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#pounditTuesday, October 4, 2022

College Football

Details on Paul Chryst’s buyout from Wisconsin revealed

Paul Chryst press conference

Paul Chryst was fired by Wisconsin on Sunday, a day after his Badgers lost badly at home to Illinois 34-10. Chryst’s firing comes less than a year after he received a 5-year contract extension in January.

Chryst’s buyout was supposed to be $19.5 million. According to The Athletic’s Matt Fortuna, Chryst agreed to a reduced buyout of $11 million.

Though that’s only 56 percent of his full buyout amount, it’s still quite a hefty sum.

Chryst’s Badgers played well below expectations this season. They lost at home to Washington State 17-14 in their second game. They got blitzed badly by Ohio State in their fourth game. And then they got embarrassed at home by Illinois on Saturday to drop to 2-3.

Chryst was in his eighth season at Wisconsin after three years at Pitt. He was 67-26 as the school’s head football coach, including a 6-1 record in bowl games.

Jimbo Fisher addresses relationship with Nick Saban

Jimbo Fisher at a press conference

Jul 16, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher addresses the media and answers questions during SEC football media day at the College Football Hall of Fame. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The public feud between Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher became the biggest story of the offseason in college football, and we are going to hear plenty about it heading into Saturday night’s game between Alabama and Texas A&M. What we should not expect is either coach to fuel the narrative.

Fisher on Monday was asked where his relationship with Saban stands. He said both coaches have “moved on” from whatever issues they had months ago.

“That’s over with,” Fisher said, per Tyler Shaw of KBTX 3. “He and I are in great shape and we’ve moved on.”

While speaking at a dinner party in Birmingham, Ala., back in May, Saban was critical of the way some programs have been violating Name, Image and Likeness rules. He singled out Texas A&M and said they “bought every player on their team.” Fisher responded by unloading on his former boss for being a “narcissist.” Fisher indicated at the time that he wants nothing to do with Saban anymore.

Fisher also spoke on Monday about how much he learned while working as an assistant under Saban.

“I’ve been around some successful people, so you learn a lot of things,” he said. “Nick’s just a tremendous coach, arguably people would say he’s one of the best ever or the best ever. That could very well be.”

That was not the first time Fisher backed down from his harsh comments about Saban.

Texas A&M is coming off a disappointing loss to Mississippi State. Alabama quarterback Bryce Young may not be able to play on Saturday because of a shoulder injury. You can understand why both Fisher and Saban want their players focusing all their attention on the task at hand.

Nick Saban brings back ‘rat poison’ ahead of Texas A&M game

Nick Saban in an Alabama shirt

Sep 11, 2021; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama coach Nick Saban was in an animated mood Monday as he discussed Bryce Young’s injury and the Crimson Tide’s upcoming game against Texas A&M.

Young’s injury was a major topic of conversation Monday at Saban’s press conference. Reporters sought clarity on the quarterback’s status ahead of next Saturday’s game.

The Alabama coach turned the topic to “rat poison” from the media, telling reporters to “make up whatever you want” relating to what Alabama’s offense might look like without Young.

For the uninitiated, Saban has long used the phrase “rat poison” to essentially represent media chatter that poses a distraction to his players or makes them complacent. The Alabama coach has brought up the phrase often, including before the season even started. In this instance, he does not want questions about Young’s status to prove distracting, or give his players an excuse for a poor performance.

Young, by the way, is still characterized as day-to-day after leaving Saturday’s game at Arkansas. Saban is going to keep everyone guessing on that one despite the speculation it will cause.

Mike Leach gave reporter some wedding advice

Mike Leach interviewed on the field

Mike Leach is known for having no filter, and one college football reporter decided to take advantage of that quality by seeking some advice from the Mississippi State coach on Saturday.

Alyssa Lang of SEC Network interviewed Leach on the field following Mississippi State’s big 42-24 win over Texas A&M. Lang informed the zany coach that she is in the process of planning a wedding with her husband, Trevor. She asked if Leach has any advice, and he basically told her to stop planning.

