The highest-paid quarterbacks coach in college football will make $8.05 million this year.

Whereas Nick Saban will always be Alabama’s defensive backs coach in a wink-wink way, Lincoln Riley is actually Oklahoma’s quarterbacks coach — it says so right there on his bio.

Such is the all-encompassing importance of the quarterback position. At any other spot on the field, a position coach must eventually let go of all he’s known to rise to the top of the profession. Advancing your career means relinquishing the bonds of brotherhood you build with your position as more players and more responsibilities fall under your purview. Ed Orgeron will always be a D-line coach at heart, but he’ll always employ a defensive line coach so long as he’s LSU’s head coach.

But that devil’s bargain doesn’t necessarily apply if you can get really, really good at coaching quarterbacks.

No, coaching quarterbacks is an elevator straight to the top. You can run a major college football program and keep the QBs room to yourself.

Because of the importance on the quarterback position, we’re breaking the position into three groups: head coaches who coach quarterbacks, OCs who coach quarterbacks, and quarterbacks coaches.

1. Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma — $8.05 million
2. Mike Leach, Mississippi State — $5 million

1. Mike Bobo, Auburn — $1.3 million
2. Todd Monken, Georgia — $1.25 million
3. Jeff Lebby, Ole Miss — $1.2 million
3. Jake Peetz, LSU — $1.2 million
5. Bill O’Brien, Alabama — $1.1 million
6. Kendal Briles, Arkansas — $1 million
6. Joe Moorhead, Oregon — $1 million
8. Jay Johnson, Michigan State — $975,000
9. Phil Longo, North Carolina — $900,000
9. Andy Ludwig, Utah — $900,000
9. Marcus Satterfield, South Carolina — $900,000
12. Sonny Cumbie, Texas Tech — $875,000
13. Darrell Dickey, Texas A&M — $867,000
14. John Donovan, Washington — $850,000
15. Sean Gleeson, Rutgers — $805,000
16. Liam Coen, Kentucky — $750,000
16. Tony Petersen, Illinois — $750,000
18. Tim Beck, NC State — $700,000
18. Brian Lindgren, Oregon State — $700,000
20. Bill Musgrave, Cal — $650,000

1. Ken O’Keefe, Iowa — $685,000
2. Matt Weiss, Michigan — $600,000
3. Brandon Streeter, Clemson — $590,000
4. Dana Bible, UCLA — $450,000
5. Joel Gordon, Iowa State — $400,000
5. Bush Hamdan, Missouri — $400,000
7. Jason Beck, Virginia — $390,000
8. Mario Verduzco, Nebraska — $375,000
9. Joey Halzle, Tennessee — $350,000
9. Danny Langsdorf, Colorado — $350,000

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Additional notes:

— New hires/promotions whose salaries are not yet public information: Jimmie Dougherty at Arizona, Garrick McGee at Florida, AJ Milwee at Texas, and Pete Thomas at Louisville.

— The most curious exclusion — at this position and every other — is Ohio State’s Corey Dennis. Promoted at QC role when Mike Yurcich left for Texas, Dennis coached Justin Fields this past season, now leads a quarterbacks room with two 5-stars and one 4-star (freshman, all of them), and helped put a dagger through the Tom Herman era at Texas by landing Quinn Ewers. And he’s doing it on a deal that pays him $300,000 per year through Jan. 31, 2022.