Ranking college football coaches by salary earned per 2013 win

Which teams got the most bang for the buck last season, and which have yet to see their investments pay off?

As college sports become more and more of a big business, schools are being forced to pay up when it comes to coaches' salaries. Some schools are following the trend of skyrocketing pay with varying results, but others have found ways to avoid paying up while still field winning programs.

With so much coaching pay disparity among the power five schools -- Nick Saban's about to start making almost $7 million, while a few make around a million -- we decided to take a look at which schools got the best values out of their football coaches last year. That is, which coach cost the least per win — using the USA Today salary database. Somewhat surprisingly, Rutgers coach Kyle Flood cost the least per victory in 2013, riding an $860,000 salary to six wins.

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Flood's salary is closer to the American Athletic Conference's standard than the Big Ten's, the Scarlet Knights' new conference. However, the top three values all came from Big Ten programs, as Flood was followed by Minnesota's Jerry Kill and Michigan State's Mark Dantonio (who got a hefty raise). But the conference still has some very high salaries, trailing the Pac-12 and the ACC in median money spent per win.

Conference Money per win
Pac-12 $259,409
ACC $311,452
Big Ten $357,278
SEC $399,982
Big 12 $506,289

It's important to remember that this is a fun exercise, and "best value" as defined here isn't necessarily what an athletic department should be going for. For Rutgers, which has faced major financial difficulties, finding a value like they have with Flood is a reasonable goal.

And schools like Cal and Purdue should take solace. Both paid over $2,000,000 per win in 2013, but were facing rebuilding years. If either rebuilding project goes as planned, Sonny Dykes and Darrell Hazell will give their schools far more value in the future.

However, a school like Alabama, which has all the money it could ever need, gets more value out of winning than it could out of saving money on Nick Saban's salary. It's logical for programs like the Tide to be willing to spend more money per win than Rutgers. The same logic is true for Iowa, which continually catches flack for paying head coach Kirk Ferentz so much for eight-win seasons. However, the Hawkeyes have a lot of money, and it might be difficult to get another good coach to the desolate recruiting grounds of the Upper Midwest, so paying Ferentz so much to keep him in Iowa City might be worth it.

With those caveats in mind, check out all of the power five schools' coaching values below. (Remember: Private schools are not required to report their coaches' salaries, so some schools are omitted.)

School Coach Salary Wins $ per Win
ACC
Duke David Cutcliffe $1,792,258 10 $179,226
Florida State Jimbo Fisher $2,750,000 14 $196,429
Clemson Dabo Swinney $2,550,024 11 $231,820
Miami Al Golden $2,148,107 9 $238,679
North Carolina Larry Fedora $1,730,000 7 $247,143
Virginia Tech Frank Beamer $2,491,616 8 $311,452
Louisville Charlie Strong $3,738,500 12 $311,542
Georgia Tech Paul Johnson $2,515,500 7 $359,357
Wake Forest Jim Grobe $2,251,635 4 $562,909
NC State Dave Doeren $2,555,000 3 $851,667
Virginia Mike London $2,173,200 2 $1,086,600
Boston College Steve Addazio - - -
Pittsburgh Paul Chryst - - -
Syracuse Scott Shafer - - -
ACC median $311,452
Big Ten
Rutgers Kyle Flood $860,000 6 $143,333
Minnesota Jerry Kill $1,200,000 8 $150,000
Michigan State Mark Dantonio $1,959,744 13 $150,750
Wisconsin Gary Andersen $2,035,823 9 $226,203
Indiana Kevin Wilson $1,291,220 5 $258,244
Maryland Randy Edsall $2,025,440 7 $289,349
Nebraska Bo Pelini $2,975,000 9 $330,556
Ohio State Urban Meyer $4,608,000 12 $384,000
Illinois Tim Beckman $1,700,000 4 $425,000
Northwestern Pat Fitzgerald $2,221,153 5 $444,231
Penn State Bill O'Brien $3,282,779 7 $468,968
Iowa Kirk Ferentz $3,985,000 8 $498,125
Michigan Brady Hoke $4,154,000 7 $593,429
Purdue Darrell Hazell $2,160,833 1 $2,160,833
Big Ten median $357,278
Big 12
Baylor Art Briles $2,426,360 11 $220,578
Texas Tech Kliff Kingsbury $1,855,000 8 $231,875
Oklahoma State Mike Gundy $3,450,000 10 $345,000
Kansas State Bill Snyder $2,803,000 8 $350,375
Oklahoma Bob Stoops $4,860,000 11 $441,818
Iowa State Paul Rhoads $1,712,282 3 $570,761
West Virginia Dana Holgorsen $2,630,000 4 $657,500
Texas Mack Brown $5,392,500 8 $674,063
TCU Gary Patterson $3,120,760 4 $780,190
Kansas Charlie Weis $2,500,000 3 $833,333
Big 12 median $506,289
Pac-12
Oregon Mark Helfrich $1,800,000 11 $163,636
Oregon State Mike Riley $1,417,843 7 $202,549
Arizona State Todd Graham $2,300,000 10 $230,000
UCLA Jim Mora $2,300,000 10 $230,000
Arizona Rich Rodriguez $1,850,000 8 $231,250
USC Lane Kiffin $2,594,091 10 $259,409
Washington Steve Sarkisian $2,575,000 9 $286,111
Washington State Mike Leach $2,250,000 6 $375,000
Utah Kyle Whittingham $2,427,100 5 $485,420
Colorado Mike MacIntyre $2,403,500 4 $600,875
Cal Sonny Dykes $2,394,000 1 $2,394,000
Stanford David Shaw - - -
Pac-12 median $259,409
SEC
Mississippi Hugh Freeze $2,005,500 8 $200,550
Auburn Gus Malzahn $2,440,000 12 $203,333
Vanderbilt James Franklin $1,842,771 9 $204,752
Missouri Gary Pinkel $2,800,200 12 $233,350
South Carolina Steve Spurrier $3,322,500 11 $302,045
Texas A&M Kevin Sumlin $3,100,300 9 $344,478
Mississippi State Dan Mullen $2,700,000 7 $385,714
Georgia Mark Richt $3,314,000 8 $414,250
LSU Les Miles $4,459,363 10 $445,936
Alabama Nick Saban $5,545,852 11 $504,168
Florida Will Muschamp $2,734,500 4 $683,625
Tennessee Butch Jones $4,860,000 5 $972,000
Kentucky Mark Stoops $2,001,250 2 $1,000,625
Arkansas Bret Bielema $5,158,863 3 $1,719,621
SEC median $399,982

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