McMurphy's Law: Coaches with the highest salaries don't always pay off

by | College Football Insider

Mack Brown is the nation's highest paid coach yet his 'Horns finished outside the AP Top 25. (Getty Images)  
Mack Brown is the nation's highest paid coach yet his 'Horns finished outside the AP Top 25. (Getty Images)  

Texas' Mack Brown, Iowa's Kirk Ferentz, Louisville's Charlie Strong and SMU's June Jones are the highest paid coaches respectively in the Big 12, Big Ten, Big East and Conference USA.

They also have something else in common: none of their teams are ranked in the Associated Press' final regular-season Top 25 poll. However, Strong's Cardinals were able to tie for the Big East title.

Money can't buy happiness and it can't guarantee a successful football program either.

Schools featuring four of the nation's 10 highest-paid coaches -- Brown, Ferentz, Auburn's Gene Chizik and Florida's Will Muschamp -- did not finish in the AP Top 25.

None of those four programs finished better than 7-5, although Texas, Iowa, Auburn and Florida all received bowl berths.

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Of the 25 highest-paid coaches not in the AP's Top 25 this week, four have already been fired: Texas A&M's Mike Sherman, Kansas' Turner Gill, Illinois' Ron Zook and Ole Miss' Houston Nutt.

Also of those 25 coaches, six did not finish this season with a winning record: Ole Miss' Nutt (2-10), Kansas' Gill (2-10), Duke's David Cutcliffe (3-9), Kentucky's Joker Phillips (5-7), Minnesota's Jerry Kill (3-9) and South Florida's Skip Holtz (5-7).

Coaches' salary figures are from USA Today.

25 highest paid coaches whose teams aren't ranked in AP Top 25

1. Texas' Mack Brown: $5.193 million, 1st nationally, highest-paid coach in the Big 12.

2. Iowa's Kirk Ferentz, $3.785 million, 5th nationally, highest-paid coach in the Big Ten.

3. Auburn's Gene Chizik, $3.5 million, 7th nationally, fourth-highest in the SEC.

4. Florida's Will Muschamp, $3.221 million, 9th nationally, fifth-highest in the SEC.

5. Ole Miss' Houston Nutt, $2.771 million, 14th nationally, eighth-highest in the SEC.

6. Missouri's Gary Pinkel, $2.7 million, 16th nationally, third-highest in the Big 12.

7. Mississippi State's Dan Mullen, $2.5 million, 18th nationally, ninth-highest in the SEC.

8. Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson, $2.369 million, 19th nationally, second-highest in the ACC.

9. Tennessee's Derek Dooley, $2.330 million, 20th nationally, 10th-highest in the SEC.

10. Louisville's Charlie Strong, $2.305 million, 22nd nationally, highest paid coach in the Big East.

11. California's Jeff Tedford, $2.3 million, 23rd nationally, second-highest in the Pac-12.

12. Rutgers' Greg Schiano, $2.296 million, 24th nationally, second-highest in the Big East.

13. Wake Forest's Jim Grobe, $2.275 million, 25th nationally, fourth-highest in the ACC.

14. Washington's Steve Sarkasian, $2.250 million, 26th nationally, third-highest in the Pac-12.

15. Texas A&M's Mike Sherman, $2.201 million, 27th nationally, fourth-highest in the Big 12.

16. Kansas' Turner Gill, $2.101 million, 28th nationally, fifth-highest in the Big 12.

17. Maryland's Randy Edsall, $2.013 million, 30th nationally, fifth-highest in the ACC.

18. N.C. State's Tom O'Brien, $1.877 million, 33rd nationally, sixth-highest in the ACC.

19. Virginia's Mike London, $1.794 million, 35th nationally, eighth-highest in the ACC.

20. Duke's David Cutcliffe, $1.762 million, 36th nationally, ninth-highest in the ACC.

21. Illinois' Ron Zook, $1.753 million, 37th nationally, sixth-highest in the Big Ten.

22. SMU's June Jones, $1.727 million, 38th nationally, highest-paid coach in Conference USA.

23. Kentucky's Joker Phillips, $1.702 million, 39th nationally, 11th-highest in the SEC.

24 (tie). Minnesota's Jerry Kill, $1.7 million, tied for 40th nationally, seventh-highest in the Big Ten.

24 (tie). South Florida's Skip Holtz, $1.7 million, tied for 40th nationally, third-highest in the Big East.

24 (tie). Utah's Kyle Whittingham, $1.7 million, tied for 40th nationally, fourth-highest in the Pac-12.


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