News, Notes & Quotes - Dec. 8

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Thursday December 08, 2016

- With Willie Taggart to Oregon, all of the Power 5 jobs are filled… for now.

Baylor, Indiana, LSU, Oregon, Purdue and Texas are the only P5 schools to make a change. Indiana and LSU promoted from within, Baylor and Texas hired AAC coaches, and Purdue hired a Conference USA coach.

Last year, of the 29 head coaching changes, 14 were at the P5 level, but that included Missouri and Minnesota changing due to health issues.

There can always be late changes. Illinois made a change weeks before spring ball last year. Art Briles was dismissed in the summer amid the sexual assault scandal. And there’s always the NFL. At the Group of 5 level, Southern Miss’ Todd Monken left for the NFL near Signing Day last year. There’s always the possibility of a coach leaving for the NFL or another unforeseen change.

- We’ve got an idea at what LSU is willing to pay for its offensive coordinator.

Dave Aranda’s new contract pays him $1.8 million in 2017. By comparison, John Chavis was the nation’s highest-paid assistant in 2016 at $1.55 million.

LSU is saving money by reportedly paying Ed Orgeron less than $4 million, and that will go toward building Orgeron’s staff. The LSU assistant salary pool of $5.7 million in 2016 was tops in the nation.

It’s no secret Orgeron wants to hire Lane Kiffin, who made $1.4 million at Alabama this year. If they do, that salary is likely to increase. Could LSU have the two highest-paid assistants in the country in 2017?

- Dan Mullen was reportedly a finalist for the Oregon job, and now appears in line for another extension.

Mullen has been in the mix for jobs for years, but he keeps winning at Mississippi State. This 5-7 season featured three losses on the final play and will still end in a bowl.

Mullen currently earns $4.2 million. He’s annually received an extension throughout his tenure, due to state laws limiting the length, but he didn’t receive one last year. Now he has a new AD in baseball coach John Cohen. Many questioned if Mullen could continue to win without Dak Prescott this year. It may not be 10 wins every year, but the future looks good with QB Nick Fitzgerald. 

"I don't like commenting on other jobs; I've had several schools reach out to me this year," Mullen told The Clarion-Ledger. "I'm very happy at Mississippi State, and I think we're working on an extension for me to stay there."

- Tom Herman tweeted a photo of his new business card at Texas compared to his GA card at UT with a strong message.

“To all the GAs out there grinding away, keep working hard. Dreams can come true.”

At his press conference, Herman recounted his time as a GA: “I think, as a graduate assistant, you try to keep your mouth shut, work really hard. If they tell you to make 10 copies, you make 12. If they tell you to bring a pencil, you bring three. You try to do the very best you can while learning and soaking it in. My job was to facilitate and make coaches’ jobs easier, as a graduate assistant coach, but I also took it upon myself to learn lessons in how to be a head coach.”

- Alabama has a mass exodus of quarterbacks.

Blake Barnett transferred early in the season, and Cooper Bateman and David Cornwell now intend to transfer. That’s three top-5 QB recruits leaving the program.

This is what happens when true freshman Jalen Hurts wins the job, but it suddenly leaves the Tide incredibly thin at the position moving forward.

The only other QB on the roster right now is freshman Montana Murphy. In the 2017 recruiting class, Alabama has 4-star pro-style QB Mac Jones and 4-star dual-threat QB Tua Tagovailoa.

They also might have a new QB coach next year.

- Texas A&M wants QB Conner McQueen to be named the Holder of the Year. A hype video for a holder? You bet.

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