USA Today ran a piece this week about college football’s highest-paid assistant coaches and whether or not they were overpaid this year. Of the twelve names on the list, none of them were from Ohio State, but three of them were from the University of Michigan.
Defensive coordinator Don Brown’s pay this year is $1.3 million and as USA Today correctly concluded, he is worth it. Two other Wolverine assistants, however, have not been worth it. Offensive coordinator Tim Drevno is making $1.15 million this year, as is UM passing game coordinator/assistant head coach Pep Hamilton.
That’s $2.3 million to finish 86th in the nation in scoring, 112th in passing, and 101st in total offense.
Which begs the question of what Ohio State is paying their top two offensive assistants and whether or not they are worth it.
Now, the comparisons aren’t exact. OSU has an offensive coordinator in Kevin Wilson and a co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach in Ryan Day, while Michigan has an offensive coordinator (Drevno), a running game coordinator in Greg Frey, and a passing game coordinator (Hamilton).
But that doesn’t mean comparisons cannot be made. As the quarterbacks coach, Ryan Day does plenty of coordination of the OSU passing game, which makes the comparison of Wilson and Day to Drevno and Hamilton quite apt.
So how does that comparison shake out?
Wilson is making $650,000 this season and is the 58th-highest-paid assistant in the nation. Day, who comes in at No. 189 on that list, is making $400,000. That’s $1,050,000 on offensive coordinators total.
You can already see where this is going.
The Wolverine offense scored 34 touchdowns this season and 281 points.
The Buckeye offense, meanwhile, scored 71 touchdowns and 545 points.
In terms of money paid out to their two offensive coordinators, Ohio State spent $14,788.73 for each touchdown.
Michigan, by comparison, spent $67,941.18 on Hamilton and Drevno per touchdown, which is a price tag nearly five times higher than OSU paid for their end zone visits.
What about points?
Michigan spent a combined $8,220.64 per point on Drevno and Hamilton.
Ohio State paid Wilson and Day a combined $1,926.61 per point, which means the Wolverines spent over four times more than Ohio State did per offensive point.
Amazingly, the Wolverines would need to score 918 points on offense against South Carolina in the Outback Bowl to match OSU’s cost-per-point.
And what about yards?
OSU spent $154.25 per yard.
Michigan spent $542.38 per yard.
At least the return on yards isn’t as bad as points and touchdowns, so that’s…something.
Of course, the $11,000 per first down that Michigan had to shell out sure seems like a lot. Especially compared to the $3,079.18 that OSU spent to move the chains.
But who’s counting?
Nobody needed a breakdown like this to know that Ohio State’s offense was better this year than Michigan’s, but it does give you a very good idea of just how well each program is faring in their respective returns on investment.
It’s also pretty clear that there are some Buckeye coaches in need of a raise.