Further Review

Steve Hummer's Further Review blog offers comments, asides and quick hits on the state of sports

Alabama puts new premium on strength

Just how good is strength and conditioning coach Scott Cochran, the man Alabama seemed most intent upon keeping safe from Kirby Smart’s clutches?

Well, Cochran put an off-the-field coaching position – once a job that mainly consisted of yelling, “One more rep, Sally!” – on a strict program and bulked it up into a half-a-million-dollar-a-year gig.

Now that is some serious muscling up.

It was presumed that when Georgia hired Smart as its new head coach, he would bring along his buddy from the Alabama weight room.

Fearing that the Crimson Tide roster suddenly would be unable to unscrew the lid on pickle jar let alone lift another championship trophy, Alabama presumably threw some more money at Cochran. Monday’s announcement that he was staying put came with projections that his salary would move into the $500,000-a-year neighborhood.

The new strength test at Alabama: How many times can you bench the strength coach’s wallet.

Cochran obviously is very good at what he does. Just look at Alabama’s record as well as its habit of taking possession of the line of scrimmage. That doesn’t come from just doing 12-ounce curls at Bob Baumhower’s sports bar.

Some have pointed out that Alabama’s strength and conditioning guy now stands to make more than the head coaches at places like Georgia Southern, Toledo and Bowling Green. Sorry boys, that’s just life. The VP of Looking Busy at some Fortune 500 company likely makes more than the CEO of a three-man food truck, too.

Of course, when the keeper of the barbells can command a half-mil, there is way too much money being generated by college football. But we all knew that already, didn’t we? Scott Cochran just happened to come along in a golden age.

The bottom line is that Georgia still needs to get bigger and stouter. Hopefully there is someone else out there in this big, wide world who can teach a young player the complex science of the squat.

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About the Author

Steve Hummer writes sports features for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He covers a wide range of sports and topics.