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No, Arkansas doesn't pay Bret Bielema $5.1 million a year (but he does make a lot)

USA Today released a comprehensive list of college football coaching salaries, with some surprising findings contained.

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Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

The USA Today released a comprehensive look at nearly every college football head coach's salary Wednesday, giving an inside look at what different programs are willing to shell out for whom. And it's simply fascinating.

The big takeaway? Bret Bielema makes a lot of money. At $2.95 million, he is one of the highest-paid coaches in the country. But in the USA Today table, he's listed at $5.16 million, right behind Mack Brown and Nick Saban. That includes Bielema's one-time Wisconsin buyout, however, as these are the annual salary terms of his actual Arkansas contract:


Bielema has struggled in his first year as Arkansas's head coach -- the Razorbacks are 3-6, with an 0-5 record in SEC play.

Some other takeaways from the list:

  • Some very successful coaches Bielema does make more money than: Kansas State's Bill Snyder, Missouri's Gary Pinkel, Florida State's Jimbo Fisher and Auburn's Gus Malzahn.
  • Bielema makes more than 10 times what ULM coach/dual quarterback guru Todd Berry makes. One of those two is in the running for a conference championship.
  • Iowa's Kirk Ferentz makes 10 times the amount of Northern Illinois's Rod Carey. Carey's squad beat Ferentz and the Hawkeyes this year.
  • No. 3 Oregon's head coach, Mark Helfrich, is 56th on the list, making $1.8 million per year. That puts him behind Purdue's Darrell Hazell, South Florida's Willie Taggart, Maryland's Randy Edsall and Colorado's Mike MacIntyre.
  • Michigan's Brady Hoke makes about $1 million more than all the other coaches in the state combined -- including Michigan State's Mark Dantonio, who has beaten Hoke two out of three times.
  • The highest-paid non-AQ coach is Boise State's Chris Petersen, at $2.15 million.
  • The lowest-paid AQ coach is Rutgers's Kyle Flood, at $860,000. That puts him below Memphis's Justin Fuente and East Carolina's Ruffin McNeill.
  • The two lowest-paid coaches -- ULM's Todd Berry and Buffalo's Jeff Quinn -- are both still in the running for conference titles and are expected to go bowling.
Private schools can be tough to figure out, so their numbers should be taken with a grain of salt.

It appears most of the numbers for first-year coaches are all higher than their annual salaries (like Tennessee's Butch Jones, who makes more like $3 million) due to buyouts being included, so keep that in mind when perusing the list as well.

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