NCAA Football

College Football's 10 Highest-Paid Assistant Coaches in 2014

They don't make as much money as their bosses, but college football coordinators earn enough to make us all reassess some life decisions.

This has been the case for a while, which is scary since the contracts grow each season. When I assembled this list in March 2014, only five FBS assistants made seven figures. This year, that number ballooned to nine. Next year, there's a good chance it passes 10.

Assembling this list relied heavily on the USA Today salary database. However, those numbers reflect what coaches made in 2014, which means they don't reflect new hires and reworked contracts.

Thus, this list required a boatload of additional research. I am confident in the 10 names that follow, but there's a chance, however slight, that some coach slipped through the cracks. In that case, feel free to post his name in the comments, and I will edit if his contract checks out.

Also of note: The salaries that follow reflect what each coach will make next season. Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster ranked No. 1 on the USA Today database for 2014, but that was only because of a one-time payment in his contract. The deal he signed this offseason will pay him $900,000 in 2015, per Andy Bitter of The Roanoke Timeswhich does not rank among the national top 10.

For that reason, he and others like him have been omitted.

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SEC Football: Ranking the Conference's Best Rivalries

The SEC is known for having some of the best rivalries in college football, both inside the conference and outside with state schools from other conferences.

Let's leave those out-of-conference rivalries alone for now and take a look at the best rivalries in the SEC.

Our top 10 based on intensity, tradition and national importance are in this slideshow.

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Cyler Miles Takes Leave of Absence from Washington Football

The University of Washington announced Friday that quarterback Cyler Miles is taking a leave of absence from the football team for personal reasons and will not participate in spring ball.  

Christian Caple of the Tacoma News Tribune passed along a statement from the school, which stressed this was not a disciplinary action:

Miles has appeared in 20 games over his first two seasons with the Huskies. He's thrown 21 touchdowns with just six interceptions while completing better than 65 percent of his passes. He led the team to an 8-6 record last season, including a loss to Oklahoma State in the Cactus Bowl.

While he's away, it opens the door for the team's other quarterbacks to get some extra work. Jeff Lindquist, K.J. Carta-Samuels and Jake Browning all figure to get their chance to shine during spring practices.

The statement didn't include any potential timetable for Miles' return to the football program. It did note he remains enrolled at Washington while dealing with the personal matter.

 

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Cyler Miles Takes Leave of Absence from Washington Football

The University of Washington announced Friday that quarterback Cyler Miles is taking a leave of absence from the football team for personal reasons and will not participate in spring ball...

Read the full article on Bleacher Report...

2016 ILB Lokeni Toailoa: 'I Want to Outwork Everybody; I Want to Be the Best'

Lokeni Toailoa, the No.1 inside linebacker in the 2016 class, per 247Sports' composite rankings, is out to show the college football recruiting world exactly what he is capable of. With offers on the table from many of the top programs in the country, Toailoa expects to shine at the next level. 

Bleacher Report caught up with the talented linebacker to get his thoughts on his football life thus far, his favorite play from his mixtape and his goals. 

Where will Toailoa play at the next level? Check out the video and let us know! 

Highlights courtesy of Pylon Elite Camps For more information, you can visit Pylon Football Camp.


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Alabama Football: Complete 2015 Spring Practice Primer

Defending SEC champion Alabama hits the practice field on Friday, and the questions head coach Nick Saban must answer this spring could make or break his team's title chances this fall.

One look at the depth chart on the offensive side of the ball, and you'll see a laundry list of new players who are being counted on in 2015. Saban and second-year offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin must replace nine starters off of last year's Allstate Sugar Bowl squad, including quarterback Blake Sims and Heisman Trophy finalist, wide receiver Amari Cooper.

On defense, Saban and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart are entering the third season of the cornerback crisis, and Saban threw a curveball into the mix this offseason when he shuffled around his staff and brought in Mel Tucker specifically to coach the defensive backs.

What should you watch for during Alabama's spring practice? Here's a primer.

 

What to Watch on Offense

The most notable battle will take place at quarterback, where Jake Coker, Alec Morris, Cooper Bateman, David Cornwell and Blake Barnett will all square off to fill Sims' shoes.

