LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — The publication of the USA Today college football coaches’ salary database is one of the best days of the year for sports talking points.
You can discover that 41 FBS programs have the money to pay their head football coach at least $4 million per season, but they do not have the means to sprinkle any extra funds on players.
You can learn that Dabo Swinney’s salary at Clemson has more than quintupled to $9,315,600 since 2010.
Who will be the first $10 million man? Check the list here and decide.
You can also do this. Make a list of the top upsets in the game this season as determined by the disparity in pay between the winning coach and the losing coach.
It’s a fascinating list. I broke down the salaries of the coaches on a per-game basis, according to the information at USA Today. Then I subtracted the per-game salary of the winning coach from the per-game salary of the losing coach.
Here is the list of the Top 10 upsets through the 2019 season:
10. Navy 35, South Florida 3
Former Louisville coach Charlie Strong is one of 16 members of the $5 million club. Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo is scrambling to get by on $2.3 million.
Margin of defeat: $223,667.
9. Louisiana State 45, Texas 38
Ed Orgeron was considered the consolation prize after the Longhorns outmaneuvered the Tigers to sign Tom Herman to a deal that will pay him $6.75 million this season. Who’s laughing now?
Margin of defeat: $229,167.
8. Wake Forest 22, Florida State 20
Dave Clawson has done a terrific job in Winston-Salem and defeated Willie Taggart for the first time this season — except on payday. They’re not happy in Tallahassee. They’ll be less happy after reading this.
Margin of defeat: $234,242
7. Minnesota 38, Purdue 31
Injuries have helped push Purdue and Jeff Brohm off track and to five defeats in the Boilermakers’ first seven games. There is a reason people are speculating that Minnesota will lose unbeaten coach P. J. Fleck after this season. Brohm’s $6.6 million salary makes him a target of this list.
Margin of defeat: $250,000.
6. Boise State 36, Florida State 31
Taggart is the first repeat offender, and if you have followed the Seminoles’ uneven season you’re not surprised. FSU started their slump with a home loss to Boise State, which is paying Bryan Harsin $1.75 million this season.
Margin of defeat: $270,833.
5. Georgia State 38, Tennessee 30
You knew this one had to make the list. They’ll be talking about this one for a long, long, long time, especially considering Georgia State and its $594,000 coach (Shawn Elliott) later lost to Western Michigan and Texas State.
Margin of defeat: $271,000.
4. San Jose State 31, Arkansas 24
Even before he called that ridiculous fake punt last weekend, Chad Morris was already on the wrong side of Razorbacks’ fans because of his home loss to (3-4) San Jose State.
Average margin of defeat: $283,401.
3. Wisconsin 35, Michigan 14
Save a spot for Jim Harbaugh. When you’re the third-highest paid coach in college football at $7.5 million, you’re going to make the list, even against a coach (Paul Chryst) who makes $4.15 million.
Average margin of defeat: $279,500.
2. Eastern Michigan 34, Illinois 31
Don’t construct those Lovie Smith statues yet, even if he did knock Wisconsin from the unbeaten list last weekend. He also lost to EMU, which pays its head coach $470,000, barely more than Smith makes per game.
Average margin of defeat: $294,167.
1. Nevada 34, Purdue 31
There’s no way to sugarcoat this one. When Brohm moved into eighth place on the USA Today database he left himself vulnerable to tidbits like this: Brohm makes $550,000 per game. Nevada coach Jay Norvell will earn $500,000 for the entire season. The Boilers need to beat Illinois on Saturday.
Average margin of defeat: $508,333.
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