As expected, Michigan State is giving head coach Mark Dantonio and his staff well-deserved bumps in pay. The new contract for Dantonio, which was announced on Friday, will see Dantonio be paid $4.3 million per year through January 15, 2020. Michigan State will also set aside an extra $250,000 to be used on assistant coaching salaries.
“The University remains committed to providing all of the tools necessary to sustain a championship-caliber football program,” Dantonio said. “I wish to thank President Simon, Mark Hollis, the Board of Trustees and the entire administration for their trust, loyalty and support.
With the new $4.3 million annual salary, Michigan State has made Dantonio the third highest paid coach in the Big Ten. Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh ($7 million), Ohio State’s Urban Meyer ($5.86 million), and Penn State’s James Franklin ($4.4 million) still rank ahead of the Spartans head coach, but he did pass Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz ($4.075 million). Outside of Meyer at Ohio State, no coach in the Big Ten is as accomplished a coach as Dantonio, so the raise is justified and earned. Dantonio has coached Michigan State to a 36-5 record over the past five seasons and the program has soared to new heights after a bit of a transition phase for Dantonio as a head coach in East Lansing. In addition to two Big Ten titles and a spot in the playoff, Dantonio has also coached Michigan State to victories in the Rose Bowl and Cotton Bowl.
The breakdown of Dantonio’s new contract is as follows;
- $2,264,480 base compensation
- $1,000,000 supplemental compensation
- $700,000 contingent annual bonus
- $185,520 benefits
- $100,000 Nike apparel agreement (that’s a lot of Air Jordans)
- $50,000 guaranteed performance incentives
“With a berth in the College Football Playoff this past season, Coach Dantonio has again shown his excellence in building a nationally prominent football program,” Michigan State President Lou Anna K. Simon said in a released statement. “He is an outstanding leader committed to MSU’s values who empowers his players to become the best Spartans they can be, whether on the field, in the classroom or as part of the MSU community.”
Alabama defensive back Nigel Knott will finish his college football career with a new school. Knott, who was medically disqualified for the 2019 season, announced on his Twitter account on Monday he will enter the transfer portal and look to play his final year of eligibility somewhere else.
“I am blessed to have played football for the University of Alabama,” Knott said on his Twitter account on Monday morning. “I have decided to enter the transfer portal.”
Knott confirmed in a follow-up tweet that he is still enrolled at Alabama and on scholarship. The plan appears to be to obtain his degree from Alabama this spring and move on as a graduate transfer. Doing so would make Knott eligible to play for any other FBS program in the fall.
Knott was medically disqualified to play for Alabama in the 2019 season, but he has since been cleared to play. Knott rejoiced at the news on Dec. 30, 2019.
Notre Dame and Cal have agreed to a future game to be played in South Bend, Indiana. Cal announced their future road trip on Monday. Notre Dame will host Cal on Sept. 17, 2022.
“We are looking forward to visiting Notre Dame, and I know that many of our fans will, too,” Cal Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton said in a released statement. “Notre Dame Stadium is an iconic venue, and this game provides another opportunity for our alumni to support their Bears on the road. We saw a great turnout for our game at Ole Miss this past season and again at the Redbox Bowl in Santa Clara. I expect we’ll have another large contingent follow us to Notre Dame for this exciting contest.”
This is a one-game agreement rather than a home-and-home arrangement, but it was one Cal was more than happy to make. For Cal, the Golden Bears get a chance to play an opponent other Pac-12 schools have regularly played. Notre Dame plays annual games against Stanford and USC. It is also a good non-conference matchup against a program weighed as a power conference opponent. Although Pac-12 schools are not required to play another FBS opponent in non-conference play (ACC, Big Ten, and SEC scheduling policies ask members to schedule at least one non-conference game each year against another power conference opponent), the addition of the Fighting Irish is a clear upgrade on the schedule for Cal.
Cal will also play a road game at North Texas in 2022. Cal will host UC Davis and UNLV in non-conference matchups as well. Cal’s game with Notre Dame will sit in the middle of two upcoming home-and-home series with TCU (2020-2021) and Auburn (2023-2024).
Notre Dame still has two vacancies in the 2022 schedule as it currently stands. The Irish will also host Ohio State, Marshall, Stanford, Clemson, and Boston College in 2022. Notre Dame has road games scheduled against Navy, USC, North Carolina and Syracuse in 2022.
Notre Dame and Cal have played just five previous times. The most recent meeting in the series was played in 1967. Notre Dame leads the all-time series 4-0.
Indiana starting quarterback Peyton Ramsey has entered the NCAA transfer portal, according to a report on Monday afternoon.
As reported by 247 Sports, Ramsey has entered the transfer portal, which means he will begin evaluating his transfer options for the upcoming season. Ramsey will be a graduate transfer. As a graduate transfer, Ramsey will be eligible to play for any other FBS program this fall.
Ramsey may always pull his name form the transfer portal if he decides to stay at Indiana. While that move is not unprecedented in the era of the transfer portal, the situation appears likely to see Ramsey moving on.
Ramsey passed for 2,454 yards and 13 touchdowns with five interceptions last season in 11 games. Ramsey also rushed for 252 yards and seven touchdowns in one of the most successful seasons in Indiana’s history since 1993.
With Ramsey likely to be moving out of Bloomington, Indiana’s offense will now be placed in the hands of Michael Penix Jr. Penix played in seven games for the Hoosiers in 2019. He completed 68.8 percent of his pass attempts for 1,394 yards and 10 touchdowns with four interceptions. He also rushed for 119 yards and two touchdowns on 22 rushing attempts. Penix played in just three games in 2018 to preserve a redshirt season. He has three remaining years of eligibility for Indiana.
USC safety C.J. Pollard announced he decided to enter the transfer portal. The redshirt junior posted on his Twitter account Monday morning he will begin evaluating his transfer options with the intent on being a graduate transfer.
“After considerable thought and prayer, I have decided to enter the Transfer Portal as a GRADUATE,” Pollard posted on his social media account.
As a graduate transfer, Pollard will be eligible to play for any other FBS program in the fall, without having to sit out a season. Pollard will have just one final season of eligibility to use this upcoming season.
Pollard appeared in 12 games for USC in 2019 and recorded 15 tackles, with one tackle for a loss. Pollard was listed second on the USC depth chart at the end of the 2019 season. Pollard was the first backup free safety listed behind starter Isaiah Pola-Mao, a redshirt sophomore set to return and (likely) continue being the starter for the Trojans in 2020.