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  1. Johnson, a longtime defensive coordinator in the SEC, has served as a head coach three times in his career. The job at Southern Miss, however, was his biggest opportunity. He coached there as the defensive coordinator in 1988 and 1989, when the Golden Eagles were an independent team in the NCAA. "We could get some players in school that could not be admitted to the Southeastern Conference schools," Johnson recalls. "We probably had a dozen players on our football team that were big-time SEC players." Times have changed, but that didn't stop the Eagles from finishing 12-2 in 2011. The success led to Larry Fedora leaving Southern Miss for the North Carolina job after four seasons in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Still, Johnson felt his team was young in 2012 -- and there were other obstacles he didn't quite expect. "They probably have more money than they had then, but what's happening in college football today, sadly, is the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer," Johnson says. "The conferences that are not automatic BCS schools, they're just struggling to be competitive, if you will, on a week-in, week-out basis. It was a very, very different environment, obviously. I should have realized -- some of it I did realize -- but on a grander scale I should have realized how different it was." Read more: http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2013/06/what_went_wrong_ellis_johnson.html
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