The good folks over at USA Today put together their annual look at FBS head coaching salaries, and to no surprise a familiar name could be found at the top. Alabama's Nick Saban is once again the highest paid college football coach in America, collecting over $11 million to coach the Tide this year.
Other names rounding out the top five include Clemson's Dabo Swinney (over $8.5 million), Michigan's Jim Harbaugh (just north of $7 million), Ohio State's Urban Meyer (nearly $6.5 million) and Arizona's Rich Rodriguez (just over $6 million).
You may be wondering how Rich Rod is among the top five. Well, as Steve Berkowitz points out, that's due to more than half of the $6 million he's set to make coming from one-time payments that were included in his contract from back in 2014. That contract has since been revised, so 2017-18 is a special year for Rich Rod.
Interestingly enough, the ACC (Swinney, and Jimbo Fisher), Big Ten (Harbaugh and Meyer), Big 12 (Tom Herman and Gary Patterson), SEC (Saban and Kevin Sumlin) and Pac-12 Rich Rod, and David Shaw) all have two coaches each represented among the top ten highest paid coaches.
The lowest paid head coach of a Power Five program? That would be Cal's rookie head coach Justin Wilcox at $1.6 million (#66 of 121 reported salaries), followed closely behind by Kansas' David Beaty (#65) at $1,601,109.
How about the highest paid non-Power Five coach? That distinction belongs to SMU's Chad Morris at just shy of $2.1 million in 2017. UCF's Scott Frost, who has his team undefeated at 6-0, isn't far behind at $2 million.
The USA Today team was also able to uncover salaries from programs who, in years past didn't have to report their coaching salaries because they weren't part of their respective state institutions. Those schools include Notre Dame (Brian Kelly - $1,645,867), Vanderbilt (Derek Mason - $2,721,834), and Stanford (David Shaw - $5,680,441), among others.
Here are a few more astute observations, including the biggest buyouts on the books: