Salaries for Every FBS College Football Coach: Who's Underpaid and Overpaid?

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst INovember 23, 2011

Salaries for Every FBS College Football Coach: Who's Underpaid and Overpaid?

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    Nothing fancy here, folks. Just going to run down each FBS head coach's salary and give you my opinion if their pay is overpaid, underpaid and just down right fair.

    For reference measures, I'm going to use this recent USA Today article. So come inside, follow along and let's just very quickly discuss some salaries around college football.

    Pay me now!

Butch Jones: Cincinnati

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    Cinci's coach makes about $1.4 million per year. He is 11-11 during his two-year stay thus far. Last year was a disappointment at 4-8, seventh in the Big East and no bowl game. 2011 has been better, with a 7-3 record thus far.

    Pay Verdict: fair

Paul Pasualoni: UConn

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    Pasqualoni makes about $1.5 million annually and is in his first year in Stoors. He's had an up and down year with a 4-6 mark, and next year will be a crucial year for him to turn things around.

    Pay Verdict: overpaid

Charile Strong: Louisiville

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    Strong, who makes about $2.3 million, has done a very good job during his tenure at Louisville. He's 13-11 overall won the Beef 'O' Brady's bowl in his first year. Plus, he's opened up some in-roads to Florida on the recruiting trail.

    Pay Verdict: fair

Todd Graham: Pitt

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    Graham is in his first year at Pitt and makes $2 million a year. He's just 5-5 so far this year, and Pitt has been a bit mediocre. Losing Ray Graham hurts, but a bit more was expected.

    Pay Verdict: overpaid

Greg Schiano: Rutgers

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    Schiano has been at Rutgers for 11 seasons and has a 67-66 record during that time. He makes about $2.3 million a season, and his best year was the 11-2 year in 2006. Any other coach would be overpaid, but considering what he has overcome at Rutgers, fair is right.

    Pay Verdict: fair

Skip Holtz: USF

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    Holtz makes $1.7 million a year and is in year two in the Tampa area. He's got a 13-10 record, but I think he's a bit overrated as a coach right now. Yet, his pay seems about right.

    Pay Verdict: fair

Doug Marrone: Syracuse

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    This marks year three for Marrone in Upstate New York, and he's posted a 17-18 record. The Syracuse Alum hasn't seen the rise he's hoped for, but he does have a bowl win. Marrone makes only about $1.1 million a year.

    Pay Verdict: underpaid

Dana Holgorsen: West Virginia

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    Holgorsen is the head coach at WVU a year earlier than expected. Yet he's done a solid job in my opinion, with a 7-3 record. He makes around $1.4 million a year, and with his offense, the future looks bright in Morgantown. 

    Pay Verdict: underpaid (long term projection)

Frank Spaziani: Boston College

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    Spaz took over for Tom O'Brien and has a 19-19 record so far. He's also lost both bowl games he's been in as head coach at BC. He makes about $1.01 million a year. His pay is fair, market value-wise, but it doesn't match his production.

    Pay Verdict: overpaid

Dabo Swinney: Clemson

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    Swinney makes about $1.85 million a year. He's got a 28-17 record and is 1-2 in bowl games. Yet, this year he's finally turned Clemson's arrow up and looks to be on the rise with their 9-2 record.

    Pay Verdict: fair

Jimbo Fisher: Florida State

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    This is Fisher's second year as HC for FSU and he has a 17-8 record and won the Chick-Fil-A bowl last year. The 7-4 mark this year is a downer, and Fisher is making a big time $2.75 million a year.

    Pay Verdict: overpaid

Randy Edsall: Maryland

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    Edsall bolted UConn for Maryland this year and makes a whopping $2 million a year. But he's also got a downing 2-9 record this year. Must be the uniforms.

    Pay Verdict: overpaid

Tom O'Brien: NC State

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    O'Brien is in his fifth year as head coach in Raleigh and has just a 31-30 record. He makes nearly $1.9 million a year, and I think that's just too much for a coach that's only been to two bowl games for NC State.

    Pay Verdict: overpaid

Jim Grobe: Wake Forest

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    Grobe has been head coach at Wake Forest for 11 years and has a 68-65 record. His best year was in '06 when he lost the Orange bowl, but finished 11-3. Yet his $2.275 million a year salary is too much for a football coach at Wake.

    Pay Verdict: overpaid

David Cutcliffe: Duke

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    Cutcliffe makes $1.76 million a year. He's been at Duke for four years and has finished no better than fifth in the ACC Coastal division. But being the head coach of the football team at Duke is tough, and Cutcliffe has had Duke's competitiveness level raised.

