Underpaid and overpaid coaches

Given that I have very little money and no head for business, I fully expected to go my entire life without reading an article published by Forbes magazine or its website, Forbes.com. I was wrong.

There's a devastatingly interesting article on the website written by Peter J. Schwartz and entitled "The Best (And Worst) College Football coaches For The Buck."

The article focuses on the Bottom Line and only the Bottom Line. Coaches are rated exclusively on their financial impact – with no consideration given to popularity, longevity, public relations skills, graduation rates, etc. It all comes down to this: How much money do you generate, compared to what you earn?

Here's the way the Forbes' article explains its rating system:

"To measure bang for the buck, we developed a metric that compares a coach's 2007 salary with his team's performance over the past three years. Bonus points were awarded for winning any of the five prestigious Bowl Championship Series (BCS) bowl games. A score of 120 means that the coach achieved 20% more victories per dollar of pay than the average coach."

Each coach is rated on his total package – base salary, incentives, camp and apparel fees, free cars, country club memberships, use of private planes, etc. Moreover, Forbes examined only the 65 coaches from schools in the six major conferences – SEC, Big Ten, Pac 10, ACC, Big East and Big XII – plus the king of the independents, Notre Dame.

That said, here are Forbes' five most underpaid coaches:

1. Jim Tressel, Ohio State ... $2.6 million last year ... 33-5 record, two appearances in the BCS title game over the past three years. (122 rating)

2. Mike Riley, Oregon State ... $1.1 million last year ... 24-14 record over the past three years. (118 rating)

3. Jim Grobe, Wake Forest ... $1.2 million ... 24-14 record over the past three years. (116 rating)

4. Pete Carroll, Southern Cal ... $4.4 million ... 34-5 record over the past three years. (114 rating)

5. Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech ... $2.1 million ... 32-8 record over the past three years. (110 rating)

And now for the most overpaid coaches:

1. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa ... $3.4 million ... 19-18 over the past three years. (71 rating)

2. Greg Robinson, Syracuse ... $1.1 million ... 7-28 over the past three years. (75 rating)

3. Charlie Weis, Notre Dame ... $30-40 over 10 years ... 22-15 over the past three years. (84 rating)

4. Ralph Friedgen, Maryland ... $1.8 million ... 20-17 over the past three years. (88 rating)

5. Al Groh, Virginia ... $2 million ... 21-16 over the past three years. (89 rating)

There's also a fascinating companion piece written by Monte Burke called "The Most Powerful Coach In Sports" on Alabama's Nick Saban, whose $4 million per annum salary stretches to nearly $5 million with perks.

Wow ... now I've read two Forbes articles.


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