Bang for the buck

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This was forwarded by a colleague last Friday, and it seemed like good blog fodder for early in the week.

Then there was sort of a fan revolt among Maryland supporters yesterday, and this just feels it’s throwing raw meat into a shark tank. But here it goes, anyway.

Forbes magazine, which ranks nearly everything under the sun that has a financial value, got around to college football coaches who provide the most per dollar they are paid.

The most underpaid: Ohio State’s Jim Tressel, Oregon State’s Mike Riley, Wake Forest’s Jim Grobe, Southern Cal’s Pete Carroll and Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer.

The most overpaid: Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz, Syracuse’s Greg Robinson,  Notre Dame’s Charlie Weis, Maryland’s Ralph Friedgen and Virginia’s Al Groh.

The study focuses on the last three years and uses a metric (based on salary and recent accomplishments) and compares each coach to other BCS league peers.

I’m actually mildly surprised to see Friedgen crack this list with two bowl berths in three years, and the presence of Weis (who had two BCS berths and one full-fledged debacle in the three-year window) makes me wonder about how precisely the numbers were crunched. He did seriously deliver in two out of three years, and that’s better than a lot of coaches.

But it’s tough to argue with Riley, Grobe and Beamer as undervalued coaches, and Tressel and Carroll have won so much that no one can say they haven’t done their job.

A really interesting trend on the “least bang for the buck” list: Pro connections. Weis and Groh are both part of the Bill Parcells coaching tree, Robinson spent 14 years in the pros and Ferentz was considered a prime NFL candidate not long ago. Even Friedgen had a reasonably successful NFL stint with San Diego.

Meanwhile, Tressel, Grobe and Beamer are career college coaches. Carroll obviously had a couple stints as a pro head coach, and Riley might have the most eclectic resume (head coach in college, CFL, World League and NFL) of anyone who is active.

Not sure if it means anything, but it certainly could stir some debate on a Tuesday afternoon.

Patrick Stevens

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