Kerryon Johnson‘s absence from the field will apparently be a brief one.
The running back sustained a sprained ankle in Auburn’s Week 6 win over Mississippi State, and, coming off a bye, the football program was initially optimistic he’d be available for the Week 8 game against Arkansas. Instead, he was a game-day decision for the Razorbacks.
While Johnson missed that game, that won’t be the case this Saturday as Gus Malzahn declared his starting back ready to go against Ole Miss.
“He practiced yesterday. He will play, there’s no doubt about that,” the head coach Gus Malzahn said during the weekly SEC teleconference Wednesday. “We’re trying to be smart about it.”
At the time of his injury, Johnson’s 538 yards rushing and six touchdowns were tops among all Tiger backs. Kamryn Pettway ran for a career-high 192 yards against te Razorbacks, and now leads the team with 697 yards. Both Johnson and Pettway are part of an offense that ranks third nationally in rushing yards per game (302.9).
Yes indeed: if there were an Agent Hall of Fame, Neil Cornrich would be a first-ballot inductee.
Early last month, Iowa announced that it had reached an agreement with Kirk Ferentz on a new contract that runs through the 2026 season. The details of the contract, revealed as part of USA Today‘s annual coaching salary database release, negotiated by Cornrich and agreed upon by the university are staggering.
From USA Today‘s report on coaching buyouts:
— Even if he’s fired after this season for not winning enough games, the 61-year-old Ferentz would be owed more than $25 million, payable in monthly installments until 2026.
— He’s guaranteed an additional $22 million from 2021 through 2025 if he sticks around and wins at least seven games each season through 2020. It wouldn’t matter if he’s dismissed in 2021 after finishing 0-12.
— If that’s not enough, those guarantees wouldn’t even be reduced if Iowa fired him and he took a lucrative new job somewhere else.
Another Cornrich client, Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops, would be owed nearly $25 million if he were fired today without cause. All told, there are at least seven head football coaches, the paper writes, “who would be owed at least $20 million in guaranteed money if he were fired on Dec. 1 for losing too many games.” Jimbo Fisher tops the buyout list, with Florida State on the hook for $33.1 million in the improbable event that Florida State dismisses him.
Others with the $20 million-plus golden parachute include Ohio State’s Urban Meyer ($27.4 million), Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh ($25.6 million), Alabama’s Nick Saban ($23.3 million), Clemson’s Dabo Swinney ($20 million). Another, Illinois’ Lovie Smith, is just shy of that mark at $19.3 million.
Of the four coaches already dismissed this year, Les Miles had the highest buyout with LSU owing the former coach nearly $9 million according to the paper. Darrell Hazell is due $5 million from Purdue, while Fresno State will owe Tim DeRuyter $3.3 million and FIU will shell out $609,000 to Ron Turner.
Texas will owe Charlie Strong just north of $11 million if, as expected, they fire the coach at season’s end.
The multimillion buyouts are part of a burgeoning trend all across the sport.
In 2011, there were 15 coaches with guaranteed buyouts of at least $8 million. This year, at least 33 are guaranteed that much — well more than half of the 53 publicly available coaches contracts in the Power Five conferences.
When it comes to actual salary being paid in 2016, Saban would sit atop the list at $6.9 million. However, Harbaugh is the highest-paid coach in college football at $9 million, with $5 million of that coming in salary and $4 million in the form of insurance payouts.
In 2006, the first year the USA Today database was published, there were eight head coaches making at least $2 million annually. A decade later, that number has risen to 58.
For USA Today‘s complete database, click HERE.
Most observers have already handed the 2016 Heisman Trophy to Lamar Jackson, but there are still a couple of players who could make the race at least mildly interesting.
The Louisville quarterback is, once again, Bovada.lv‘s overwhelming favorite to win this year’s Heisman, coming in at 1/3 (bet three dollars to win one). Those are slightly shorter odds than the 1/2 Jackson was getting a week ago.
Tied at 15/2 are Michigan’s jack-of-all-trades Jabrill Peppers and Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson. Peppers was at 33/1 just three weeks ago, while Watson, the preseason wagering favorite, will have a high-profile matchup with Florida State in which to bolster his Heisman pedigree and chip into Jackson’s perceived lead.
Speaking of FSU, running back Dalvin Cook could state his case in the same game and push Bovada odds that currently sit at 40/1. Just three other players are on this particular house’s current board: Washington quarterback Jake Browning (10/1), Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett (12/1) and Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts (22/1).
Two other players, Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey and Houston quarterback Greg Ward Jr., were taken off Bovada’s board.
Brandon Lingen‘s injury-plagued season continues. Or, more accurately, has come to an end.
Citing people familiar with the situation, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune is reporting that the Minnesota tight end will miss the remainder of the regular season. Lingen sustained a left foot injury in last Saturday’s game against Purdue.
On the weekly injury report, Lingen is listed as out for this weekend’s game against Illinois. Beyond that, the school has not addressed Lingen’s status moving forward.
Lingen had missed three games earlier this season with a broken clavicle. That issue helped limit him to three catches for 28 yards on the year.
A starter in 10 of 12 2015 games, Lingen was third on the team with 33 receptions for 428 yards. He was named honorable mention All-Big Ten.
With Lingen injuries, Nate Wozniak (eight receptions, 92 yards) and Colton Beebe (5-42) have taken over the bulk of the responsibility at the tight end position.