I Am Depressed Now (And So Can You!)

"Resources Win Championships" - Danny White, UMAA Foundation Executive Director

Maybe most people don't read the letter from the UMAA Foundation Executive Director when they get the little "here's how much you're gonna have to pay this year to keep your season ticket location - or else" booklet, but I did this time because it had a few numbers posted with it and I am nothing if not a numbers guy.

I'd like to hear some opinions from the assorted smart and not-smart people on the board about what these numbers show:

It ranks the SEC in number of championships (not sure how it's tabulated exactly) where we are #10 with 20 (others of note: LSU with 116 and MSU with 28).  I'll post the whole list at the end.

It then provides the 2007-08 budgets, where we again rank 10th with $34M (same notables: $75M and $30M - guess who's who - numbers at the end)

Finally, it has the 2007-08 fundraising, where we are probably 10th again (Auburn's #'s aren't included) with $13M (others: $30M and $14M - ditto).

A few questions and comments:

- First of all, how in the world does MSU ever beat us in fundraising in a year?  Is pig farming really that lucrative?  I'll have to check Yahoo Finance to see if 2007/2008 was a good year for commodities.  Maybe they're doing other business with the pigs.  I've always wondered where Starkville's red light district was.  But seriously that was a shock.

- These numbers depress me.  In case there are any liberal arts majors or lurking LSU engineers, I'll help with the math.  You apparently only need about $30M to keep an athletics department operating, since MSU is doing it for that.  So what are the big spenders going to use the extra $40M to $60M a year on?

In four years with numbers like these (which are typical I guess), Alabama will have spent $372 million, and we'll have spent $136M.  That ~$250M difference over the next four years will go a long way to buying all sorts of things, and incredibly in about 16 years they are likely to spend over a billion dollars more on athletics than we will.  Another 16 years, another additional billion in spending, etc.  This is not looking good for our grandkid Rebels.

If you don't think money matters, think about it from the other perspective.  If you saw these numbers as a Florida alum, would you not be beating the AD and President over the head constantly with them, saying, "How the hell are you letting these guys ever beat you?  How are you going to spend our cash advantage to make sure that never happens again?"

Hopefully they will be mostly focused on competing with the other big spenders and will continue to let us catch them by surprise periodically.  I am a passionate Ole Miss fan but the UMAA Foundation gave me a little kick in the teeth.  Why did they include this table in the fundraising brochure?  I am glad and sad that I know these numbers now.

What are our best strategies to be competitive in the SEC over time?  Economics usually wins.  Give me some hope, people!!

Championships: FL: 185; TN: 148; GA: 130; LSU: 116; AR: 72; AU: 71; AL: 70; KY: 64; MSU: 28; OM: 20; VU: 10; SC: 8

2007-08 Budget (in $M): AL: 93; TN: 86; FL: 83, GA: 76; LSU: 75; KY: 67; SC: 65; AR: 57; AU: 48; OM: 34; MSU: 30; VU (not reported)

2007-08 Fundraising (in $M): FL: 46; TN: 38; GA: 36; LSU: 30; AL: 28; SC: 18; KY: 17; MSU: 14; OM: 13; AR: 12; VU: 8; AU (not reported)

This post is a Red Cup Rebellion FanPost. Please don't sue us.

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