Coker likely has at least a small advantage heading in, after leading the second team last year. Familiarity with those second-teamers could be a huge benefit, because with so much roster turnover on the offensive side of the ball, many of the players he worked with throughout the 2014 season will likely get the first crack at joining the first team this spring.

It never clicked for Coker last year, and if he doesn't have a grasp of the offense, Bateman and Cornwell—two former 4-star prospects—are certainly talented enough to run Kiffin's offense. Barnett is the new kid on the block, and while the former 5-star prospect can sling it all over the field and make things happen with his legs, it'd be a huge leap of faith for Saban and Kiffin to put the offense in the hands of a true freshman—especially with eight other new starters on offense.

While the quarterback battle will dominate headlines, it's not the most important battle on Kiffin's offense. He has to find a replacement for Cooper, and it doesn't even have to be a wide receiver. 

Cooper was the player that the offense revolved around, which was similar to Marquise Lee's role with USC when Kiffin was the head coach of the Trojans. But Kiffin also went to a national title game as the offensive coordinator of the Trojans in 2005 with running back Reggie Bush as the centerpiece.

Whether it's running back Derrick Henry, ultra-versatile weapon Kenyan Drake or a wide receiver like ArDarius Stewart, Cameron Sims, Robert Foster or somebody else, somebody has to step up. If Kiffin can find "his guy" this spring, it will accelerate the process and help the rest of the offensive pieces fall into place.

Up front, Ryan Kelly returns at center, and Cameron Robinson will lock down the left tackle spot. The rest of the jobs along the offensive line are up for grabs, and finding the right mix is imperative this spring so the continuity can be built through the summer.

 

What to Watch on Defense

All eyes will be outside this spring, as new defensive backs coach Mel Tucker was brought in specifically to fix Alabama's lingering issue at cornerback. 

Cyrus Jones got progressively better as last season went on and will surely lock down one side. That's the good news. The bad news is that, on the other side, there's a medium-sized village of corners contending for playing time—many of whom haven't been able to stay in the lineup despite significant playing time over the last few years.

Eddie Jackson and Bradley Sylve have both started over the last few years, Tony Brown and Marlon Humphrey have the talent but haven't earned the experience, and Anthony Averett, Levi Wallace and Jonathan Cook are all vying for playing time prior to two more touted freshmen—Kendall Sheffield and Minkah Fitzpatrick—arriving this summer. It's a crowded field, but it's Tucker's show now, and a fresh set of eyes might be the magic elixir to solving the cornerback blues.

Saban and Smart got a boost this offseason, when inside linebacker Reggie Ragland passed on the chance to jump the NFL in favor of returning for his senior season with the Tide. Next to him, Shaun Dion Hamilton, Dillon Lee and hard-hitter Reuben Foster will all contend for playing time this spring in a crowded linebacker corps.

Outside, Denzel Devall will return in one spot, but he might not be able for spring after he was spotted at Alabama's pro day with a cast on his leg and moving around on a scooter, according to AL.com. Ryan Anderson and the ultra-explosive sophomore Rashaan Evans will likely compete for playing time if Devall is out, and that experience could prove to be invaluable when toe meets leather this season.

Up front, the Crimson Tide are loaded.

Defensive end Jarran Reed returns after flirting with the NFL, along with ultra-talented running mates D.J. Pettway, Jonathan Allen, Da'Shawn Hand and Dalvin Tomlinson, who all return to give Saban and Smart the option of constantly rotating defensive linemen throughout games. Toss in defensive tackles A'Shawn Robinson in the middle, along with junior college transfer Jonathan Taylor, and the Tide are going to be tough in the trenches. 

Job No. 1 for the big men (and possible Job Nos. 2, 3 and 4) is to stay healthy.

 

Freshman to Keep an Eye on

It seems like we've been talking about Bo Scarbrough making an impact in Tuscaloosa for a decade, and now—after a long wait—we'll get to see the freshman in action in the crimson and white.

The 6'2", 235-pounder from Tuscaloosa signed with the Tide in the class of 2014, but academic issues delayed his enrollment until January. He practiced with the team during preparation for the Sugar Bowl and turned some heads in the process.

