Les Miles was fired from his job as head coach of LSU football this week after a disappointing 2-2 start. With the LSU job vacated, we wanted to look around the world of college football and identify the 10 best jobs right now, factoring in salary, recruiting base, expectations and more. If I left out your team, just remember, it’s because I personally have a problem with you. To the list!
Yes, it comes with the pressure, and whoever one day takes over for Nick Saban (I suspect many years from now) will have impossible shoes to fill. But Alabama is able to reload on talent every year for a reason — it’s the best program in the country, it’s the king in a state with a large recruiting pool and the exposure to reach far beyond that pool, and its the biggest program in the state that cares the most about college football.
Though not quite the draw it once was, the University of Texas still is the big name in the state with the best high school football players in the country. If and when the Big 12 gets its issues sorted out, and Texas can get to its former level of greatness, it will be hard to argue there’s a better job in the country. Plus the $5 million in annual salary doesn’t hurt either.
A huge talent pool, a powerful alumni, and one of the best stadiums in college football history still make USC — despite recent hiccups — one of the most attractive jobs in the country.
The Tigers are aided, from a recruiting standpoint, as the home for talent in Louisiana, of which there is no small supply. Tulane, UL Monroe and UL Lafayette are all fine programs, but if you’re a top level talent in Louisiana, you want to be at Tiger Stadium. A rabid fanbase and a nice salary make this a job worth wanting, as well.
Georgia’s population, especially in and around Atlanta, has been growing for years, and this ever-growing talent base is chock full of kids who all want to play for the Bulldogs. Tap in living in Athens, one of the most beautiful small cities in the South, and you’ve got a job a ton of people would run through fire for.
6. Ohio State
The Buckeyes are still the pride of the Big Ten, the biggest recruiting power in the state of Ohio, and a program that expects to be in the national championship discussion every year. Plus you get the spotlight from the huge Michigan rivalry.
7. Florida State
Yes, they play in the ACC, but they’re still the big dogs in the state of Florida, and if you’re going to be in the ACC, you might as well be the best team in the ACC. Jimbo Fisher has the fifth-highest salary in college football as well, which doesn’t hurt anything.
Nike. Nike Nike Nike. The power of the world’s biggest athletic brand is behind this program, which has been able to rebrand itself as one of the most exciting, high flying, flashy programs in college football. Plus those jerseys. Those jerseys!
9. Texas A&M
The times are a-changing in the state of Texas. UT Austin may still be the big name, but for Texas high school football players who want the big spotlight of the SEC, A&M is the answer. Johhny Football, for all his latter day sins, brought this program into the national spotlight, and there it remains.
The only SEC team in the state of Florida. Yes, the Seminoles have dominated the state for some time, but the Gators will win out in the long haul — the massive success of the SEC Network means money will keep flowing in, and that will eventually translate on the field. (You’d think.)
(Hon. mentions: Michigan, Oklahoma, Tennessee, UCLA, Auburn, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Stanford.)
Source: USA Today Fan Sports Poll