Two. That’s the only number you need to know about in this weekend’s Baton Rouge super regional between LSU and upstart Stony Brook.
Two and you’re through, either through for the season or through to Omaha and the promised land of the College World Series.
Across campus at the LSU Board of Supervisors meeting — where parking should be considerably easier to come by — there will be other numbers at play.
Numbers with zeroes, lots of zeroes, as the board considers contracts for football and men’s basketball.
In football, LSU is making a play for what it hopes will be long-term deals with defensive coordinator John Chavis and recruiting coordinator/running backs coach Frank Wilson.
Chavis has molded LSU’s defense into an increasingly fearsome unit since he arrived in 2009, and clearly LSU coach Les Miles wants him to stay. The plan is for Chavis’ pay to go from $700,000 currently to $900,000 this season, then to $1.1 million in 2013 and $1.3 million in 2014.
And just think what a stir it was in 2000 when LSU made Nick Saban its first $1 million head coach for the now bargain sum of $1.2 million per year.
There are undoubtedly concerns that Chavis could be lured back home to Tennessee, his alma mater, if current coach and former LSU assistant Derek Dooley is eventually ousted. The plan at LSU is that Chavis won’t be easily lured anywhere else.
The same is true for Wilson, the man whose recruiting skills have fed the talented engine that Miles and Chavis drive. Wilson’s pay would go from $325,000 to $550,000 this fall to $650,000 by 2014, a princely sum that would carry with it the added tag of associate head coach. Again, the hope is nothing but a BCS-caliber coordinator or head coaching position could pry Wilson away.
Offensive coordinator Greg Studrawa would go from $300,000 to $500,000 by 2014, but former offensive coordinator and current quarterbacks coach Steve Kragthorpe would go from $700,000 now to $400,000 this fall, with step increases back to $440,000 by 2014. This is an unfortunate but necessary cut in pay for Kragthorpe since he had to relinquish his play-calling duties before last season when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. There was simply no way to justify paying him more than Studrawa if “Coach Stud” will continue calling the plays.
As for basketball, the long-awaited contract for Johnny Jones calls for $1.1 million per season, a full $400,000 less than what former coach Trent Johnson was making. Overall, the basketball staff is coming in at $300,000 less than Johnson’s old staff, but their combined salaries don’t include what a replacement for the suddenly departed Shawn Forrest will be paid.
Jones, by the way, is eligible for up to $600,000 in postseason and academic bonuses.
The contracts are likely to be approved, and quickly, so everyone can get back to focusing on the numbers coming out of Alex Box.