College Football's Highest Paid Coaches - Are they worth it? You Decide

Jake JenkinsCorrespondent IAugust 6, 2008

College football's finest are getting paid more and more every season. Here’s a list of the top paid coaches in college football… Are they worth the money?

Urban Meyer, Florida $3,200,000 – WORTH IT

There’s no doubt that Florida fans don’t mind footing the bill for Meyer. He’s only been with the Gators for 3 complete seasons, and he’s already brought them the SEC title and a National Championship. With the USA Today Coach’s Poll ranking Florida at #5, the folks in Gainesville have high expectations for the upcoming season, and there’s no doubt that Coach Meyer has the highest expectations of them all.



Bobby Bowden, Florida State $2,500,000 – WORTH IT

            Coach Bowden may not have the wins behind him these past couple of years, but the $2.5M paycheck is a fine gesture and well deserved recognition for the 12 conference titles and 2 National Championships he has brought Tallahassee since 1992. Not to mention he is playing leap-frog with Joe Pa for the winningest coach of all time. By the way, Bowden has been with the Seminoles since 1976 (31 years) and has had only one losing season… his first.


Philip Fulmer, Tennessee $3,000,000 –NOT WORTH IT

            Entering his 16th season as the Volunteers head coach, Fulmer has brought 2 conference titles and one National Championship. His longevity and winning record are unmatched in the SEC, but his biggest weakness is that he can’t seem to win big games. Recurring losses against conference rivals are starting to bother Tennessee fans, and it doesn’t look like things will improve this year either. Fulmer’s involvement with a case involving an Alabama booster that landed the Crimson Tide on probation several years ago is finally catching up to him. He will be in court testifying of his involvement in the case two days before the Vols play Auburn, which happens to be an away game. If Fulmer is going to gain support from the Tennessee fan-base, he’s going to have to win big games.



Tommy Tuberville, Auburn $2,600,000 – NOT WORTH IT

            Tuberville is 80-33 overall (50-24 in conference play). He’s brought in only 1 SEC Championship and has yet to bring a BCS title home. The only thing that is keeping Tuberville in Auburn is his streak against arch-rival Alabama.  He has plenty of division titles, but can’t seem to go beyond the SEC West. He’ll have to start shelling out more conference wins (what he really needs are championships) if he wants to stay around. A couple of losses to Alabama, and he won’t have anything left to offer.


Jim Tressel, Ohio State $2,600,000 – WORTH IT

            In the past seven seasons, Tressel has taken the Buckeyes to 3 National Championships-- winning the title once. He also has three Big 10 Championships to go with his 73-16 overall record. Did I mention he went undefeated in 2002? Not bad for a guy who wears sweater vests. He’s won four bowl games in seven years, and Ohio State has its eye on a few more.


Mack Brown, Texas $2,910,000 - WORTH IT

            Coach Brown has managed to keep the Longhorns in the Top 25 since he took over in 1998 (lowest ranking was 23). He’s brought home one National Championship, which was recent enough to keep hopes of another one fresh in the minds of the Longhorn faithful. His record of 103-25 at Texas is certainly nothing to be ashamed of, and he’s a world-renowned recruiter. A couple more Big 12 South wins this season will keep him happy at Texas for a while longer.  


Kirk Ferentz, Iowa $2,700,000 – NOT WORTH IT

            I’m not going to pretend that I know a whole lot about Kirk Ferentz. But I can tell you this- he’s only won 2 conference titles in his eight years at Iowa. You’re probably thinking, “hey, two conference titles in eight years, that ain’t bad!” You’re right, it’s not that bad. But did I mention that he has four losing seasons in that eight year span? With the price tag he has, he needs to produce a few more wins. His conference record is a lousy 34-38 lifetime at Iowa, not hardly worth the almost 3 million bucks he’s paid to coach there.


Bob Stoops, Oklahoma $3,450,000 – WORTH IT

            Let’s cut to the chase, Bob Stoops is a winner. With five Big 12 Championships in nine years, and one BCS title, Bob Stoops has proven to be well worth the money. He is 97-22 overall, and has only lost 12 conference games going into his tenth year as the Sooner’s head coach (the best overall record of any BCS school during that stretch). If Stoops can keep his team focused, and away from the off-field distractions that have been hanging over their heads for the past year, he’ll keep earning that hefty check.   


Pete Carroll, Southern Cal $3,800,000 – WORTH IT

            Say what you want about Pete Carroll, but one thing is for sure, he has earned his pay. Since taking over the SoCal head coaching job in 2001, Carroll has won six conference championships in the Pac 10, and back-to-back National Championships. Southern Cal fans seem to adore his unconventional (and often controversial) coaching style, but let the critics say what they wish, in the end, Carroll has the rings.


Charlie Weis, Notre Dame $3,300,000 – NOT WORTH IT        

            Before you get mad, allow me to explain. First of all, I like Weis. He’s one of my favorite coaches in college football. He has class, a coaching style that I admire, and fire for the game. But the fact of the matter is he has not proved himself at the college level. Last year the Fighting Irish were a complete disaster.  I wouldn’t fire him (yet), but coming off a 3-9 record, I can’t say he’s worth three million dollars.


Nick Saban, Alabama 4,000,000 – WORTH IT

            With only one year under his belt, it’s hard to say. But we do know from his days at LSU that Saban has what it takes to win in the SEC. In 2007 he was playing with a probation-era recruiting class, and a leftover mess from Tide coaches before him. With a new day dawning in Tuscaloosa, the Bama Nation is so far pleased. He received a rock-star welcome upon his arrival, and as the highest paid coach in college football, he receives a rock star salary. Saban brought in the #1 recruiting class in February, his first full recruiting season at Alabama. It’s hard to find another coach in the league that other coaches respect more. If Saban can keep his team in good behavior off the field, he should have no problems on the field.