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Big Ten Moneyball: How much did each football coach make per win in 2016?

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Which school got the most out of its investment last season?

Michigan v Ohio State
Jim Harbaugh, the highest paid coach in college football, wants cake and he wants it now.
Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

College football is a business, and like any business, you want to make sure you are getting the most out of what you put into it. Athletic departments across the country shell out insane amounts of money to head football coaches every year.

With that money comes many responsibilities. In most cases, the head football coach is the face of not only the football program — but for better or worse — the face of the university as well. As a result, part of those responsibilities is being a good politician. More importantly in the eyes of most fans and boosters, these coaches have a responsibility to win football games.

I took a look at the paychecks (including bonuses) each Big Ten coach collected in 2016 and ran the zeroes on those checks against the numbers in the win column.

Why? Because it’s May. What else are you gonna read?

These numbers are only a reflection of what each school’s head coach made. The salaries of the assistants were not factored into this highly sophisticated and scientific study.

Here is what each school’s head coach made per win in 2016 in order of biggest ripoff to bargain bin steal.

14. Michigan State

Total head coach compensation: $4,775,000

Total wins: 3

Cash per win: $1,591,667 (How do I get that gig?)

13. Rutgers

Total head coach compensation: $2,000,000

Total wins: 2

Cash per win: $1,000,000

12. Michigan

Total head coach compensation: $9,004,000

Total wins: 10

Cash per win: $900,400

11. Purdue

Total head coach compensation: $2,310,000

Total wins: 3

Cash per win: $770,000

10. Iowa

Total head coach compensation: $5,400,000

Total wins: 8

Cash per win: $675,000

9. Illinois

Total head coach compensation: $1,809,179

Total wins: 3

Cash per win: $603,060

8. Ohio State

Total head coach compensation: $6,344,800

Total wins: 11

Cash per win: $576,800

7. Northwestern

Total head coach compensation: $3,350,638

Total wins: 7

Cash per win: $478,663

6. Penn State

Total head coach compensation: $4,700,000

Total wins: 11

Cash per win: $427,273

5. Indiana

Total head coach compensation: $2,495,000

Total wins: 6

Cash per win: $415,833

4. Maryland

Total head coach compensation: $2,412,000

Total wins: 6

Cash per win: $402,000

3. Nebraska

Total head coach compensation: $2,800,000

Total wins: 9

Cash per win: $311,111

2. Wisconsin

Total head coach compensation: $2,806,200

Total wins: 11

Cash per win: $255,109

1. Minnesota

Total head coach compensation: $1,557,942

Total wins: 9

Cash per win: $173,105

Now that’s not a bad deal for Minnesota, but as you know (or should know), they fired Tracy Claeys and brought in P.J. Fleck. They’ll pay Fleck $3.5 million in 2017, which means if he equals Claeys’ 2016 win total, Minnesota will have paid him $388,889 per win. That does not factor in the $5 million it cost Minnesota to fire Claeys and his staff.

So what do these numbers mean? I don’t know. Like I said, it’s May. Do with this info what you will. And thanks for reading.