Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Tuesday 08/04 Quickie: Urban, Plax,
Sox-Rays, Maclin, Tiger, Walk-Offs, More

This was a weirdly slow morning in sports. I feel like today's brief Red Sox-Rays series in Tampa is the most interesting thing going on.

I led today's SN column with Urban Meyer -- for lots of reasons, but mainly because in college football (and perhaps college basketball), the elite coach is worth the money.

$4 million a year is nothing. Nothing compared to the revenue the program will bring in. Compared to the difference between 2 national titles in 3 years and bowl-eligibility. Compared to the scalable impact a great coach can have on their program.

Is there a number where the college coach's salary becomes ludicrous? I'm not sure there is. When Saban was hired at Alabama, the prudes kind of freaked. His impact on the program was undeniable (and fast). Now, he's not even the highest-paid coach in the SEC.

(If I was involved in today's ESPN.com gimmick of picking the Top 40 college football programs and putting themselves in their own elite conference, I would make "coach" a big factor -- or, alternatively, you'll see a correlation between coach and making the cut. It's a big reason I would urge Forde et al to put Northwestern -- and Pat Fitzgerald -- into the 40, even if Northwestern isn't a perennial Top 40 team... yet. I suspect Forde will have NU in his 40.)

$4 million for Urban Meyer is a bargain.

More you'll find in today's column:

*Plax: Shoulda copped a plea.
*Maclin good; Crabtree bad.
*The Pats get a backup QB!
*Sox-Rays: Series of the Week
*Big East football: Cincy-tastic!

Lots more where that came from. Check it out here. More later.

-- D.S.

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