News, Notes & Quotes - April 11

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Tuesday April 11, 2017

- Chris Petersen is likely the highest-paid head coach in the Pac-12 now.

Sports Illustrated reports Petersen’s new deal goes through 2023 and pays him an average of $4.875 million. Last year, Petersen earned $3.6 million, which was third among public Pac-12 schools (excluding USC). This raise would put him in the top 10 nationally.

It was reported last November that the sides were negotiating a potential 10-year contract. Petersen later dismissed that, but coming off a Playoff appearance, he’s getting a big raise.

- The risk of keeping quarterbacks live, they can get hurt — and it happened for Miami.

QB Jack Allison suffered a sprained throwing shoulder during Saturday’s scrimmage, according to multiple reports, but won't need surgery. Richt didn’t address Allison while speaking to reporters, but said there were four to eight sacks in the game. Richt spoke last week about why he wanted them live:

“We’ll know if a guy makes a move and gets five yards, or if he gets tackled and fumbles the ball or secures the ball,” he said last week. “It’ll look more like a true game on those snaps, because we’re going to let the quarterbacks play ball.”

- Clay Helton loves what he sees from the USC front seven, and it’ll need to carry the defense early.

It was a young defense last year, but seven starters return on that side, mostly in the front.

“This is a violent front seven. It really is,” Helton said. “Very hard to run the ball against, both scheme-wise and guys with a lot of experience and playing time. Our secondary is coming together. … The front is doing a wonderful job right now. We just need to shore up the secondary right now."

- Todd Graham has a unique description on what he wants out of his players.

“I don’t want you to have a great attitude, I don’t want you to give me great effort. I just want your best,” Graham said on the AP Top 25 podcast. “As an educator, I want to teach these men to have championship lives. I didn’t have a dad. Coaches were my dad. I had a championship mom, and these teachers and coaches changed my life. I’m getting paid to do this? Are you kidding me? This isn’t a job. This is a passion. How can I not pass that on?

“Our world is so distracted. You need clarity. What is it you believe in? Our players know what we believe in. You have to have belief in something, and it has to be clear what it is. Our deal, we want guys to be givers. It’s the greatest thing I can teach you in your life. If I said, ‘What would you die for?’ I pretty much probably already know. Probably your mom, your dad, your brother, your kids, your wife. I tell my players I love football, but I ain’t dying for it. I love the Sun Devils. I ain’t dying for it. If we can all come together in that regard, if not, it’s too difficult. Clarity creates focus. That’s spending your time on what’s important, and then you can execute something, you can have accountability.

“We want everyone that believes that way. Our coaches, I believe in the teacher model. It’s not ‘Catch the dang ball!’ That ain’t coaching. Our whole deal is we’re going to out-coach, out-teach, out-discipline. We have to beat UCLA, USC. That’s the path. We beat both of them in the same year, went to the championship. We’ve beat UCLA three of the last four, USC has beat us the last two and we beat them two times before that. So we’re doing fairly good, and I don’t know if that’s ever happened here. We have a very definitive plan to be successful, and that plan goes back to our core values."

- Chad Morris hopes to see patience pay off at one position this year.

“We were able to redshirt every offensive lineman we’ve signed since we’ve been here,” Morris said over the weekend. “We’re really starting to see, in year three, the fruits of that labor paying off. It’ll be interesting to watch these guys coming off redshirt years, a year on the scout team and be able to watch them. That’s probably the unit that has improved the most coming out of spring ball.”

The Mustangs have gone 2-10 and 5-7 in Morris’ first two years, and they return nine offensive starters. After Saturday’s spring game, a confident Morris told the crowd this would be SMU’s best team in a long time.

- American Athletic Conference Mike Aresco is confident in the conference’s future after avoiding Big 12 expansion and adding football-less Wichita State.

He noted the football success, both on the field and in TV ratings, and said a move up to a “Power 6 conference” remains the goal. The next step is basketball.

“That's where Wichita comes into play,” he told Sports Illustrated. “My feeling was if we weren't holding up our end of the bargain in basketball, it would be harder to claim that we were a P-6 conference. … We have coaches in place who are going to get it done. Gregg Marshall will be sitting around a table now with some coaches who have won national championships and gone to Final Fours.

“I think (a Power 6) is attainable. I really do. I think these schools have resources. We'll get a better TV deal. That's going to be key. In a few years, we're going to be negotiating. We've got the '17–'18, '18–'19 and '19–'20 seasons left to go, but we'll negotiate well before that. I think our guys have done more with less already."

- Clemson’s video on the making of their championship rings is incredible. Take a look.

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to