis of his play in-between smack talk and team camaraderie anecdotes.

Seth Emerson’s profiling of Auburn Quarterback Nick Marshall’s “turning point” after being dismissed from the University of Georgia for theft was a great first part. However, the conclusion is left out. We are told how he fell from grace and overcame his mistake, but we are left to find out for ourselves how he is at Auburn or how he feels about the journey. But, this profile has a very good lede (similar to some of Prof. Suggs examples in class on Tuesday) and details his journey to UGA, his dismissal, his renewing talk with his high school coach and his transfer to Garden City Community College. More details and interviews about what happened after his stay at Garden City would make this a great profile.

SEC Profiles

One profile that I liked was this article on Sports Illustrated about Johnny Manziel. This article talked about how Manziel has to deal with the newfound fame that he gained following his winning the Heisman. I liked the way that this article was written, giving insight into what Manziel aspires to achieve and showing the “bucket list” that he created of all of these things that he wants to do. I also like how it address some the scandals that Manziel was involved in but it doesn’t make up the majority of the content for the story.

Another profile that I liked looked at Cam Newton and talked about how his past at the University of Florida was a factor that made way for his future success at Auburn University. I liked that the article looked at what contributed to Newton’s wanting to leave Florida following his arrest and suspension. I also liked that it talked about his time playing at a junior college rather than the whole focus just being on his arrest and on his- then- current success at Auburn and how it just sets the stage for how he became successful rather than purely on his success.

Fortune Telling the Future of Tennessee Football

Coach Butch Jones has finally found his sea legs among the powerhouse coaches and teams of the Southeastern Conference, but the future of Tennessee Volunteer football remains unclear.

After a few expected wins and a couple slaughters, the Vol program finally smoothed out most of the bumps that undoubtedly arise under new management and with a new roster of players. They nearly pulled out a win against Georgia at home before falling in overtime. The momentum continued from there to propel them to a close (23-21) but still upset-inducing win over the 11th-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks.

This year marks a transition in Tennessee football. Butch Jones was called in to completely turn around the program after several lackluster seasons. Upsetting the Gamecocks awarded Jones his signature win. It was the first triumph over an SEC team since 2009 and the first against a ranked team in four years. Pair that with the fourth-ranked recruiting class according to 247sports.com and the Vol fans have much to hope for in the future.

The past two games have made it clear the team is rallying behind their new coach in preparation for what appears to be a strong future. The question is this: can the Vols stay afloat after facing the army of ranked SEC opponents that stand before them?

Over the next three weekends, Tennessee will go head-to-head with No. 1 Alabama, No. 5 Missouri, and No. 11 Auburn, respectively. The South Carolina game may not even be remembered afterwards if the Vols are crushed by any or especially all of these teams. How they respond to such high-caliber opponents will greatly effect the propulsion of the program from here.

While this year’s chances of a title are all but out of the question, the future of the Tennessee Volunteers appears to be bright.

Missouri Tigers: On the road to the BCS

Last season the Missouri Tigers were the new kids on the block in their first season as a part of the SEC. They had a less than impressive first year as they finished with a 5-7 record. Coming into the 2013 season there were no thoughts on the tigers and what they could accomplish in their second season in this conference, up until they started to win and taking down other SEC teams, making them major contenders for a national title in just their second year in the conference.

The dramatic turn of events in the SEC East have shaken things up in the conference as teams who were expected to have tremendous seasons have risen and fallen, leaving no one to expect the current outcome. With a 7-0 record currently the Tigers are at the head the SEC East, looking poised to head to Atlanta for the SEC Championship if they continue to play at the level that they have been playing at this season and win games.

The Tigers took two major wins helping them with their AP Poll placement after knocking out No. 7 Georgia and then No. 22 Florida. Those two wins helped the Tigers jump from 14th to 5th in the newest AP standings, which was the most surprisingly development as the Tigers came in unranked to start the season off and were only ranked No. 25 going into week 7.

The Tigers are also sitting at No.5 in the first BCS rankings that came out earlier this week, putting them in great position to either compete for the championship or to get a BCS bowl game. The question that remains is just how good this Missouri team is and if they can continue their dream season with a few tough games still left on their schedule in the coming weeks.

The Tigers are continuing to play at a high level despite losing their starting quarterback James Franklin for the rest of the regular season with backup quarterback Maty Mauk now stepping up to the plate to help the Tigers continue on their winning streak.

The Tigers still have to take on South Carolina, Ole Miss, and Texas A&M before they can claim success over the East and possibly within the BCS. However the team looks poised to do so as they are currently not allowing more than 28 points to be scored on them and they are second in SEC rushing offense, coming in just behind Auburn.