Show Meyer the Money: College Football's Biggest Conundrum

Gabriel TaylorAnalyst IJune 15, 2009

GAINESVILLE, FL - APRIL 18: Coach Urban Meyer of the University of Florida directs the spring football Orange and Blue game April 18, 2009 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

There are plenty of great coaches in college football like Pete Carroll, Bob Stoops, Jim Tressel, Les Miles, and Nick Saban, but the fact that Urban Meyer is the only coach to win two BCS titles and makes less than all the aforementioned coaches is absurd.

Meyer is a relative “bargain” for the University of Florida; the third highest-paid coach in the Southeastern Conference though he’s won two national championships in three years.

That Meyer (between $3.25 million and $3.49 million) earns less than Alabama’s Saban ($3.75 million) and LSU’s Miles ($3,751,000) isn’t appalling as Saban has paid his dues as a head coach in the NFL and NCAA, and LSU had to up the ante after the University of Michigan threatened to steal one of the best coaching picks in recent years in 2007.

But consider this: Last year, Meyer beat LSU by 30 points and beat an undefeated Alabama by 11 in the SEC Championship Game on his way to his second BCS title.

Call it irony or call it preposterous.

Oklahoma’s Stoops is college football’s highest-paid coach, with bonuses helping him earn more than $6 million in 2008.

In a match-up to determine who would be the first coach to win two BCS titles, Meyer beat Stoops 24-14 in the national championship game last season.

Tressel of Ohio State earns $3.5 million a year and joins Stoops with two BCS title game losses.

Yes, Meyer’s Gators beat Tressel’s Buckeyes 41-14 in the national championship game two years ago.

Yet, Meyer marches on; he doesn’t publicly argue for a raise, he just wins.

In December 2004, Notre Dame took hard looks at Charlie Weis and Urban Meyer.

At Notre Dame, Charlie Weis is one of the country’s highest-paid coaches, reportedly earning a top-five coaching salary in the $4 million range.

Weis has a 29-21 record as a head coach. After finishing 9-3 and 10-3 in first two seasons, Weis has struggled to 3-9 and 7-6 finishes in his last two years. He hasn’t won any titles with the Fighting Irish.

Meyer is 83-17 as a head coach and 45-9 with two national titles at Florida.

After a 5-2 start in his first season in 2005, Weis managed to get a 10-year extension to 2015.

Meyer received a six-year extension and raise in June 2007 after winning his first title.

Even the most learned UF professor would be confounded by this irrationality.

It shouldn’t be long before Meyer gets a better deal and maybe a few Miles-like provisions, too.