While the college football world seemed consumed by the rumors of Lincoln Riley heading to LSU, Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby shared he wasn't fooled by it, taking a subtle shot at the Tigers.
"I really thought that there wasn't much credence to that because I just, I know what a fine guy Lincoln Riley is," Bowlsby said in a radio interview on Sirius/XM. "He's just an outstanding coach, obviously, but he's a high quality person and he is mature beyond his years.
"And so, you know, it was a little surprising that he jump ship (for USC), but I wasn't surprised that he wasn't interested in the LSU position because culturally that's just not what Lincoln Riley is."
What did shock Bowlsby, however, was Brian Kelly leaving Notre Dame for the Tigers. Between his yearly salary and bonuses, Kelly will be the highest paid coach at a public university, per contract details obtained by Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger. His yearly salary starts at $9 million in 2022, increasing to $9.2 million the following year and $200,000 every two years after that (2025, 2027, 2029) before reaching $10M in 2031.
But, Kelly will also receive a $500,000 “longevity bonus” each July of the contract year, and another $500,000 bonus each season when LSU is bowl eligible.
It's been a chaotic week on the coaching carousel as Florida hired Louisiana's Billy Napier to replace Dan Mullen, Riley shocked fans as he left Oklahoma for USC, Kelly abruptly departed for LSU and Virginia's Bronco Mendenhall announced Thursday he's stepping down after the Cavaliers' bowl game.
But with all of the departures have come hires. Troy brought back Kentucky co-defensive coordinator Jon Sumrall as its head coach while the Fighting Irish promoted defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman. Several members of the staff decided to stay behind when Kelly left, including offensive coordinator Tommy Rees.
Outside of many coaching moves, talks about College Football Playoff expansion were delayed once again after the committee met on Wednesday. The main obstacle still exists: there is no unanimous consensus on a specific format. Dellenger reported that they continued to argue over the number of teams (eight vs. 12) as well as the role of automatic qualifiers (no AQs vs. some AQs vs. AQs for Power 5 champions).
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