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Purdue and California managed to avoid joining Georgia State and Miami (Ohio) in going winless this football season, but that's probably small comfort, given what each paid its head coach for producing a single victory.
Not including money related to buyouts they helped their coaches absorb, Purdue paid a little more than $2 million to Darrell Hazell and Cal $1.8 million to Sonny Dykes, putting them atop a group of five NCAA Bowl Subdivision schools that had seven-figure costs per victory based on head coaching compensation.
Virginia gave Mike London nearly $1.09 million for each of two wins, Arkansas $1.07 million to Bret Bielema for each of three and Kentucky just over $1 million to Mark Stoops for each of two. All but London were in their first season with the schools.
At the other end of the scale, three Mid-American Conference schools had double-digit victory totals while paying $40,000 or less in guaranteed money per win. Northern Illinois went 12-1 with Rod Carey ($31,250 per win), Ball State 10-2 with Pete Lembo ($39,600) and Bowling Green 10-3, including the MAC championship, with Dave Clawson ($40,000) who has since departed for Wake Forest.
The figures are based on USA TODAY Sports' annual analysis of football coaches' compensation, not including buyout-based pay, one-time payments or performance bonuses.
The best bargain among schools whose conference champions automatically qualify for the Bowl Championship Series was Houston's Tony Levine, with eight wins at $112,500 apiece.
Auburn's Gus Malzahn and Florida State's Jimbo Fisher, whose teams will meet for the BCS title, also were among the 10 least costly BCS conference coaches on a per-win basis.