Pay bumps coming for Saban, staff?

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During his five years at Alabama, Nick Saban and his ever-evolving coaching staff has led the Crimson Tide back to preeminent status on the national stage, cleaning up the squalor left by the decade-long Shula-Franchione-DuBose triad.  And the Mike Price embarrassment.

Since being officially named head coach Jan.3, 2007, Saban’s Tide has won 55 games — versus just four SEC losses the last four years — and two BcS titles.  And four No. 1 Rivals.com recruiting classes in the past five years, which has set the table for yet another season in which Saban’s squad will enter a year deep inside the preseason polls.

How much is all of that success worth?  In 2011, and before Saban’s third title as a college head coach, the number was pegged at just over $4.8 million.  In 2012?  Go north, old committee men.

According to the Birmingham News, the compensation arm of the University of Alabama Systems board of trustees will meet Monday to discuss the contracts of two newly-hired Saban assistants — offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier and outside linebackers coach Lance Thompson.  Additionally — warning ! alliteration ahead!!! — the compensation committee’s conference call will consider, the News writes, “contract amendments for head coach Nick Saban and seven of his assistants.”

One of the “seven… assistants” is defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, who at $850,000 was one of the highest-paid assistants for his job title last season.  Smart also oversaw a title-winning defense that finished 2011 No. 1 in nearly every major statistical defensive category.  Based on the performance of “his” defense, Smart surely should get a salary bump.  As (rightly) will the other holdovers from the crystal-hoisting staff.

The question is, will — or, more to the point, should — Saban get the compensation committee bump?  In 2011, Mack Brown was the highest-paid coach in America at nearly $5.2 million.

Symbolic or not, and probably in spite of what he actually cares about, it’s time for the financials to match the reality that most don’t or won’t want to acknowledge: Nick Saban is the best college football coach in the country.

Check the numbers; the gag reflex will soon pass, after the biases are left at reality’s doorstep.  He is, you see, regardless of what you don’t want is to be.

(Editor’s note: Jimmy Sexton did not contribute in any way, shape or form to the creation of this post.)

VIDEO: LSU RB Derrius Guice squats 650 pounds

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Derrius Guice may be the most underrated player in college football.

Playing in the shadow of Leonard Fournette, Guice posted an eye-popping 8.55 yards per carry (51 rushes for 436 yards) as a freshman in 2015, then kept his big-play ability as his usage increased while Fournette battled injuries in his final college season. Guice rushed 183 times for 1,387 yards and 15 touchdowns; his 7.58 yards per carry average was the most among Power 5 rushers with at least 180 carries.

So, yes, Guice is really good. He’s also a physical freak.

LSU captured and tweeted video Friday of Guice squatting 650 pounds, more than three times his listed 212 pounds.

If — and this is a massive, Les Miles-firing if — LSU can consistently throw the ball in 2017, go ahead and make Guice your darkhorse Heisman contender in 2017.

(HT CBS Sports)

Former Miami TE Jovani Haskins headed to West Virginia

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Jovani Haskins announced two weeks ago he was leaving Miami for “somewhere else.” That somewhere else proved to be a favorite destination of other Sunshine State transfers: West Virginia.

“WVU is my new home and I can’t wait to perform in front of the fans of West Virginia!” he tweeted on Saturday.

A 3-star prospect out of Bergenfield, N.J.., Haskins was offered by West Virginia in the class of 2016 and most recruiting experts actually had him signing with the Mountaineers before a surprise commitment to Miami.

Haskins joins two former state of Florida players on WVU’s roster: starting quarterback Will Grier (Florida) and former Miami quarterback Jack Allison (Miami). The Mountaineers also employed Florida State transfer Clint Trickett at quarterback and Miami transfer Antonio Crawford at cornerback.

Haskins redshirted in 2016 and will presumably sit out 2017 before gaining eligibility in ’18. West Virginia could use the help immediately; the roster lists one scholarship tight end at present. WVU currently has two tight ends pledged for the 2018 class in addition to Haskins.

 

BYU wearing special patch in honor of LaVell Edwards

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BYU got the summer media day fun started on Friday with their football media day. BYU tends to pull out all the stops on its media day with coach and player interviews, alumni returning, and a handful of announcements about the future of the program. In addition to news about their relationship with ESPN, BYU also announced the football team will be sporting a patch this season in honor of the late LaVell Edwards.

In addition to players wearing the patch on their jerseys, BYU coaches will also wear the patch on their sleeves.

Edwards passed away in December at the age of 86. The BYU coaching legend spent 29 seasons on the sidelines in Provo and accumulated 257 wins along the way. Among those was a national championship season in 1984, which remains the most recent national championship to be claimed by a program not currently in a power conference. Edwards took 22 BYU teams to a bowl game.

Now if we can just keep getting BYU to stick to that lighter shade of blue as their main home uniform, we’ll be in great shape.

Former Vanderbilt football player Brandon Banks found guilty of rape

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Former Vanderbilt football player Brandon Banks was convicted by a jury on Friday for rape of a female Vanderbilt student. Following 15 hours of jury deliberations, the verdict of guilty on one count of aggravated rape and one count of aggravated sexual battery was in.

”He’s shocked but understands that this is only the first part of this process, there’s a lot more to do from here on,” Banks’ lawyer, Mark Scruggs, said after the verdict. ”We have some really good issues to raise.”

Part of Banks’ defense was built on succumbing to peer pressure, suggesting he feared he may be beaten up by teammates if he did not participate in the scandalous activity. The jury, having reviewed videos and photos from the incident, some of which were shot by Banks, determined that was not a viable defense.

”Making fun of another person is not right, but we know it happens,” Assistant District Attorney Roger Moore said in closing arguments, according to the Associated Press. ”But it doesn’t give you a legal defense to commit a crime, particularly not an aggravated rape, an aggravated sexual battery. I mean if that’s the case, then we’d have the ‘football team defense.”’

Banks will serve a minimum of 15 years in prison. One count of aggravated rape has a minimum sentence of 15 years.

Other former Vanderbilt players had previously been convicted for their roles in the 2013 rape. Cory Batey was found guilty of aggravated rape and sentenced to 15-25 years in prison in April 2016. Brandon Vandenbeurg was found guilty and sentenced to 17 years in prison.