SEC Football: Economy Of A Win

Gene Chizik Auburn Head Coach Football Office

Gene Chizik & Auburn Operate A Football Budget Over $39 Million

Editors’ Note: This is a guest post written by Aaron Caldwell of So Fried Sports, a site created to give SEC fans the most relevant, up-to-date football, basketball and baseball coverage. From written content to a daily online video show with expert analysis, So Fried Sports has everything you need to stay informed. Want a laugh or two? Check out their ‘So Crazy’ page.

Given the current climate in this country regarding how much money is paid to our elected officials, big company moguls and Nicholas Cage for being in horrible movie, after horrible movie with no end in sight – IT’S THE END TIMES EVERYONE! NOOOO NOT THE BEES!! (“Wickerman Bees”…You Tube it now, thank me later), I took a gander at the athletic budgets of all SEC schools. Specifically, I examined the football budgets for the 2010-2011 season of the public SEC schools (these are the latest records released from the NCAA on SEC athletic budgets). My focus is primarily on the amount each school spends on their football program and approximately how much bang for their buck they got in terms of SEC conference wins from this past football season.

Technically, Ole Miss wins the battle of wins per dollar spent as they won precisely zero conference games. Thus, their $17,764,174.00 of football expenses equals $0.00 of dollars spent per win (Glass half full!). As for the schools that won conference games this past year, the highest dollar amount per win for 2011 belongs to the Volunteers of Tennessee. The University of Tennessee’s football expenses for 2010-2011 totaled $19,135,650.00. Given the Vols 1-7 conference record for this past year, it obviously follows that they paid $19,135,650.00 per win.

The most “economical” football team in the SEC for 2011, with football expenses of $21,492,741 (Seventh in the SEC), is Louisiana State University. Yup, one of the top teams in the country in the top college football conference in America is in the bottom half of the SEC in terms of football expenses. With their 8-0 record in the SEC, they paid approximately $2,686,592.63 per win. That’s $461,455.66 less than the second place University of Georgia (7-1) who paid $3,148,048.29 per win out of their operating expenses of $22,036,338.00.

How about the BCS National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide? They check in at almost two million dollars more per win than their championship game foe, LSU. The cash register for the University of Alabama (7-1) rings a total of $31,580,059.00 spent on football in 2010-2011, which would equate to $4,511,437.00 per win in 2011.

The highest budget for football expenses for the 2010-2011 season was Auburn University at $39,069,676.00. Coming in at 4-4 in SEC play last year would place them behind Tennessee at $9,767,419.00 per win.

Money builds excellent weight rooms, adds seating in already mega stadiums and does increase the chances of finding BCS bliss. However, when looking at the budgets for football in the SEC (Western Division champ and BCS Championship player LSU coming in seventh in football expenses, Eastern Division Champ Georgia at sixth, and previous two time champion Florida going 3-5 despite having the third highest amount spent on football in the SEC) winning the spending game money doesn’t always equal winning more games.



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  • *sigh*

    I have to fix your math. Ole Miss did not pay the cheapest per win in the SEC, they paid the most. $17,000,000 divided by zero is INFINITY, not zero. Thus, they paid an infinite amount of money (theoretically) per win.

  • Somebody’s favorite movie must be Moneyball

  • Very interesting article. The missing piece in this would be to see if can you get your hands on revenue generated per game? I am sure ticket sales and stadium purchases alone offset a good chunk of these expenses (maybe not in Ole Miss’s case). I’m not sure of the economic food chain detailing how much the University of Alabama makes off a sweatshirt in a Tide Pride store in Montgomery, vs. one sold in a university-owned bookstore in Tuscaloosa. That would not even be considered in the football budget I know, but just wondering if there is a way to get a little more in-depth picture of the grand scheme as far as revenue goes.

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