    Pay Verdict: fair

Paul Johnson: Georgia Tech

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    I like Johnson's style; he's 31-17 at GT and has Co-Coastal division titles. But the three bowl losses are schisms for me. He makes about $2.37 million a season, and I think that's slightly too much.

    Pay Verdict: overpaid

Al Golden: Miami

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    Golden's salary is undisclosed, but according sources of the AP, it's around $2 million a year. He's 6-5 this initial year in Coral Gables, but Golden is a tireless worker and has top 10 recruiting classes, and this is all going through the ugly sanctions coming down on The U.

    Pay Verdict: fair

Everett Withers: North Carolina

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    Withers is the interim coach at UNC and has the Tar Heels at 6-5. I'm not sure if he's in the long term plans of the program as HC, but making $500,000 as the HC amid Butch Davis' sudden dismissal seems about right when you match his record.

    Pay Verdict: fair

Mike London: Virginia

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    London took one on the chin last year at 4-8, in his first year. But he's marched to an 8-3 record in 2011 and could play in the ACC title game with a win over nemesis Virginia Tech this weekend. He's 12-11 in two years and makes about $1.8 million a year.

    Pay Verdict: fair

Frank Beamer: Virginia Tech

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    Two hundred and fifty wins. Eight Bowl wins in 18 tries. Twenty-four years in Blacksburg. A $2.3 million a year salary. Frank Beamer is one of the underrated coaches of the game.

    Pay Verdict: underpaid

Mark Dantonio: Michigan State

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    Mark Dantonio makes about $1.9 million a year. He's got a 42-21 record and a share of a Big Ten Title. He's lost all four bowl games, though, including that waxing from Alabama last year.

    Pay Verdict: fair (would say underpaid, but four bowl losses is a bit tough)

Danny Hope: Purdue

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    Purdue's coach makes $925,000 a year and is in his third year as head coach. Yet he just has a 14-21 record, and his best spot is sixth in Big Ten standings. Not good.

    Pay Verdict: overpaid

Kirk Ferentz: Iowa

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    Iowa's coach has done a good job at the helm and is always in rumors about the NFL. He's got a 93-64 record and is 6-3 in bowl games. You'd think his $3.7 million a year salary is solid, but it's too much. Iowa isn't an elite program, and Ferentz has no national titles and has only gone to two BCS bowls.

    Pay Verdict: overpaid

Pat Fitzgerald: Northwestern

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    Fitzgerald makes around $1.2 million a year and is proud to be the HC at his alma mater. Considering the fact that he has a 40-34 record at Nrothwestern, I can overlook the three bowl loses.

    Pay Verdict: fair

Ron Zook: Illinois

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    Zook has just a 34-50 record at Illinois and only two bowl game appearances. He makes about $1.75 million a year, but this may be his final time in Champaign.

    Pay Verdict: overpaid

Kevin Wilson: Indiana

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    Wilson is in his first year at Indiana and is just 1-10. He makes $1.2 million. Easy choice.

    Pay Verdict: overpaid

Jerry Kill: Minnesota

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    Happy to hear Kill's health has improved and he's just about returned to work. Well wishes. In the future, I think his offense could move the Golden Gopheres a couple notches up the Big Ten Pecking order.

    Minnesota is just 2-9 this year, but this is a wash because Kill has missed several weeks due to his health.

    Pay Verdict: incomplete

Joe Paterno: Penn State

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    I'm doing Joe Pa and not Tom Bradley because Paterno was Penn State and coach for a large majority of this season. I also don't want to get in any debate about Paterno, and I'm just going to leave it at that. He made a bit over a million dollars this year.

    Pay Verdict: fair

Bret Bielema: Wisconsin

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    Bielema makes about $2.6 million a year. He's been in charge at Camp Rand for six years and has a 58-18 record. He's 2-3 in bowl games and has one Big Ten title so far.

    Pay Verdict: fair

Bo Pelini: Nebraska

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    Pelini makes about $2.7 million a season to Bielema's $2.6 million. He's 38-15 in four years and 3-1 in bowl games for Nebraska.

    Pay Verdict: fair

Luke Fickell: Ohio State

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    Fickell was paid a little over $1.1 million this year and led the Buckeyes to a 6-5 record. He's likely going to get replaced after the season and doesn't strike any long term confidence in Buckeye faithful. I just think right now, the job may be too big for him at this stage in his career.

    Pay Verdict: overpaid

Brady Hoke: Michigan

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    I was shocked to see Hoke is making $3.2 million this year. Don't get me wrong, he's a good coach, but that's top tier in the nation pay. But Big Blue is 9-2 and competed for a Big Ten title this year when many wrote them off before the season even started.

