Michigan's Jim Harbaugh is college football's highest-paid coach, per USA Today's updated database


Michigan's Jim Harbaugh is college football's highest-paid coach, per USA Today's updated database

The highest-paid coach in college football?

It's no longer Nick Saban.

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh is the highest-paid college football coach, according to USA Today's salaries list, the always-useful tool which was updated for the 2016 season on Wednesday.

According to the list, Harbaugh will make $9.004 million this year, an increase of $2 million from the last time the list was updated.

Saban, who's led Alabama to four national championships since arriving ahead of the 2007 season, gets paid $6,939,395 this year.

Why is Harbaugh's pay so much higher than the next highest-paid coach? You might remember Harbaugh's renegotiated contract from earlier this season. If you don't, USA Today provided a helpful explanation of that somewhat-confusing deal.

School pay includes two in what are essentially a series of $2 million interest-free loans that Harbaugh will receive. He received the first of these loans on June 3, 2016; he will receive the second only if he remains head coach on Dec. 6, 2016. The compensation actually is in the form of an annual life insurance premium payment by the university, which is entitled to reimbursement from the policy's death benefits.

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer came in at No. 3 on the list with his $6.0948 million in 2016. Three other Big Ten coaches ranked in the top 15: Penn State's James Franklin at No. 10 ($4.5 million), Iowa's Kirk Ferentz ($4.5 million) and Michigan State's Mark Dantonio ($4.3 million).

The Big Ten has the second highest median coach's salary among the college football conference at $3,540,788. The median SEC coach's salary is significantly higher at $4,172,500.

Here's where all the Big Ten coaches landed on USA Today's list.

1. Jim Harbaugh, Michigan: $9,004,000
3. Urban Meyer, Ohio State: $6,094,800
10. James Franklin, Penn State: $4,500,000
11. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa: $4,500,000
14. Mark Dantonio, Michigan State: $4,300,000
28. Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern: $3,350,638
42. Mike Riley, Nebraska: $2,800,000
43. Paul Chryst, Wisconsin: $2,706,200
46. DJ Durkin, Maryland: $2,412,000
50. Kevin Wilson, Indiana: $2,320,000
53. Darrell Hazell, Purdue: $2,190,000
57. Chris Ash, Rutgers: $2,000,000
60. Lovie Smith, Illinois: $1,809,179
68. Tracy Claeys, Minnesota: $1,400,000

Why to watch: Naperville North vs. Lyons Township Tale of the Tape

Why to watch: Naperville North vs. Lyons Township Tale of the Tape

Matchup: No. 19 Lyons Township (7-2) at No. 14 Naperville North (8-1)

Where to watch: Live broadcast on CSN at 7 p.m., plus a live stream available on CSNChicago.com and the NBC Sports app.

Overview: This Class 8A showdown features teams from two of the top largest public school conferences in Illinois. Lyons Township and head coach Kurt Weinberg fired off six straight wins to start the 2016 season (including an impressive, 28-14, road win over Glenbard West) before dropping two straight games in Weeks 7 and 8 to Hinsdale Central (28-21) and Oak Park-River Forest (27-3). Naperville North and head coach Sean Drendel posted a 2-7 record last season. However, the Huskies welcomed back 18 returning starters this fall. The Huskies only loss this season was to Neuqua Valley (35-20) back in Week 6.

When Lyons Township has the football: The Lions will look to expand the field with both the pass and run, via its no-huddle shotgun spread offense. Junior quarterback Ben Bryant is already drawing FBS scholarship offers and has several weapons including senior wide receiver Hasahn Austin, junior wide receiver Nate Rusk and junior running back Reggie Terrell Jr. Lyons Township also features a big offensive line. 

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When Naperville North has the football: The Huskies will look to establish thunder and lightning in the backfield with senior running backs Cross Robinson and Eric Wright. Then, mix in Naperville North's play-action passing game, led by senior quarterback Luke Cegles, junior wide receiver Nick Calcagno and senior wide receiver Mitch Lewis (6-foot-6, 220 pounds). North also has a good size and experience on the offensive line.

Key matchups to watch: The Naperville North offensive line vs. the Lyons Township defensive line. Naperville North wants to run the ball and also control the clock. The Lions defensive line is very good. Keep an eye on senior Andrew Ezell and junior Mickey Brown. Also, how well can the Naperville North secondary handle the spread passing attack from Lyons? Naperville North has an experienced secondary, led by seniors Cam Hardy and Grant Ericksen. This group will be tested by a speedy group of Lyons receivers and backs..

Impact player for Lyons Township: Bryant. He is an experienced signal-caller who can take over a game when he's on.

Impact players for Naperville North: Robinson and Wright. The Huskies backfield has been special. according to those in and around the Huskies program.

Prediction: Naperville North 28, Lyons Township 21. The keys here will be (1) time of possession for Naperville North and (2) which team wins the turnover battle. I fully expect this to be a close game from start to finish, but I'll give the nod to the home team here.