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On the Best Way to Prepare Crow and the Cost of a New Husker Head Coach

Sometimes, throwing money at the problem IS the best solution.

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Crow Kebabs

Did you know that there are sites on the interwebz dedicated to preparing crow to eat?  Apparently, boiled in salt water or roasted on a skewer with tomatoes and onions are the preferred ways.  Good to know, because I've got some major crow to eat this week.

Last week I urged Husker fans to slow their roll with the "Fire Bo Pelini" rhetoric.  I opened with this gem:

HuskerNation needs to take a deep breath and try see the big picture here.  Your Nebraska Cornhuskers are 8-2 with 2 regular season games left.  A decent, but far from great, Minnesota team is coming to Lincoln next Saturday and then it's a road trip to Iowa City to face a bad Iowa team.  It's possible, no, likely that Nebraska will finish the regular season at 10-2.

At this point it's become clear to me that the 2014 Huskers, sans Ameer Abdullah, are an average offense at best.  And today we can add a head injury to Kenny Bell as a complicating factor.  The Minnesota Gophers got the best of us, and the trip to Iowa City to face a 'bad' Iowa Hawkeye squad looks more and more daunting.

I believe I'll have crow kebabs tonight.

Moving on....

I had an epiphany as I listened to the Big Red Overreaction Show tonight.  A caller made a cogent point that this wasn't 2003 and that the coaching environment had changed so much in 11 years that a coach could be fired after 8 or 9 wins without causing irreparable harm to the football program.

The key to doing so successfully is money.  Lots and lots of money.

If Nebraska is going to break out of this Groundhog Day cycle of 9-4 seasons with wins over lesser teams and losses to higher profile teams, there has to be a coaching change.  Bo has already demonstrated that he is uncomfortable with looking outside the program for new coordinators.  A new coaching staff, head to toe, is the way to break out of this cycle.

Firing a numerically successful coach is a risky decision, and Shawn Eichorst needs to have his ducks in a row if he's going to go through with it.  And one of those ducks is to have support to pay a new coach big money to come to Lincoln.

When I say big money, I mean the kind of money that starts with a 5 and ends with six zeros.

About $5,000,000 in base salary and bonus money is the kind of contract that could make a coach ignore the fact that his predecessor won roughly 75% of his games and still got fired.

About $5,000,000 would put Nebraska head coaching job near the top of the Big Ten in compensation, behind Mark Dantonio at $5.6M and just ahead of Urban Meyer at $4.6M.

About $5,000,000 would be sufficient to lure a successful coach away from another Power Five conference school and make the new coach among the Top 5 highest paid in the nation, according to USA Today.

Currently, Bo Pelini makes $3.1M, which is the #24 highest paid in the country and #5 in the Big Ten behind Dantonio, Meyer, James Franklin, and Kirk (The Buyout) Ferentz.

Franklin was the most recently hired, so his contract is a good indicator of the lower limit that a new coach in the Big Ten would cost.  So, $4.3M is the absolute least that Nebraska should expect to pay.  The upper limit is held by Nick Saban at $7.2M.  Considering that Saban is probably the only coach in America who can command that kind of money, the upper limit is probably Dantonio's $5.6M, the 2nd highest in the country.

So there we have it.

The only way the Huskers will break out of this purgatory is with a new coaching head coach.  That head coach will cost somewhere between $4.6M and $5.6M.  Is Shawn Eichorst prepared to offer that kind of money?  Only Shawn Eichorst knows the answer to that, and he's not talking.

In case you're wondering what it will take to bring your coach-of-choice to Lincoln, here's the 2014 FBS pay chart from USA Today.