    But still, $3.2 milly? Wowsers.

    Pay Verdict: overpaid

Paul Rhoads: Iowa State

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    Rhoads is 18-17 in three years as lead Cyclone and has scored some cool upsets, most recently shocking No. 2 Oklahoma State. He makes about $1.15 million a year.

    Pay Verdict: underpaid

Art Briles: Baylor

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    Briles makes about $1.55 million a year as head coach of Baylor. He's got a 22-25 record and is 0-1 in bowl games. But his 7-3 mark this year and the RG3 train should score him an extension and a raise.

    Pay Verdict: underpaid

Bill Snyder: Kansas State

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    Snyder is 158-82-1 as K-State's head man. He's 6-6 in bowls and makes about $1.9 million a season. The Wildcats are a shocking 9-2 this year and have a Heisman candidate in Colin Klein.

    Pay Verdict: fair

Turner Gill: Kansas

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    Gill makes a shocking $2.1 million a year and has just a 25-48 record as a head coach. He's been at KU for two years and has just won fives games with a 5-18 record. Ouch.

    Pay Verdict: overpaid

Gary Pinkel: Missouri

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    Pinkel makes $2.7 million a year for Missouri. He has a 83-54 record and is 3-4 in bowl games. I think he may be slightly overpaid, as he should be closer to the $2 million side than the $3 million side, but that's splitting hairs.

    Pay Verdict: fair

Bob Stoops: Oklahoma

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    Stoops is one of the elite flagship coaches in the country. He makes over $4.4 million a year and has a 132-37 record, is 6-6 in bowls and has a national title. Stoops has gone to seven BCS bowl games in his 13 years and is also 83-20 in Big 12 play.

    Pay Verdict: fair

Mack Brown: Texas

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    Brown makes close to $5.2 million a year, which stirred some criticism in 2009. He's got a 139-35 record in 14 years at the helm. Brown is 85-22 in Big 12 play, has a national title and has gone to four BCS bowls.

    But still, $5.2 million?

    Pay Verdict: overpaid

Mike Gundy: Oklahoma State

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    Gundy has been head coach in Stillwater for seven years and has a 57-30 record. The Pokes are 10-1, and Gundy has a 3-2 record in bowl games. He makes $2.1 million a year. Gary Pinkel makes $2.7 million.

    Pay Verdict: underpaid

Mike Sherman: Texas A&M

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    This is Sherman's fourth year in College Station, and he has a 25-24 record. He's 0-2 in bowl games, and this 6-5 2011 season has been a downer, as expectations were plenty high for the Aggies.

    His $2.2 million is a little rich for me when you match his record, this season's output and his bowl record.

    Pay Verdict: overpaid

Tommy Tuberville: Texas Tech

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    Tuberville gets about $2.06 million a season in Lubbock and has a 13-11 record. This year has been sour, as the Red Raiders are just 5-6, though Tuberville won a bowl game last year. But his pay is too much right now.

    Pay Verdict: overpaid

Jeff Tedford: California

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    Tedford makes $2.3 million a season. He's got a 78-47 record at Cal and a 5-2 bowl record. That's great, but Cal hasn't been a top tier Pac-12 team in five years, with their highest place being fourth since winning the Pac-10 in 2006.

    Pay Verdict: overpaid

Chip Kelly: Oregon

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    Whether you like Kelly or not, you can't deny his prowess as Oregon's head coach. He's got a 31-5 record, a BCS title game appearance and has gone 24-1 in Pac-12 play. Sure he's 0-2 in bowl games, but when those are BCS bowl games, that isn't as tough. He makes $2.8 million.

    Pay Verdict: fair

Mike Riley: Oregon State

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    Riley has had two stints as head coach in Corvalis and is a cuulative 71-62. He's got a 5-1 record in bowl games and makes about $1.3 million a year. Yet he's 45-46 in Pac-12 play and has no conference titles and no BCS bowl appearances.

    Pay Verdict: fair

David Shaw: Stanford

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    Stanford fails to disclose Shaw's salary, yet it's estimated to be just south to just north of the $2 million mark. I'm sorry, but Shaw won't really start proving his worth until Andrew Luck leaves.

    Pay Verdict: fair

Steve Sarkisian: Washington

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    Sark makes $2.25 million a season and has an 18-18 record in Seattle. He's got a bowl win, but is just 6-5 this year. I'm sure Sark is working hard, but the $2 million mark is a bit rich right now for a .500 coach through three years.

