Let's face it—at times, it's a hard pill to swallow when you look at the salaries of today's coaches and athletes. I have nothing but the utmost respect for both professions, but most people will not make in a lifetime what some of these folks make in a year.
That being said, there are some out there that are not worth what they are paid. Either the athletic director is careless with the budget, or the coach is falling on hard times or was never worth the contract they agreed to sign.
Let's take a look at the top 10 college football coaches that are overpaid, even by today's standards.
In his first three seasons as head coach of the Michigan State Spartans, Mark Dantonio has led the team to an overall record of 22-17, and a Big 10 record of 13-11.
With annual earnings of $1,811,260, you would expect a lot more, especially when your in-state rival is dying on the vine under Rich Rodriguez.
Furthermore, he has led the Spartans to three straight bowl losses.
Will football ever return to the state of Michigan?
No. 9 on this list is bestowed upon Coach Ralph Friedgen of the University of Maryland. The Terrapins' head man earns $1,877,095 per year.
Friedgen arrived at Maryland with a bang, going 10-2 in his first season in 2001. They finished in the top 10 and won the ACC Conference Championship.
He remained successful for the next two seasons, but the 2004 season was the beginning of the downward slide. In the last six seasons, Friedgen has gone 35-38.
Friedgen is scheduled to retire after the 2011 season, if he makes it that long. The only thing preventing his early launch is that the state of Maryland may not be able to afford to buy out his contract.
I wonder if the OBC is sorry he ever left Gainesville and the University of Florida.
Since his return from a failed attempt at coaching in the NFL, Coach Spurrier has failed to deliver at the University of South Carolina.
Spurrier currently earns $2,031,500 per year, and the return on the investment for South Carolina has been a 35-28 record, but a less than .500 record in SEC play (18-22). In four bowl appearances, he has led his team to only one victory—the 2007 Liberty Bowl.
Rutgers University must have a ton of money laying around. Greg Schiano, who earns $2,070,032/year, has brought a .500 record of 55-55, and a conference record of 23-39 since his arrival in 2001.
During that same period, he has had one top 15 finish—finishing No. 12 in 2006.
At the end of the 2007 season, Coach Schiano was in discussions regarding the Michigan job. I wonder if Michigan wishes they would have hired him-or maybe not.
With one top 20 finish during his entire tenure as head coach of Wake Forest, Jim Grobe lands at the No. 6 spot on this list.
After a great showing during the 2006 season, the Demon Deacons looked like they were going to be serious contenders going forward in the ACC. So much for that assumption; Wake Forest has struggled and in 2009, they finished with an overall record of 5-7.
What does Grobe earn as the Wake Forest head coach? $2,172,127/year.
Then there is Coach Rich Rodriguez, perhaps the Michigan Wolverines' greatest mistake.
The idea was to bring speed and the spread offense to the Big 10, and so far all Coach Rodriguez has brought to Michigan is heartbreak and controversy.
In two seasons, "Rich Rod" has led the Wolverines to an 8-16 record and a Big 10 record of 3-13. Most knew that it would take time for Rodriguez to be successful, but not at the cost of these many losses. And when you add in his $2,521,000 annual earnings, time is definitely not on his side.
The 2010 season is Rodriguez's deadline. Nothing short of a bowl appearance will save his job.
Seriously, if you were to ask 10 random college football fans outside the state of Missouri, or the Big 10 for that matter, how many would know who Gary Pinkel is?
Coach Pinkel earns $2,525,000/year, and for what? What has Missouri done to warrant that kind of payout?
He did lead Missouri to a top five finish in 2007, and a top 20 finish in 2008, but outside those two seasons, he hasn't gone above .500 in conference play.
Coach Tedford is now on the hot-seat. After failing to meet expectations in 2009, his annual $2,807,500 price tag is weighing heavy on the University of California.
After losing the Poinsettia Bowl after the 2009 season, calls for his job were beginning to be heard loud and clear. The Golden Bears had high expectations in 2009. He did lead Cal to a Pac-10 title in 2006, but that's about it.
The runner-up to the most over-paid college football coach belongs to Kirk Ferentz.
Yes, Coach Ferentz has had success at Iowa, and I'm sure this will bring controversy and discussion to this article.
His annual earnings are $3,024,500 per year. For over $3 million per year, one would expect a head coach to have led his team to a national championship. Moreover, he has not won a Big 10 championship since the 2004 season, and he has led the Hawkeyes to a total of two conference championships (2002 and 2004).
Sorry, but he is overpaid based on his accomplishments.
And the winner of the most overpaid college head football coach is Mark Richt of the University of Georgia.
For $3,096,576 per year, he needs to be competing every year at the very least in the SEC Eastern Division. Last season in 2009, he led Georgia to a 8-5 record overall, and a 4-4 record in the SEC.
As with Kirk Ferentz, when you break the $3 million mark per year, you need to have put your team in a National Championship game, or better yet, win one. He has done neither.
With the Florida Gators in arguably a rebuilding year, and Tennessee with another new head coach in two consecutive years, perhaps Richt has an opportunity to bring Georgia back to the forefront of the SEC Eastern Division.
If not, don't be surprised if talk starts in Athens about Richt's short-term future with the team.