#3 in the Polls...
I couldn't have been the only one staying awake until 1:00 or 2:00 AM after the BCS National Championship Game to see just how things would shake up for Head Coach Urban Meyer's first go-round with the Ohio State Buckeyes. I knew better than to think that Ohio State would somehow slip past the winner of the game and into the #1 position in the AP poll, and after Alabama's first drive of that game, I was pretty sure the best the Buckeyes could hope for was a strong #2 finish ahead of an obviously over matched Notre Dame team.
But I still had that hankering to find out just how well Ohio State would do in the minds of the AP Poll voters, you know, the voters who actually watch college football, as opposed to the son of a cousin of a brother of an SID of a school with a coach who happens to be a voting member of the Coach's Poll. Alabama was the clear #1 during and after the BCSNCG, but was the 12-0 season for the Buckeyes enough to overcome a 12-1 finish by national runner up Notre Dame?
Turns out it was, as ND dropped to #4 in the AP Poll. But even with the slip by those Gold Domers, there was still another team that ranked ahead of the Buckeyes: the Oregon
Phil Knights Ducks. This isn't surprising, if you think about it, as the only loss Oregon suffered was at the hands of Stanford, and the Ducks looked very good in their own BCS bowl, outrunning Kansas State in a matchup that, but for one crazy night, would have been the national championship.
So Oregon vaults to #2, with the Buckeyes behind them at #3. Considering the expectations most Buckeye fans had for this team at this season's inception (only one of the esteemed Land-Granters had the Buckeyes running the table), this is quite a finish for an Ohio State team coming off of a dismal 6-7 transition year.
The silver lining: even with undeveloped talent using a system that is foreign to them, the team went undefeated. The black cloud: it sets the bar extremely high for Ohio State next year. Most teams that win 14 games in a row are usually bestowed a crystal football for their trophy case. For the Buckeyes, winning 14 games in a row means they have to get on a plane to Berkeley to play Cal, and would have to win, ostensibly, 26 games in a row to claim their first BCS title under Meyer. That is, assuming two other teams don't go undefeated, or a 1-loss team from the SEC doesn't get in in front of them.
Still, 12-0 is 12-0. The AP has the Buckeyes at #3, and that's their perogative. We think differently 'round these parts.
...#1 in the Pocketbook
Of the many benefits of running the table (prestige, national attention, #swag, etc), one of the biggest might be felt not only by Meyer, who made a cool $150K for the team's finish, but also by his dedicated staff of coaches and assistants. Meyer ran the show, makes a boatload of money, and deserved the bonus, of course. But he wasn't the only one a little fatter in the back pocket.
Ohio State paid bonuses to the myriad Buckeye coaches and assistants to the tune of almost $1,000,000 for their efforts during the 2012 season. How did the members of the staff makeout? Let's take a look.
|Urban Meyer||Head Coach||$200,000|
|Luke Fickell||Def. Coordinator||$187,000|
|Everett Withers||Co-Def. Coordinator||$112,500|
|Tom Herman||Off. Coordinator/QBs||$105,000|
|Ed Warinner||Offensive Line||$87,500|
|Stan Drayton||Running Backs||$68,750|
|Mike Vrabel||Defensive Line||$68,750|
|Tim Hinton||Fullbacks/Tight Ends||$62,500|
|Zach Smith||Wide Receivers||$37,500|
Highly paid assistants are certainly en vogue in college football these days. Bret Bielema left for Arkansas largely on the basis that Wisconsin wouldn't pony up to pay his assistants what other schools had to offer. While no Ohio State coaches were plucked from the Urban Meyer tree this year, certainly pay and opportunity are things that all of the above coordinators and coaches desire. I'm happy that Ohio State not only pays through the nose for this staff, but doesn't mind paying through other orifices based on successful seasons.
Meanwhile, it isn't anything new for big bonuses to get paid out to head coaches for season achievements. In fact, Meyer was in line for an additional $200,000 had his team finished in the top-2 of the AP Poll, spots that Alabama and the Oregon Ducks claimed. No truth to the rumor that recruits have been seen playing Meyer's new favorite video game.
Speaking of Rumors...
Twitter mildly blew up last night with reports that current Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly interviewed for the open Philadelphia Eagles head coach position. Would Kelly, who certainly has a history of moving from job to job (just ask Grand Valley State, Central Michigan, and Cincinnati), and fresh off a BCS title game appearance, actually saunter out of South Bend? What do you think, Anderson Cooper?
My sentiments exactly.