    Pay Verdict: overpaid

Paul Wulff: Washington State

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    This is a tough one, as Wulff is just 9-39 as Wazzu's head coach. But market-wise, $600,000 a year is below value. I'm going to see underpaid, but that's just based on the market.

    Pay Verdict: underpaid

Rich Rodriguez: Arizona

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    $1.91 million a year is what Rich Rod will make. He brings a 120-84 career record and two ties. Rich Rod in the desert should be an interesting mix.

    Pay Verdict: incomplete/TBD

Denis Erickson: Arizona State

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    Erickson's salary is $1.5 million. He's 31-29 in Tempe and has a 21-24 Pac-12 record.  He's 0-1 in bowl games, and his highest place is fifth in the conference. Though ASU could win the Pac-12 South this year.

    Pay Verdict: fair

Jon Embree: Colorado

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    This marks year one of the restoration project in Boulder. Jon Embree has gone 2-9 this season and makes $725,000 a year. I have no quarrels with that.

    Pay Verdict: fair

Rick Neuheisel: UCLA

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    Slick Rick has gone just 19-26 as UCLA's head coach and just 11-21 in Pac-12 play. But he does have a bowl win. Then again, his highest placing in eighth in the conference. He makes just over $1.2 million per year.

    Pay Verdict: fair

Lane Kiffin: USC

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    Kiffin makes an estimated $4 million a year, according to various outlets. If you go by the improvement USC has shown this season and by beating Oregon, sure, he deserves it. But this is just year two. Kiffin hasn't won anything anywhere as a head coach, and we must see what he does without Matt Barkely.

    Pay Verdict: fair (for now)

Kyle Whittingham: Utah

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    Whittingham has 65-24 record, is 6-1 in bowl games, has technically two BCS bowl wins and makes just $1.7 million a year. Talk about a bargain. He's easily underpaid.

    Pay Verdict: underpaid

Will Muschamp: Florida

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    $3.2 million for a 6-5 first year is overpaying. Yes, Florida fans, I think Muschamp will be better long term; in fact, I know he will. But right now, he's overpaid.

    Pay Verdict: overpaid

Joker Phillips: Kentucky

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    Phillips has just a 10-13 record in two years at Kentucky thus far. He did get the Wildcats to a bowl game, but that 3-12 SEC record is nasty. He makes $1.7 million a year.

    Pay Verdict: overpaid

Mark Richt: Georgia

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    Richt has been in Athens for 11 years, totaling 105 wins and 36 loses. He's gone 60-28 inside the SEC, has two SEC titles, a 7-3 bowl record and is 2-1 in BCS bowls. Richt makes about $2.9 million a year.

    Pay Verdict: fair

Steve Spurrier: South Carolina

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    The Ol' Ball Coach has a 53-35 record in Columbia and a 29-27 SEC record. He's just 1-4 in bowl games, though. Yet his $2.8 million salary seems about right, as he's gotten South Carolina out of the SEC dweller and among the prominent teams in the East.

    Pay Verdict: fair

Derek Dooley: Tennessee

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    $2.3 million for an 11-13 coach is a bit rich for my taste buds. Dooley's a good one, and I like his recruiting approach, but I need more on-field results. 

    Pay Verdict: overpaid

James Franklin: Vanderbilt

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    Vandy really has done a good job of locking up the details of Frnaklin's contract, but I estimate it's between $1.2 million and $2 million a season. Considering the fact I didn't expect Vandy to win a game this year, let alone five, Franklin is about fair to underpaid.

    Pay Verdict: fair

Nick Saban: Alabama

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    Saban makes a bit over $4.8 million a year. He's got a 53-12 record at 'Bama, is 31-8 inside SEC play, 3-1 in bowl games and has a national title. He likely could win a second national title this year without even winning the SEC.

    Pay Verdict: fair

Bobby Petrino: Arkansas

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    Petrino makes just about over $3.6 million a season. He's got a 33-16 record for the Hogs and is 17-14 in SEC play. He's 1-1 in bowl games, but has gotten Arkansas to a BCS game.

    Pay Verdict: fair

Gene Chizik: Auburn

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    Chizik has the imperative national title to his resume, which is the foundation to his $3.5 million a year salary. He has a 29-9 record at Auburn and is 2-0 in bowl games in just three years. 

    Pay Verdict: fair

Houston Nutt: Ole Miss

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    Nutt is done at the end of the season, but he's gone 24-25 in four years. He won the Cotton Bowl two years in a row in 2008 and 2009, but the 10-21 record in SEC play is a sore. He's making $2.7 million this season.

