All the names at the top will probably not surprise you but, where it gets interesting is to see where the top coaches in our state slot.
First, Alabama boss Nick Saban tops the list making more than $8.3 million annually. With having won five national titles in nine seasons, he’s clearly worth it. He’s closely followed by Ohio State’s Urban Meyer, who has three titles on his resume’ at $7.6 million and Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh, who come to think of it has won nothing in three years at Ann Arbor, is at $7.5 million as the next highest-paid coach.
Very famously, former Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher bolted Tallahassee for Texas A&M last December and he is the fourth highest paid coach annually at $7.5 million for 2018. Auburn’s Gus Malzahn rounds out the top five at $6.7 million dollars for this season.
Next, if you’re wondering who the highest paid state school coach is? It’s another SEC name, in first-year coach Dan Mullen making just over $6 million for this season. And, Mullen comes in at #8 on the top salary list for 2018..
The next highest paid coach in the state is another first year boss, Willie Taggart of FSU, who is making $5 million this season and is 12th.
Now in his third season in Coral Gables, Miami’s Mark Richt is the next highest paid coach in the state coming in at #22 overall at just over $4 million a season.
And this is where it gets interesting, because UCF Coach first year coach Josh Heupel is the 69th highest-paid at about $1.7 million, and that’s 13 slots in front of USF coach Charlie Strong. Strong is only being paid $1 million in salary for this year by the school.
The catch there is that the University of Texas is still paying Strong $4 million for 2018 to coach the Bulls,as part of the final year of his deal with the Horns that expires after this season.
It’s no longer surprising, especially for the Power Five conference coaches, that most of the top ones are making at least $3-4 million in salary. This is because the schools and athletic departments are raking in tens of millions in revenue from football.
Still, Saban and that group at the top are making more than most NFL coaches make.
Yes. The Pros.
The money is crazy….for everyone except the players, who get none.
Lots of movement up in AP Top 25 for state teams
A very successful weekend for the four prominent college teams in the state and the latest AP poll out Sunday afternoon reflects the upward trend. This includes a team joining the AP Top 25 for the first time this season. More on them in the moment.
First up is UCF, which enters the AP top 10 for the first time this season on the heels of their 48-20 blowout win over SMU Saturday night in Orlando. QB McKenzie Milton threw for two scores and RB Adrian Killins ran for 120 yards and another TD in the easy AAC win. The Knights have now won 18 games in a row and are clearly getting national attention.
The biggest movement up was the Florida Gators racing from number 22 up to #14 in this week’s AP after their thrilling 27-19 victory over LSU Saturday afternoon in the Swamp. Florida, which is in the top 15 for the first time this season, is now coming off the three straight SEC victories. It’s also the first time the Gators had beaten an AP Top five opponent since 2015.
The Miami Hurricanes wild 20-point second-half comeback enabled them to beat rival Florida State 28 – 27 and the Canes have moved up one spot to 16th in the AP poll. Coach Mark Richt’s team breathed a sigh of relief with the win, which also keeps them unbeaten in the ACC.
Meanwhile, USF has entered the AP Top 25 for the first time this season at #23 overall. This after the Bulls got a school record rushing day from RB Jordan Cronkrite in a 58-40 to win at UMass Saturday afternoon.
3⃣ hundo 😱
— USF Football (@USFFootball) October 7, 2018
Charlie Strong’s team had been receiving votes in the AP Poll the last couple of weeks, but it’s interesting that they’re getting this much respect. This is despite the fact that their last three victories have been over teams with losing records.
Gators at Vols and USF trying to stay unbeaten top Saturday primer
The latest Saturday of college football around the State has every school in Florida in action. Some will be paying each other; one will be in a rivalry and another looking to bounce back vs. a MAC opponent.
Here’s what to watch for as September rolls on:
The Florida Gators will be taking on SEC East Rival Tennessee in a game in Knoxville, TN, that looks to be just who can make the least amount of mistakes.We wrote earlier this week about how the rivalry has lost its luster.
The Gators will need to try to find an offensive identity in this game, whether that be with QB Felipe Franks finding a grove or establishing a downhill running attack. After dropping his first conference game to Kentucky, Dan Mullen will look to get his first conference win, as a Gator.
The Florida State Seminoles are just looking for something to go right for themselves this weekend. After the second humiliating offensive performance of the season last Saturday, Willie Taggart needs this game to go his way. Still, as we also wrote this week, Taggart is not going anywhere during or after this season.