“Whatever you and Trevor decide, I would kind of keep it on the down low, which you’ve failed to do that,” Leach said. “Trevor was probably planning to, but you didn’t. Don’t say anything about it, but as soon as the season’s over, or even an off-week, go elope. Trust me on that. Go elope, because basically every female in the family is gonna terrorize you guys until it’s over. Once it’s over, they’ll be upset for a few days, but it’ll be over and you cruise along and have a happy marriage and a happy life.”

You can see the funny exchange below:

Leach’s advice was not all that surprising. Keep in mind he has three daughters, so he speaks from experience. This is not the first time Leach has shared his hilarious thoughts on wedding planning.

Jimbo Fisher on the hot seat at Texas A&M?

Jimbo Fisher at a press conference

Jul 16, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher addresses the media and answers questions during SEC football media day at the College Football Hall of Fame. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Texas A&M was ranked as one of the top teams in the country before the 2022 season began, but they have officially dropped out of the AP Top 25 following their latest loss. If the Aggies continue to fall short of expectations, Jimbo Fisher may find himself looking for a new job.

Paul Finebaum told ESPN colleague Matt Barrie on Sunday that Fisher’s massive buyout does not necessarily give the coach job security. Fisher would be owed more than $90 million if fired without cause. Finebaum said he spoke with some high-ranking Texas A&M officials at a dinner last week and was led to believe the buyout is not a major issue.

“They’ve got a lot of issues. The buyout is about $90 million,” Finebaum said. “I spoke at a dinner a week ago in Dallas the night before the Arkansas game, and these are the top A&M people including the president … these guys don’t fool around. You know Texas. A $90 million buyout? That doesn’t faze these guys.

“They’re embarrassed right now. They’ve lost to Mississippi State for the second year in a row. There’s no telling what the score’s gonna be like Saturday night in Tuscaloosa.”

Texas A&M was dominated by Mississippi State on Saturday in a 42-24 game that never felt close. The Aggies have fallen to 3-2 on the season, with their previous loss coming at home against Appalachian State.

Fisher secured the No. 1 recruiting class in the country this past year, so one line of thinking is that he needs a year or two for that to play out. Texas A&M boosters could save a lot of money if they are patient with the 56-year-old coach, but it sounds like the results need to be a lot better the rest of the way.

Fisher seems to think Texas A&M has a problem that is easily fixable. Unfortunately for him, he has to try to make that fix on the road against No. 1-ranked Alabama.

Wisconsin RB sends strong message about Paul Chryst firing

Paul Chryst press conference

Wisconsin running back Braelon Allen sent a strong message on Sunday regarding the Paul Chryst firing.

Wisconsin fired Chryst a day after the Badgers lost at home to Illinois 34-10. Allen is the team’s star running back and had just 8 yards on 2 carries in the defeat.

“Anyone who wanted Coach Chryst gone isn’t a part of this team,” Allen wrote on Twitter hours after the news of the firing came out.

That is a pretty strong message of support for the fired head coach.

Allen, a sophomore, has 499 yards and 6 touchdowns this season. Now he will be performing under interim head coach Jim Leonhard.

The message from Allen shows just how much the players seemed to like Chryst and believe in him. And why wouldn’t they? Chryst was 67-26 in his time at Wisconsin and 6-1 in bowl games. The Badgers played in the Rose Bowl under him as recently as 2019. Sure, they couldn’t rise to the level of being a CFP team, they did a lot of winning under Chryst.

Paul Chryst fired as Wisconsin head coach

Paul Chryst press conference

The Wisconsin Badgers have made a major coaching change after a disappointing start to the 2022 season.

The Badgers fired head coach Paul Chryst on Sunday, according to multiple reports. Defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard will take over as the interim head coach.

The Badgers will owe Chryst $16.4 million if he is fired without cause, making this a very costly firing on Wisconsin’s part.