    Pay Verdict: overpaid

Les Miles: LSU

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    The Mad Hatter gets just about $3.8 million this year so far. He's 73-17 in Baton Rouge, has LSU as the No. 1 team in the nation this year and already has a national title. He's 40-15 in SEC play and 5-1 in bowl games, with two BCS wins.

    Pay Verdict: fair

Dan Mullen: Mississippi State

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    This is year three for Dan Mullen, and he's posted a 19-17 record as a head coach. He's got a Gator Bowl win, but is just 8-15 in SEC play. At $2.5 million a year, it's a push as to his pay, but I have to say overpaid.

    Pay Verdict: overpaid

Gary Patterson: TCU

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    If Mullen is a $2.5 million and Patterson just over $2 million, the Patterson is underpaid. He's 107-30 at TCU and is 5-1 in bowl games, with two BCS appearances.

    Pay Verdict: underpaid

Chris Petersen: Boise State

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    So you go 70-6 in five years and you make $1.5 million a year. Not bad, right? No, but then again, there are other coaches you have a far superior record to that make more than you. Much more. Petersen is underpaid.

    Pay Verdict: underpaid

Brian Kelly: Notre Dame

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    Kelly is thought to be at the $3 million a year mark . He's 16-8 as head coach in Notre Dame and has a bowl win under his belt. But honestly, so far, I don't Kelly's hype matching his prodution.

    Pay verdict: overpaid

Kevin Sumlin: Houston

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    Sumlin makes $1.2 million a year right now. He's 34-16 overall at Houston, 23-8 in C-USA and 1-1 in bowl games. I'd be interested to see how he does without Case Keenum.

    Pay verdict: fair

The Rest

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    ECU: Ruffin Mcneil: $884,000: fair   

    Marshall: Doc Holiday: $619,00: fair

    Memphis: Larry Porter: $754,00: overpaid

    UAB: Neil Callaway: $446,00: fair

    UCF: George O'Leary: $1.3 million: fair

    Rice: David Bailiff: $625,000: fair

    Tulane: Bob Toledo: N/A

    Tulsa: Bill Blakenship: N/A

    UTEP: Mike Price: $394,000: underpaid

    Army: Rich Ellerson: $610,000: fair

    Navy: Ken Niumatalolo: $1.5million: overpaid

    Southern Miss: Larry Fedora: $704,000: underpaid

The Rest (Continued)

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    BYU: Bronco Mendenhall: N/A

    Air Force: Tim Jefferson: QB

    CSU: Steve Fairchild: $700,000: fair

    New Mexico: Bob Davie: N/A

    SDSU: Rocky Long: $801,000: fair

    UNLV: Bobby Hauck: $501,000: fair

    Wyoming: Dave Christensen: $843,000: overpaid

    Fresno State: Pat Hill: $679,000: underpaid

    Hawaii: Greg McMackin: $1.115 million: overpaid

    Idaho: Rob Akey: $371,000: fair

    Louisiana Tech: Sonny Dykes: $460,000: fair

    Nevada: Chris Ault: $439,000: underpaid

    NMSU: DeWayne Walker: $375,000: fair

    SJSU: Mike MacIntyre: $412,000: fair

    Utah State: Gary Andersen: $354,000: underpaid

The Rest (Continued)

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    Akron: Rob Ianello: $375,000: overpaid

    BGSU: Dave Clawson: $364,000: fair

    Buffalo: Jeff Quinn: $325,000: overpaid

    Kent State: Darrell Hazel: $300,000: fair

    Miami (OH): Don Treadwell: $401,00: fair

    Ohio: Frank Solich: $477,000: fair

    Temple: Steve Adazio: N/A

    Toledo: Tim Beckman: $411,000: fair

    Ball State: Pete Lembo: $350,000: fair

    CMU: Dan Enos: $325,000: fair

    EMU: Ron English: $343,000: fair

    WMU: Bill Cubit: $379,000: fair

    NIU: Dave Doern: $371,000: fair

The Rest (Continued)

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    SMU: June Jones: $1.7 million: fair

    Arkansas State: Hugh Freeze: $202,000: underpaid

    FAU: Howard Scnhellenberger: $405,000: fair

    FIU: Mario Cristobal: $497,000: underpaid

    Louisiana Lafayette: Mark Hudspeth: $361,000: fair

    Louisiana Monroe: Todd Berry: $225,000: fair

    MTSU: Rick Stockstill: $458,900: fair

    North Texas: Dan McCarney: $545,000: overpaid

    Troy: Larry Blakeney: $381,000: underpaid

    WKU: Willie Taggart: $225,00: underpaid