ATHENS - A few people wondered why Georgia, after the BCS was no longer a possibility, would prefer to get in the Capital One Bowl, rather than the Cotton. A trip to Dallas, the first in nearly 30 years, to play a Big 12 team seemed a better consolation prize than another Florida bowl against a Big Ten team.
But there's one result of Georgia going to the Capital One: Mark Richt, Todd Grantham and assistant coaches make a little more money.
Richt gets $100,000 for making the Capital One Bowl, then it goes down to $75,000 for making the Outback, Cotton or Chick-fil-A. (And it goes down to $50,000 for the Music, Liberty or Independence.)
Grantham, the highest-paid assistant coach with a base salary of $825,000, gets $75,000 for making the Capital One. It goes down to $50,000 for one of the next three bowls.
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Of course, the $25,000 difference is small change compared to their overall salaries, especially Richt's $2.9 million base. Still, Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity said this simply is a reflection on the Capital One Bowl's status as the top of the non-BCS pecking order for bowls with an SEC affiliation.
"It's sort of indicative of where you ended up in the season," McGarity said.
McGarity said the other eight assistant coaches also have bowl incentives, although they're not specifically outlined in their contracts. Richt and Grantham are on multi-year contracts, while everyone else is on a one-year basis.
Richt would also have preferred the $300,000 reward for appearing in the BCS championship, or the $200,000 for appearing in another BCS bowl. Richt did get $150,000 for winning the SEC East, although he could have gotten $50,000 more for winning the SEC championship game. Grantham would have earned $150,000 for wining the BCS championship, $120,000 for at least reaching Miami, and $100,000 for appearing in another BCS bowl game.
But there's one more season incentive in reach: If Georgia finishes in the top 5 of either the AP or the coaches poll, Richt gets a bonus of $100,000.
So will Georgia fans be as excited as perhaps the coaches' accountants? McGarity said early signs were promissing, with 10,000 of the school's 12,500-ticket allotment for the bowl having already been purchased. Much of that is pre-order, however, and McGarity wasn't sure how many tickets had been sold since the SEC championship game.
"We're right on track with where we want to be with our ticket sales," McGarity said on Thursday afternoon.