A few of the names might be familiar, although their duties and titles have remained vague to most people.
Designations like analyst and quality control personnel have increasingly become another tool for elite college football programs looking for that special edge someway somehow.
The importance of such positions was underscored and gained a face when Steve Sarkisian called plays for Alabama in the College Football Playoff championship game. The former Washington and Southern Cal head coach had joined Nick Saban's staff as an analyst at the start of the season and was promoted to offensive coordinator with the departure of Lane Kiffin just before the Clemson game.
New Texas coach Tom Herman expressed his plan for the program last week, saying he expected to hire an "army" of analysts and support personnel.
"We identified an area that we were deficit as compared to the teams that are in the national championship hunt every year, the Alabamas, the Clemsons, the Ohio States, the Florida States of the world," Herman said, later adding "we're going to get an army down there just like rest of the big boys in college football do."
Herman already said Texas was looking for positions with the un-football like titles as lead graphics and director creative content. Texas' move could have ripple effects throughout the Big 12, which hasn't really embraced huge support staffs.
"The arms race was in facilities and now it's in staff members," said ESPN's Mack Brown, the former Texas coach.
Oklahoma has three specialists for offense, defense and special teams, positions added within the last few years. Texas Tech has two quality control assistants. New Baylor coach Matt Rhule is in the process of building his staff. This past season, Texas had four quality control coaches under Charlie Strong.
TCU has two quality control analysts but also added a social media coordinator, athletic spokesman Mark Cohen said, targeted to enhance the school's profile in recruiting.
Texas A&M, which must compete with Alabama and other support-staff heavy teams in the SEC, lists five quality control assistants on its website.
Depending on your view, Alabama coach Nick Saban deserves the credit or the blame for the growth in staff size. NCAA rules limit schools to nine full-time assistants to work with players in practice, as well as four graduate assistants — staffers also pursing advanced degrees.
Shortly after arriving at Alabama before the 2007 season, Saban began his empire-building.
"He has the best and most powerful infrastructure in college football," Brown said. "He's changed everything."
While analysts, personnel directors and quality control personnel can't be involved in practice, they can break down film, chart tendencies, evaluate recruits and a whole host of useful duties. The background can range from former college and high school coaches to the NFL.
As an analyst, Sarkisian's focus was breaking down third down plays.
"Well, my daily duties previously as an analyst, we'd still watch a lot of tape, still try to game plan, then offer up as much advice as I could to the game plan, then to the coaches," Sarkisian said before the championship game. "Then it was more sit back and analyze how we were performing."
While analysts don't command the same salaries as assistants at $100,000, armies do add up.
CBS Sports reported that Alabama spent slightly more than $800,000 on football support staff in 2005-06. The latest figure is $2.7 million for 2013-14. The Crimson Tide reportedly has eight analysts on its staff this year, including Sarkisian and former New Mexico coach Mike Locksley.
Others have followed suit, including national champion Clemson.
Brown remembers having to try to convince his Texas bosses to join the analyst trend. Greg Robinson, hired as an analyst in 2013, actually became defensive coordinator two games into the season.
As president of the American Football Coaches Association, Brown unsuccessfully proposed a measure to rein in staffs.
In other words, it's not changing soon. Don't underestimate the value of manpower.
"That one analyst that finds that one nugget that makes you call that one play because you saw that one tip in that one alignment and your DB steps in front of the pass for the game-winning interception," Herman said. "It was worth the hundreds of thousands of dollars to win that championship game on that play.
"I think that's the approach that everybody is taking. You need to uncover every stone."
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