What do Mack Brown and Toledo's Matt Campbell have in common? Each man guided his program to nine wins in 2012. Matt Campbell just did it at a fraction of the cost.
Assume for a moment that every college football game this year had a fixed cost. Ignore program prestige, tenure, and limitless resources. Ignore all intervening variables like injuries, rebuilding years, and motivation. What does a school have to spend for a victory? For nine win programs this year, the average cost per game was $175,128.
Texas spent $600,000.
Thirteen programs finished with around nine wins this season (included in my research were 8-4 North Carolina and 10-4 Nebraska). Seven of those programs came from BCS conferences while six came from non-automatic qualifying conferences. The price tag on nine win's this year ranged from $400,000 to $5,400,000. Matt Campbell, who was the most efficient coach in this group, earned $400,000. That number represents 7.4% of Mack Brown's total salary.
Brown, who made exactly 5 million dollars more than Campbell, was the least efficient. Texas and Toledo are obviously two completely different programs, so a disparity in annual coaching salaries is no surprise. But just how different were these programs this season? Toledo paid Campbell $44,000 per regular season win this year. His return included a 5-1 home record and one win against a ranked opponent. Texas paid Brown $675,000 per regular season victory this year. His return included a 4-2 home record and one won against a ranked opponent.Campbell and Brown are on opposite ends of the spectrum, but compared to the second highest paid coach in this category, Brown doesn't look much better. That position belonged to UCLA head coach Jim Mora, who made 1.9 million dollars this year. UCLA paid $211,000 per win this season. Mora beat three ranked teams including a statement win over rival USC. He turned a 6-8 team into a 9-5 team that was one win away from going to the Rose Bowl. That improvement trumps the Texas "eight to nine win improvement" that has been tossed around by some complacent Longhorn's this year.
Alabama's Nick Saban is the only coach who makes more money annually than Mack Brown. His salary is 5.5 million dollars, $100,000 more than Brown. However, Alabama's return has been exponentially greater than the Longhorn's. Alabama paid Saban, $458,000 per victory this year, and are competing in their third national championship in four years. His opponent in that game will be Brian Kelly's Fighting Irish. Kelly, who is in the third year of his contract, earned 2.6 million dollars in 2012. Notre Dame spent $216,000 per victory over the course of their undefeated season.
Southern Miss, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Colorado, Auburn, and Kentucky were the only schools forced to pay their head coach more money per victory than Texas this season. Their combined record in 2012 was 11-71. Four of those programs fired their head coach following the last game of the season. The other two left their coaches sitting on very hot seats. College football spending, we can all agree, is out of control. But as big spenders, shouldn't our return at least rival comparable programs?
This is my first post as a BON contributor. I don't usually channel my inner Darren Rovell for articles. I am a sophomore from North Carolina who was one of the only guys not to go to an SEC/ACC school. I am a transfer from UNC Wilmington and I love Mid Major hoops. Anyways, thanks for having me. You can follow me @CurryShoff where I encourage you to send me names of famous attractive college football girlfriends that were defenseless to television cameras like AJ McCarron's girlfriend was tonight.