Hello SOTGC Community,
Sun Devils, Fighting Irish, Wildcats – no, it’s not the start of a “guy walks into a bar” joke – college football season is here! This weekend is the first full-fledged weekend of the 2016-17 college football season. We have some pointers to help you survive small talk during the season.
A quick background:
- College football regular season consists of 12 games.
- There are 10 college football conferences (and four independent, non-conference teams), encompassing 128 of the nation’s best teams, that are eligible to play for the national championship. The conference acronyms might sound familiar – ACC, AAC, Big 10, Big 12, Conference USA, MWC, MAC, Pac 12, Sun Belt and SEC.
- The “power five conferences” (ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Pac 12, SEC) bring in considerable revenue, mostly due to lucrative TV deals.
- Rivalries are huge! Many big battles are between in-state rivals but some like Michigan-Ohio State, Army-Navy or Oklahoma-Texas have a lasting hatred that goes back generations.
Show me the money. The universities aren’t the only ones getting paid in college football. Many college head coaches make as much if not more than most NFL head coaches. The average head coach annual salary of the top 10 NFL teams is $6.9 M, with the top salary at $8 M. The top four highest paid coaches in college are:
- Nick Saban (Alabama) $7.9 M
- Jim Harbaugh (Michigan Wolverines) $7.04 M
- Urban Meyer (Ohio State Buckeyes) $5.86 M
- Bob Stoops (Oklahoma Sooners) $5.4 M
Don’t worry most college coaches’ salaries come out of ticket sales and TV contracts not tuition.
Pay your dues. Like an unpaid internship, it’s necessary to put in the time to grow in your career. College football players do not officially get paid either. Although with universities bringing in big money from football, the debate over paying athletes is omnipresent. This is a highly complicated subject with no easy answer. Each university can offer a limited number of full-ride athletic scholarships. The scholarship players receive a cost of attendance (COA) stipend, which is intended to assist them with outside school expenses (i.e., food, gas and off campus activities). It has been reported that Alabama has the highest COA for its players – $4,000 for out-of-state players and $3,500 for in-state players per year.
What happens on the sidelines shouldn’t be overlooked. The next president, CEO or ground breaker might be there leading the crowd. Three former U.S. Presidents were college cheerleaders (Roosevelt, Eisenhower and Reagan) as were Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Katie Couric, media mogul Aaron Spelling, Samuel L. Jackson and Meryl Streep. We didn’t forget about the marching band. Steven Spielberg, Alan Greenspan, Jennifer Garner, Lionel Richie and Bill Clinton all marched to be beat of the drum.
Early bird catches the worm. Remember when you’d get up early on Saturdays to watch cartoons? We’d be remiss if we talked about college football and didn’t mention ESPN College GameDay – the football fan’s version of Saturday morning cartoons. The show has become one of the biggest traditions in college football where the GameDay crew hosts their live sports talk show from the location of the weekend’s biggest college football game. It’s all about sports but they make it fun with special alumni guests, mascots and huge crowds holding hilarious signs. The show starts early, especially if you’re on the west coast, at 9 am EST on ESPN.
Let’s kickoff the season!
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