/College football’s $illy $eason is upon us

College football’s $illy $eason is upon us

This year, it is particularly busy. It can also be expensive. We’ll get to it. Monday’s news revealed that Ole Miss had hired Mike MacIntyre, the former Colorado head coach. He will be its new defensive coordinator. After Wesley McGriff’s worst defensive performance in the history of the Southeastern Conference, MacIntyre has been appointed to replace him. We have two other high-profile changes today. Phil Longo, Ole Miss’ offensive coordinator, is reportedly leaving to join Mack Brown’s North Carolina comeback train. At Mississippi State, Mark Hudspeth is reportedly leaving the Bulldogs as an associate head coach, tight ends coach, and highly regarded recruiter to become the head coach at Austin Peay. Remember that Tony Hughes, a highly respected Magnolia State recruiter, was let go as Jackson State’s head coach weeks ago. Hughes is still looking for a job. Hughes could be able to take Hudspeth’s place on the State staff. Or Hughes is headed to Florida, where he will be reunited with Dan Mullen. Or will Ole Miss make another play for Hughes, as it did last year? There is so much uncertainty. Keep in mind, however, that all these coaching changes are taking place, college players still have to choose their college destination. The early signing period starts on Wednesday, Dec. 19. You could also call the Silly Season the $illy $eason. This is when college athletic departments spend real money as if they were Monopoly money. North Carolina is the first example of this $illy $eason. Larry Fedora, the former Southern Miss head coach, was fired by the Tar Heels. Fedora must be paid $12.2 million over the next 4 years to continue his coaching duties. The Tar Heels have signed a five-year agreement to pay Brown, 67, a base salary of $3.5 million per annum plus incentives. North Carolina will pay at least $6.5million to two football coaches over the next four-years. This is a huge sum for a basketball school to spend on another sport. There is plenty of humor. Take Colorado. MacIntyre will be paid nearly $5 million by the Buffs over the next three-year period, while he presumably coaches defense at Ole Miss. MacIntyre will make $1.5 million per year over the three-year Ole Miss contract. MacIntyre will earn $9.5 million in the next three-years. This is a lot of money for Oxford. Consider this: John Howard Vaught made $27,500 per year at Ole Miss. He lived a good life. Even more absurd: Arkansas fired Bret Bielema in 2017 and still owes him $12 million through 2020. Bielema is paid $320,000 per month until Dec 31, 2020 for doing nothing. Then, Arkansas paid Chad Morris $3.5 million per year. Arkansas was 2-10 in this season’s final. Arkansas spent $3.75 million for each victory, based on my calculations. Arkansas paid $7.5 million to two head coaches. Get out the champagne! Woo Pig Sooie!!! Sometimes I wonder what Vaught would think about the amount of money coaches make these day. He won six SEC Championships. It’s amazing to me how much coaching salaries have outpaced inflation in my lifetime. Mack Brown, a Southern Miss wide receivers coach and 23-year-old sports editor from Hattiesburg American, was my coach when I was barely shaving. We both made $13,000 per year. That is why we played tennis together several times a week. It was the only entertainment we had. Mack told me many times that his goal was to be a coach and make real money. In 1975, Mack was making $60,000 a year, or even $70,000. He now makes more in a single week. Silly? No, $illy.