In football, what is a slot back?

A slot back is basically a slot receiver who lines up in the backfield.

This page is pretty instructional.…

It says:
"The flanker can also become a slot receiver or slot back. If he’s positioned between the split end and a tackle, his name changes. The coach can take out a tight end, making a slot back the third receiver, attempting to create mismatches with the defense. But even in a standard set that includes a tight end, the receiver can line up between the split end and the tackle and be called a slot back. This gives him a few steps running start before the defender can smack him one."

Wikipedia says a slot back is:
"A receiver lining up in the offensive back field. Canadian and Arena football allow them to take a running start at the line. They are usually larger players as they need to make catches over the middle. In American football slot backs are typically used in flexbone or other triple option offenses while Canadian football uses them in almost all formations."…

2009 College Football Season: What are Toby Gerhart's chances of winning the Heisman Trophy this year?

I think he gets invited to NYC but doesn't win the trophy.  Objectively, I believe he was the most consistently dominating performer in college football this year thus deserves the award.   However, the Pac 10's TV deal limited his exposure and he lacked the pre and early season hype that gets voters to follow him closely all season long.   Voters also love Heismans from NC contenders which Stanford is not.

Where is the best place in San Francisco to watch college football?

If you're looking for a rowdy, collegial atmosphere, try the Bus Stop on Union Street. They have a dozen TV's on all walls of a large room, and on busy Saturdays each TV is often showing a different game. As a result, you get little pockets of fans arrayed around the room, cheering very loudly and at totally different times, depending on the game they're following. Get ready to face crowds.…

2009 College Football Season: What was Colt McCoy's injury in the BCS Championship game?

"McCoy told after the game he had a pinched nerve in his right shoulder. He said his arm felt like a "noodle" and had no strength."…

Why has no recent football coach (Weis, Willingham, Davie) been able to achieve sustained success at Notre Dame?

Notre Dame has actual minimum academic requirements that even apply to football players. For students intending to enter the College of Arts and Letters or the Mendoza College of Business, excluding the Arts and Letters, the premedical / predental program and the combined Arts-Engineering program,the 16 required units must be distributed as follows:

  • 4 units of English
  • 3 units of math, including Algebra, Advanced Algebra, and Geometry
  • 2 units of foreign language
  • 2 units of history
  • 3 units of additional history, science, foreign language, mathematics, and English courses

In addition, ND generally does not redshirt.

Why these would be bigger disadvantages now than before I don't know. One possibility is that redshirting became more common at other schools. Another is that perhaps the academic requirements are for some reason ruling out more top players than 30 years ago.

Which college coaches have been most successful making the transition to the NFL?

I agree with Quora User that Jimmy Johnson is probably the most successful since he won two Super Bowls. 

I think you could argue that Tom Coughlin has in some ways been more successful as an NFL coach since he achieved success with both the Jacksonville Jaguars and with the New York Giants, whereas Johnson's tenure with the Dolphins was disastrous.  Coughlin has only won one Super Bowl and the Giants aren't considered an elite team the way the '90s Cowboys that Johnson assembled were.

Are major college football programs a profit center for universities?

Agreed.  In 2011, the top 10 college teams made $742M. 

This is from: College football: Multibillion industry with great margins

College football is huge business.  It generates enormous money for the universities. Forbes magazine listed the most valuable teams based on enterprise value, revenues, and profits.  Typically, revenues come from ticket sales, alumni donations tied to club seats, corporate sponsorship, licensing, and television distribution rights. I am not convinced on how they calculated profits, so I only show revenues.
The top 10 teams generated revenues of $742 million in 2011.  The University of Texas was the clear leader with $96 million in revenues; they received corporate sponsorship from Coca-cola, Gatorade, and have their own cable channel in conjunction with Disney’s ESPN called the Longhorn Network.
College football is more profitable than Microsoft or Google.  Forbes estimated the profits of each team in the same survey.   For the top 20 teams, the average profitability was about 63%, which means that 63cents out of every dollar was net profit.  Crazy.  To me, this seemed outlandishly high.  After all, college football cannot be 3x more profitable than Microsoft (MSFT net margins of 21%), or can it?

Forbes does great work, but I can only assume that they did not factor in all the fixed costs that might be shared by the university (e.g., depreciation of the stadiums, training facilities, etc).  As an alumnus of one of these top 20 revenue-generating football teams, it makes me pause to think that the university is largely funded by the football team.

Should college athletes be paid?  There has been a long-running debate among sports lovers on whether college athletes should be paid.  Currently, they are not compensated for playing sports (other than their year-to-year scholarships).  I am not a huge sports fans, but there is not shortage of polemics on this topic; you can find well-argued points supporting both sides of the debate: New York Times, Sports Illustrated, ESPN.

Economists would say something needs to change. Whatever the solution, some changes are needed.  It is no surprise that the richest football teams (e.g., Penn State, Alabama, Texas, Southern California, Auburn, Georgia, Ohio, Florida etc) also had football-related scandals recently.  You cannot have an multi-billion dollar industry where the main assets are people who cannot be officially paid.  It is a powder keg waiting to explode.   Eventually, there will be too much at stake and people will rationalize cheating.  We are not setting up people for success.

Coaches are paid.  Unlike the players, coaches can be paid.  USA Today put together this database of football head coach salaries here.  As a bit of a libertarian, people should be paid for their work and it is a free market for labor.  If you can get this kind of pay, good for you.   Even so, take a look at these numbers and you will find them a bit surprising, even by American executive pay standards.

Coach pay is not equal.  Nor should it be.  I believe that good coaches make a difference, just like good leaders make a different in organizations.  Good ones should be paid more.  Here is the graph that shows how football head coach salaries drop off by 50% around the 20th team, then drops off another 50% by the 60th team.  The pauper in this list of salaries is for the head coach of Louisiana-Monroe.  Don’t feel sorry for him though, $250K is not bad.
Post script: How Can a New College Football Coach Avoid Getting Fired, Freakonomics

What is the advantage of making a verbal commitment to a college for a 13 year old football player?

Publicity – no one had ever heard of David Sills before the announcement, but now at least some people have heard of him.  Whether he is successful or not, whether he goes on to join USC or not, you can be sure the sports media will write a follow-up story in 4-5 years.  So, even more publicity.  Even if he doesn't become good enough to play at USC, more schools are aware of him so it is more likely he will be able to attract enough attention to possibly get a Division I scholarship.  If the story was never written, no one would follow up on him, no one would invite him to summer football camps, no college coaches would see him play which would all drastically reduce his chances of playing football in college.