USA Today recently released a NCAA college football cost per win analysis that revealed that the University of Kansas, under head coach Charlie Weis, was the most cost inefficient school in the country this year. I really enjoyed this particular cost per win analysis because college football is home to possibly the widest gap between the haves and have-nots in American sports. Visualizing the data helped many more stories emerge. Take a look and filter by conference for yourself! Note that USA Today did not release a comprehensive list of coaches pay, so this visualization includes 104 schools.
2012 NCAA College Football Cost Per Win
My key insights:
- The average wins in college football this year was 6.33 and the average pay was $1.6 Million. Fourteen of 104 schools in the analysis (13.5%) were above the average in wins while paying their coaches less than the NCAA average. Eighteen of 104 (17.3%) were on the opposite end of that spectrum, underperforming the averages in both categories.
- SEC schools earned the best wins average at 7.46 games each, 17.88% above the NCAA benchmark. Excluding Army, the lone independent school in the analysis, Conference USA had the worst wins average at 4.63, nearly 27% below the college football average.
- The MAC was the most cost-efficient conference in college football this year paying $61,600 per win in 2012 – 75% better than average. The MAC can also boast the highest number of schools, six, that won more games than average while paying less than average, including Ball State, Bowling Green, Kent State, Northern Illinois, Ohio, and Toledo. The Big 12 had the worst cost per win average at $420,132, which was 71% worse than average. This number was certainly pulled down by Kansas, who paid more than ten times the NCAA average per win this season.