Chryst had been the coach at Wisconsin since 2015, and few would have put him on the hot seat prior to the season. He posted a 67-26 record at the school, but a 2-3 start to the 2022 season simply was not acceptable from the school’s point of view.

The Wisconsin job should attract some high-profile names, depending on how the school handles the search. Leonhard, who has been linked to high-profile NFL jobs, could be a candidate to get the gig full-time as well.

Karl Dorrell firing by Colorado surprises for 1 reason

Karl Dorrell at a press conference

The Colorado Buffaloes are in the hunt for a new head coach after firing Karl Dorrell on Sunday. Though Dorrell’s results were terrible this season, his firing still comes as a surprise for one reason.

Dorrell’s Buffaloes started this season 0-5, culminating in Saturday’s 43-20 loss to Arizona. They had been outscored by over 20 points in every game. In fact, the 23-point loss to Arizona was their closest margin of defeat this season.

Colorado had their eye on firing Dorrell for a few weeks, but they seemed to be holding off because of the coach’s buyout. Dorrell was owed $11.4 million as a buyout, minus compensation he’s already earned in 2022, if he was fired prior to the new year. Once you substract the compensation he’s already been paid for this year, Dorrell’s buyout dropped to around $8.5 million.

Had Colorado waited until 2023 to fire Dorrell, the buyout would have dropped by $3.6 million.

Dorrell was hired in 2020 to replace Mel Tucker, and signed a five-year contract to take over the Buffaloes. His first season was encouraging, as the team went 4-2 and made an appearance in the Alamo Bowl. Colorado dropped to 4-8 in 2021. This year’s ugly 0-5 start sealed his fate.

Colorado might have a tough time attracting a high-profile candidate for the job, with the football program viewed as middling and the Pac-12 facing a murky future. Despite that, they clearly felt that they could not go on with Dorrell any longer.

In addition to Dorrell, Colorado fired defensive coordinator Chris Wilson. Mike Sanford is the interim head coach and Gerald Chatman will be in the interim defensive coordinator.

Jimbo Fisher tries to explain Texas A&M’s issues

Jimbo Fisher at a press conference

Jul 16, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher addresses the media and answers questions during SEC football media day at the College Football Hall of Fame. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Jimbo Fisher is Texas A&M’s $9 million man, but he’s not coaching like it this year.

The Aggies lost 42-24 to Mississippi State on Saturday to fall to 3-2 on the season. A&M also lost at home to Appalachian State 17-14 in their second game.

The Aggies’ offense has struggled all season. But Fisher doesn’t think his scheme is the problem. Rather, he believes they have an execution problem.

Fisher has been harping on the execution theme. He also mentioned it earlier in the week.

Execution was a problem. The Aggies threw two interceptions and lost two fumbles. You’re not going to win many conference games turning the ball over four times.

Texas A&M faces Alabama next week, which is likely to make them .500 at 3-3. Max Johnson has a hand injury too, which means they may be going back to Haynes King at quarterback. Things are not looking so hot for Jimbo and his boys.

LSU shares update on status of Sevyn Banks

Sevyn Banks down on the field

LSU shared an update Saturday night on the status of Sevyn Banks, who was carted off the field after the opening play in LSU’s 21-17 win at Auburn.

Banks hurt his head while making the tackle on the opening kickoff.

The senior cornerback was placed on a stretcher and carted off the field.

Not only did Banks not return to the game due to his injury, but he was actually ejected for targeting.

The Tigers fell behind 17-0 in the second quarter but rallied with 21 unanswered points to win the game.

LSU issued a statement about Banks after the victory.

“Sevyn Banks was taken to a local hospital following an injury on the first play of tonight’s game,” the statement began. “After a series of tests, he was alert and mobile. He has been cleared to leave the hospital and will return to the stadium under the care of team doctors.”

Banks, a transfer from Ohio State, was seen walking and in a neck brace after the win.