Rank Coach School Conf Total Compensation
1 Nick Saban Alabama SEC $7,160,187
2 Mark Dantonio Michigan State Big Ten $5,636,145
3 Bob Stoops Oklahoma Big 12 $5,058,333
4 Kevin Sumlin Texas A&M SEC $5,006,000
5 Charlie Strong Texas Big 12 $5,000,270
6 Urban Meyer Ohio State Big Ten $4,536,640
7 Les Miles LSU SEC $4,369,582
8 James Franklin Penn State Big Ten $4,300,000
9 Kirk Ferentz Iowa Big Ten $4,075,000
10 Steve Spurrier South Carolina SEC $4,016,900
11 Gary Patterson Texas Christian Big 12 $4,008,150
12 Gus Malzahn Auburn SEC $3,854,500
13 Chris Petersen Washington PAC-12 $3,681,720
14 Jimbo Fisher Florida State ACC $3,591,667
15 Mike Gundy Oklahoma State Big 12 $3,500,000
16 Gary Pinkel Missouri SEC $3,400,000
17 Mark Richt Georgia SEC $3,314,000
18 Rich Rodriguez Arizona PAC-12 $3,298,500
19 Jim Mora UCLA PAC-12 $3,250,000
20 Bret Bielema Arkansas SEC $3,214,000
21 Dabo Swinney Clemson ACC $3,175,100
22 Art Briles Baylor Big 12 $3,135,146
23 Dana Holgorsen West Virginia Big 12 $3,080,000
24 Bo Pelini Nebraska Big Ten $3,077,646
25 Hugh Freeze Mississippi SEC $3,018,000
26 Dan Mullen Mississippi State SEC $3,000,000
27 Bobby Petrino Louisville ACC $3,000,000
28 Butch Jones Tennessee SEC $2,960,000
29 Bill Snyder Kansas State Big 12 $2,900,000
30 Brady Hoke Michigan Big Ten $2,856,000
31 Mike Leach Washington State PAC-12 $2,750,000
32 Will Muschamp Florida SEC $2,731,000
33 Todd Graham Arizona State PAC-12 $2,702,960
34 Mark Stoops Kentucky SEC $2,701,600
35 Frank Beamer Virginia Tech ACC $2,660,913
36 Kliff Kingsbury Texas Tech Big 12 $2,605,300
37 Paul Johnson Georgia Tech ACC $2,590,500
38 Charlie Weis Kansas Big 12 $2,500,000
39 Pat Fitzgerald Northwestern Big Ten $2,480,967
40 Mike London Virginia ACC $2,303,599
41 Gary Andersen Wisconsin Big Ten $2,285,000
42 Al Golden Miami ACC $2,250,943
43 Tommy Tuberville Cincinnati AAC $2,200,000
44 Kyle Whittingham Utah PAC-12 $2,200,000
45 Jerry Kill Minnesota Big Ten $2,100,000
46 Darrell Hazell Purdue Big Ten $2,090,000
47 Randy Edsall Maryland Big Ten $2,033,880
48 June Jones Southern Methodist AAC $2,019,718
49 David Shaw Stanford PAC-12 $2,012,666
50 Mike MacIntyre Colorado PAC-12 $2,010,150
51 Mark Helfrich Oregon PAC-12 $2,000,000
52 Tim Beckman Illinois Big Ten $1,950,250
53 David Cutcliffe Duke ACC $1,840,341
54 Larry Fedora North Carolina ACC $1,830,000
55 Paul Rhoads Iowa State Big 12 $1,808,025
56 Sonny Dykes California PAC-12 $1,808,000
57 George O'Leary Central Florida AAC $1,800,000
58 Dave Doeren North Carolina State ACC $1,800,000
59 Paul Chryst Pittsburgh ACC $1,578,757
60 Ken Niumatalolo Navy Ind. $1,574,810
61 Mike Riley Oregon State PAC-12 $1,510,008
62 Jim McElwain Colorado State Mt. West $1,500,000
63 Bob Diaco Connecticut AAC $1,500,000
64 Brian Kelly Notre Dame Ind. $1,457,284
65 Tim DeRuyter Fresno State Mt. West $1,435,000
66 Kevin Wilson Indiana Big Ten $1,301,644
67 Ruffin McNeill East Carolina AAC $1,252,500
68 Willie Taggart South Florida AAC $1,182,000
69 Tony Levine Houston AAC $1,025,300
70 Justin Fuente Memphis AAC $1,006,779
71 Mark Hudspeth Louisiana-Lafayette Sun Belt $1,003,156
72 Bryan Harsin Boise State Mt. West $1,000,004
73 Kyle Flood Rutgers Big Ten $987,000
74 Troy Calhoun Air Force Mt. West $892,750
75 Curtis Johnson Tulane AAC $867,000
76 Bobby Hauck Nevada-Las Vegas Mt. West $850,000
77 Jeff Monken Army Ind. $834,667
78 Craig Bohl Wyoming Mt. West $832,000
79 Rick Stockstill Middle Tennessee State CUSA $803,129
80 Rocky Long San Diego State Mt. West $802,000
81 Bob Davie New Mexico Mt. West $783,690
82 David Bailiff Rice CUSA $780,243
83 Bill Blankenship Tulsa AAC $759,436
84 Dan McCarney North Texas CUSA $711,600
85 Todd Monken Southern Mississippi CUSA $700,000
86 Blake Anderson Arkansas State Sun Belt $700,000
87 Norm Chow Hawaii Mt. West $620,500
88 Doc Holliday Marshall CUSA $609,820
89 Jeff Brohm Western Kentucky CUSA $600,000
90 Matt Wells Utah State Mt. West $576,434
91 Brian Polian Nevada Mt. West $575,000
92 Frank Solich Ohio MAC $554,500
93 Ron Turner Florida International CUSA $551,000
94 Ron Caragher San Jose State Mt. West $525,000
95 Larry Blakeney Troy Sun Belt $518,788
96 Trent Miles Georgia State Sun Belt $510,000
97 Skip Holtz Louisiana Tech CUSA $510,000
98 Sean Kugler Texas-El Paso CUSA $508,364
99 Pete Lembo Ball State MAC $503,500
100 Bill Clark Alabama at Birmingham CUSA $500,000
101 Charlie Partridge Florida Atlantic CUSA $500,000
102 Bobby Wilder Old Dominion CUSA $486,010
103 Matt Campbell Toledo MAC $482,537
104 Joey Jones South Alabama Sun Belt $471,000
105 Mark Whipple Massachusetts MAC $450,000
106 Chuck Martin Miami (Ohio) MAC $450,000
107 Chris Creighton Eastern Michigan MAC $425,000
108 Terry Bowden Akron MAC $406,000
109 Dino Babers Bowling Green MAC $405,000
110 Larry Coker Texas-San Antonio CUSA $402,150
111 Rod Carey Northern Illinois MAC $401,500
112 Dennis Franchione Texas State Sun Belt $401,200
113 Paul Petrino Idaho Sun Belt $400,011
114 Willie Fritz Georgia Southern Sun Belt $400,000
115 P.J. Fleck Western Michigan MAC $392,500
116 Paul Haynes Kent State MAC $383,700
117 Jeff Quinn Buffalo MAC $380,210
118 Doug Martin New Mexico State Sun Belt $377,044
119 Dan Enos Central Michigan MAC $360,000
120 Todd Berry Louisiana-Monroe Sun Belt $358,250
121 Scott Satterfield Appalachian State Sun Belt $225,000