NCAA Football: Calculating The Life Expectency Of Your Coach's Job!

Sherman L. McCleskyCorrespondent IJanuary 15, 2010

ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 1: Head coach Joe Paterno of the Penn State Nittany Lions looks on during the 2010 Capital One Bowl against the LSU Tigers at the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium on January 1, 2010 in Orlando, Florida. Penn State won 19-17. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

One of the things that often makes me laugh is how college football fans react to the firing of their favorite coach. Some fans fall so in love with their coaches that they can't see the forest from the trees. 

An athletic director, like any other employer, does not wish to terminate any employee; but at some point, that employer has to stop the "bleeding".

So how does an AD determine when its time to let your favorite coach go? Rock, paper, scissors? A roll of a dice? Spin the bottle?

I don't know how they do it, but I came up with an interesting calculation. Check it out and see if it works for you.


Establishing Your Basic Numbers For This Calculation.

1. Start with the number 20

This represents the minimum number of years the average American will have to work, for the same company, before he/she is eligible for retirement benefits associated with that company.

2. Calculate the win expectation number (WEN), for your team based solely on stadium capacity.

This is quite simple. One out every 10,000 fans expect their favorite team to go undefeated every year. In short, they're nuts.

Count the seating capacity of your stadium and divide it by 10,000. The number should be between 6-10; that's the "WEN" for your school.

Ex: Michigan Stadium has a seating capacity of 107,501; therefore Michigan's WEN is 10 

Note- If your stadium is below 50,000, still keep it at 6 because every fan expects their team to win at least six games.


Calculating In The Regular Season Wins

This is very tedious work you are about to do, so take your time.

Compare the wins in each season of your coach's career, to your team's "WEN". For every season the wins exceeded the "wen", add the difference to the 20 you'd started off with; for every season the wins are less, subtract the difference.

Ex: Rich Rodriguez won five games this past season. 5 (2009 wins total) minus 10 (UM's WEN)  equal -5.  20-5= 15

RR only won three games in his first season

3(2008)-10(WEN)= -7

15-7= 8 

Rich Rodriguez's number currently stands at 8. 


Calculating Postseason Achievements


Final conference standings

Winning the conference championship +5

Bottom three -1 pt

The rest is 0


The Heisman

Player winning the Heisman +1 pt

Heisman runner up +0.5


The Bowl Games

Failure to make a bowl game  -1 pt

Winning a non BCS bowl game +2 pts

Losing a non BCS bowl game +1



Winning a BCS bowl game +5 pts

Losing a BCS bowl game +2.5 pts

Undefeated team winning a BCS bowl game +5 bonus


The BCS championship game

Making the national championship game +5

Winning the national championship game +10

Losing the national championship game +5


Calculating The Final Score

Do the your regular season win calculation first, then calculate the postseason numbers. Add them all together and you'll have your coach's final score.  

Ex: Rich Rodriguez, at last count, was at 8. His team finished among the bottom three of the Big Ten in his first TWO seasons. That's -2 for not making a bowl game and -2 for being among the lower three in the Big 10, for two straight seasons. 

8(win cal) -4 (post sea) = 4

Rich Rodriguez final score is 4


Final Score Chart

If your coaches final score is...

+40     What? You haven't built a statue of him yet?

+30     No need to listen to rumors. Unless he quits, he's not going anywhere!   

+20     He's doing a good job; however, He may have to forget any requests for a raise

19-10  There's trouble in paradise; expect the AD to publicly support the coach

9-0     Firing imminent. The coach is still there because there isn't a better coach available. Upcoming season is a must win scenario.


There you go. Feel free to post your coaches score here, along with your thoughts. If you wish to add any other variables to this process, feel free to do so; after all, this system is not perfect and neither am I.

But this system does work pretty well in helping people understand why their favorite coach gets the surprise heave-ho.

Try it and see if it works for you. Except for you Penn State fans. I have a good feeling you guys may not need to try this exercise.

Well, to be honest, I don't think you guys have the time to crunch all those numbers.

Have fun.