‘Tis the season to fire your football coach.
At least nine major college programs are going to be changing coaches prior to next season with four of them dismissing their previous coach over the weekend.
While it’s easy enough to just get rid of the guy in charge, it’s not cheap because so many of these coaches have lucrative buyout clauses in their contacts. Impatience has a price.
Arizona State probably is going to pay more than $12 million to get rid of Todd Graham, who had a solid 46-31 record in six years on the job. UCLA paid $12 million to make Jim Mora go away. Texas A&M owes Kevin Sumlin $10 million after deciding a 51-26 record over six seasons wasn’t good enough.
Tennessee has to pay Butch Jones more than $8 million, Arkansas owes Bret Bielema $5.9 million. Florida’s Jim McElwain had a $12 million buyout although there are reports that may be negotiated down to a mere $4 million.
Nebraska is going to owe Mike Riley $6.6 million and according to a report by the Omaha World Herald, the school still is paying off previous coach Bo Pellini and some of his assistants, and also is on the hook for a buyout to fired athletic director Shawn Eichorst. The combined price tag there reportedly is more than $16 million.
Riley said after his team’s 56-14 loss to Iowa on Friday that he felt he deserved to keep his job.
“I truly believe I'm exactly the right person to do this,’’ he said.
He’s probably the only person who thought that. Nebraska lost eight games for the first time since 1957, lost four straight home games for the first time since 1969, gave up 50 or more points in each of its last three games and just plain quit in the second half against the Hawkeyes. It was time to go.
Bielema, a former Prophetstown High School star, is a genuinely fine man and a pretty good coach, and should land somewhere after being dumped by Arkansas.
Someone we know stated on Twitter that he was the perfect choice for the Nebraska job but that’s not likely to happen.
In fact, Cornhusker fans may rebel if the school hires anyone except Scott Frost, a former Nebraska player who has done a tremendous job at Central Florida.
Here is some consolation for Iowa fans disappointed in a 7-5 regular-season record: The Hawkeyes’ 12 opponents had a combined record of 90-54 and nine of them will be in bowl games.
While surfing through college football games on television Saturday, we heard one halftime analyst say Wisconsin is "the most disrespected undefeated team ever.''
That guy obviously wasn’t watching or listening when Iowa was unbeaten at this point two years ago.
The Chicago Bears finished with six yards rushing Sunday against Philadelphia, which is believed to be the second worst total in franchise history. They had one yard in a 1952 game against the Rams.
Luckily, I have the Eagles’ defense in my fantasy football league. Sadly, I also have Jordan Howard.
Trying to remember the last time I saw an NFL team go through the first half without a first down, which is what the Bears did Sunday. Of course, the Eagles only had 16.
Northwestern’s Justin Jackson has to be the best second-team all-conference running back in the country. He has had four consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, becoming only the ninth player to do that, only the second one in the Big Ten. The other guy who did it, Ron Dayne, won the Heisman Trophy.
We heard one broadcaster Saturday trying to make a case for Alabama being included in the four-team College Football Playoff even though it isn’t even in the SEC championship game. His contention was that Bama passes the “eye test.’’
He obviously wasn’t watching when the Crimson Tide had back-to-back bad snaps when it was down 12 and trying to come back in the fourth quarter against Auburn. It didn’t pass any eye tests in that sequence.