Saban said in December, according to AL.com:

We think Bo is a multi-talented guy but we look at him as a running back first. He has really a diverse skill level for a big guy, he's a physical guy. He has really good running ability but he also has great receiving skills. He's actually played as much wide receiver as he has running back.

He's joining a backfield that's led by Henry, but also features Drake—who's coming off a gruesome broken leg suffered versus Ole Miss in October—early enrollee DeSherrius Flowers and suspended sophomore Tyren Jones. 

If Scarbrough is as versatile as Saban thought in December, look out for him to make a huge impact in 2015.

 

Coach Saban's Toughest Task

Fixing the secondary.

Alabama gave up 133 passing plays of 10 or more yards—the worst mark in the SEC in 2014—and finished 11th in the conference in pass defense (226.0 YPG). That has to change.

Sure, a stout front seven will force quarterbacks into mistakes and take a little bit of pressure off of the back end of the defense, but teams know Alabama's weakness and will undoubtedly look to exploit it early and often in 2015.

If the Crimson Tide are going to again contend for the SEC West and national titles, they have to fix their secondary problem. The most potent offense in school history provided a wide margin for error last year, and with nine new starters on that side of the ball, Saban can't count on history repeating itself.

 

Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer and college football video analyst for Bleacher Report as well as a host on Bleacher Report Radio on Sirius 93, XM 208.

Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. All stats are courtesy of CFBStats.com unless otherwise noted, and all recruiting information is courtesy of 247Sports' composite rankings. Follow Barrett on Twitter @BarrettSallee.

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Predicting the 10 College Football Teams Most Likely to Regress in 2015

College football is one of the most popular sports in America largely because of its unpredictability. Every fall, contenders emerge from unexpected places and teams pegged for the Top 10 fall out of favor in ugly fashion. Last July, who would’ve predicted Oklahoma and South Carolina’s struggles, coupled with the rises of the likes of TCU and Mississippi State? Nobody. That’s what makes college football great.

It won’t be long before college football preseason preview magazines hit the newsstand, tempting our football-starved souls with glossy print, bold predictions and a $7.95 price tag. We’ll obsess over and consume their predictions, realizing in the back of our minds that they’ll be rendered obsolete following the first week of the season.

We know there’ll be teams who surprise this fall, and teams who disappoint. Which teams will slip in 2015? Here’s a look at 10 teams most likely to regress this fall.

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College Football Coaches with Most Job Security

In the high-stakes world of college football, it seems like almost every coach is one bad year away from getting sent packing.

It's not really that drastic a situation, but the reality is that in the FBS ranks, the concept of job security is completely independent of the salary a coach earns.

More than half of the coaches at the FBS level of college football make more than $1 million, with more than two dozen earning north of $3 million. But even with so many coaches earning such enormous paychecks, that doesn't necessary ensure they'll be able to keep their job without producing results.

Which coaches are the safest, in terms of being able to weather a rough season (or two)? Check out our list of the football program leaders with the most job security.

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College Football Coordinators Who Should Be Head Coaches Already

The coaching silly season has passed. If you're one of the college football programs fortunate enough to have kept that highly sought assistant, count your lucky stars.

He may not be around for much longer.

Every coordinator on the following list has reportedly received some sort of interest from another program over the past couple of years about becoming a head coach. However, for one reason or another, things didn't work out.

Which coordinators are already qualified to land their first head-coaching jobs? We give some answers in the following slides.

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Freshmen Who Could Star Right Away at Tennessee

For the first time in several seasons, the Tennessee Volunteers won't be so dependent on freshmen.

Even though the Vols signed a consensus top-five class (including the fourth-ranked haul on 247Sports' composite rankings), it's difficult to find a handful of surefire first-year players who'll log significant snaps.

While head coach Butch Jones did grab a couple of junior college transfers who will factor into the immediate equation, the Vols are finally in a position to bring a lot of these youngsters along slowly. That will help them developmentally and as a team down the road.

But sometimes you run across players who are simply too talented to keep off the field, and UT has several of those kids on the docket.

Depth concerns are still prevalent at a few other positions, so talented first-year players may be inserted to provide the spark Tennessee needs to be competitive right away.

Regardless, some of this class of prized freshmen will play, and play well. Let's take a look at a few from this recruiting class who will make an immediate impact right away.

 

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