Against NIU this afternoon, the Noles need to keep QB Deondre Francois on his feet and establish the run. Cam Akers and Jacques Patrick need to get a lot of carries early and often in this one so the Noles can set a tone. Will the offensive line be better. Can the Seminoles defense make plays?
The Canes will get in-state rival FIU in a battle of south Florida. Miami has bounced back from their early-season defeat to LSU. However, Canes haven’t played any significant opponents in Savanah State and Toledo. The Canes though have used these games to fix an offense that was broken in Dallas.
QB Malik Rosier has improved over the weeks, and the Canes may have found a playmaker in Dee Jay Dallas. Miami will look to continue the offensive momentum before starting ACC play.
Finally, USF is under the lights at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, and should have a fairly easy time with American Conference opponent East Carolina. The Bulls come off back to back impressive wins over Georgia Tech and last week in Chicago against Illinois.
In that game, QB Blake Barnett threw the winning TD pass in the final two minutes to help the Bulls start 3-0 for the second straight year under Charlile Strong.
Let’s see if the Bulls make quick work of the visiting Pirates.
Bulls travel to Illinois as part of Saturday College Primer
It’s another Saturday of college football in September and two of the state’s teams travel on the road in the biggest matchups of the weekend.
USF will take on Big Ten power 5 team Illinois at Soldier Field in Chicago at 3:30 Eastern.
The Bulls are fresh off a 49-38 defeat opponent Georgia Tech last weekend. In that game, quarterback Blake Barnett (above) played solidly. And, special-teams speedster Terrence Horne raced two kick off returns back for touchdowns in the first quarter alone, to help the Bulls get a win over a Power Five conference team.
Meanwhile, it has been a struggle for Illinois and former Buccaneers and Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith. Winless in the Big Ten a year ago and now in his third season, Illinois struggled to get by two easy opponents to start this season. His team is going with a Young quarterback in A.J. Bush and the oddsmakers have the Illini as 12 point underdogs at home.
The pressure is on Smith to get something going, particularly in conference play in a bad outing maybe a bad omen.
The next biggest game of the day comes up at Noon Eastern time when Florida State travels to Syracuse in an ACC game at the Carrier Dome.
As we wrote earlier in the week the Seminoles better have their track shoes on, as this one is likely to be and up and down the field high-scoring game.
Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey is excellent dual threat, and probably better at running the football. FSU’s defense has really struggled in the first two games with Virginia Tech and Samford and has to get themselves back on track.
Meanwhile, quarterback Deondre Francois, running back Cam Akers and the Noles offense know that they have to put the points on the board, as well. They did so in the second half of last week’s come back when over the Bulldogs at Doak Campbell Stadium.
New coach Willie Taggart needs a good showing to qwell the growing criticism early on of his hire.
The Miami Hurricanes, they are in Toledo, Ohio taking on the MAC’s Rockets, also in a Noon Eastern Time game. Canes had no trouble with Savannah State last week in a 77 – 0 blowout win.
Quarterback Malik Rosier played only part of the first have that’s coach Mark Richt was able to get some playing time for two of his backups as the game went on.
Toledo actually played Miami tough for a half last year at Hard Rock Stadium leading 16-10 at intermission before Miami pulled away in the second half.
Toledo’s home stadium, known as the Glass Bowl seats 25,000, and they have been waiting for this game for two years. Let’s see if the Hurricanes have some struggles.
And finally, the Gators play host to Colorado State at the swamp at 4 p.m. Florida is still smarting from their upset loss at home last week to Kentucky in the SEC opener. As you probably know, the Wildcats napping 31 game losing streak to the Gators completely out playing them especially in the second half.
Florida’s defensive line in particular struggled for much of the night to do anything to stop the Wildcats rushing offense.
A while this will not be an easy task has Colorado State comes in having knocked off SEC West team Arkansas at home last week behind quarterback KJ Carta-Samuels, who has already thrown for 1,100 yards and eight touchdowns in three games for the Rams.
Ironically, this is a game being played because former coach Jim McElwain and the University of Florida worked out a deal with Colorado State to help let him out of his contract, if they would host the Rams in a game.
Of course McElwain was dismissed in late October last season, and now the new coach, Dan Mullen, is trying to regain some swagger after last week’s stinging defeat.
Gators cannot get caught looking ahead to next week showdown at Tennessee.
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