At $1.3M per year, is Riley underpaid?!

MIKE RILEY HAD his contract restructured three years ago, and it now runs through 2020. But it doesn't seem likely it will take nearly that long before it's restructured again. Riley is considered one of the better coaches in the land, but his Pac-12 salary according to a report ranks dead last in the conference.

College football coaches' salaries have skyrocketed -- the average annual salary of Football Bowl Subdivision coaches in 2012 was $1.64 million, according to USA Today. That represents a 12 percent jump from 2011 and an incredible 70 percent increase from 2006.

Mike Riley, before incentives and bonuses, has a reported base salary of $1.3 million.

That's a healthy chunk of change. And $1.3M in Corvallis will go a helluva lot farther than it will in, say, Los Angeles.

But the market is the market, and Riley, an above average coach, is under the average salary nationally and dead last in the Pac-12, according to a recent report by the San Jose Mercury Press.

Riley has a number of incentives and bonuses in his contract – nine wins means $125K more. Nine wins also tacks on a 150K bonus for him to distribute amongst his assistant coaches. (This past year, Riley got $300K to divvy up amongst his assistants.) A bowl game adds another year. A BCS game adds another 100K.

But other coaches have their incentives and bonuses, too.

It's hard to say $1.3 million just isn't enough. Hell, it's hard to look at the salaries of college coaches across the nation and not come to one inescapable conclusion – they're all hugely overpaid. For the vast majority of coaches, it's particularly striking when you consider cost per win some seasons. Kansas' Charlie Weis paid Charlie Weis $2.5 million for one win in 2012. In the Pac-12, Jeff Tedford cost Cal $866,667 per win last season.

Riley? He was the biggest bargain in the Pac-12 and one of the best in the BCS at "only" $146,427 per victory.

You can count on Riley's compensation going up at some point. Particularly if he keeps delivering Top 25 finishes. Because others will come calling. Wisconsin already reportedly did this offseason. Three years ago, Riley turned down USC according to a report from ESPN.

Riley loves Corvallis. His stint in the NFL reinforced that notion. He might well be an Oregon State lifer. But if you're the lowest paid coach in the Pac-12, and you're delivering more wins that those paid more than you are not, well, that has a way of turning a coach's head and peaking their interest in another job. Add it all up, and it likely means a restructuring of the contract. Again. And in the not too distant future.

Pac-12 head coach salaries per the San Jose Mercury Press. (Note: Figures don't include signing bonuses or payments to offset buyouts.)

Steve Sarkisian: $2.55 million
Lane Kiffin: $2.4 million (source: USA Today, based on USC tax filings)
Jim Mora: $2.4 million
Mike Leach: $2.25 million
David Shaw: $2.25 million (estimate, based on info from sources)
Rich Rodriguez: $2.025 million (note: updated from original post)
Todd Graham: $2 million
Mike MacIntyre: $2 million
Kyle Whittingham: $2 million
Sonny Dykes: $1.94 million
Mark Helfrich: $1.8 million
Mike Riley: $1.3 million

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