Brian Bahr/Getty Images
Thank you, Texas, for proving the point of my college football spending story, which appeared just about the time the Longhorns announced that defensive coordinator Will Muschamp will succeed Mack Brown when Brown decides to quit plucking his choice of five-star recruits and coaching them to double-digit wins every season. The move proves the point of the story, because only a few schools in America can afford to employ a $3.1 million coach (Brown) and a $900,000 coordinator (Muschamp), whose salary likely will rise each year Brown stays.
The rich get richer, indeed.
According to the numbers Texas filed this year with the U.S. Department of Education, the Longhorns raked in $72,952,397 on football in 2007-08, while spending just $20,049,651. That's a lot of spare change, and it allows Texas plenty of room to essentially pay two big-time head coaches simultaneously.
These succession plans may become more common among the real heavyweights (Georgia, Ohio State, Florida, Michigan), because these programs didn't get rich by playing nice. What's the best way to ensure you continue to dominate a particular market/conference? Choke off the supply of quality CEOs for your competition. Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds said the Longhorns wanted to "build our future from the inside," and praised the long-term stability the succession plan might provide. Dodds is correct on that account, but he also solved another potential problem. Imagine if Mike Leach left Texas Tech for a boatload of money at Tennessee, and then Tech hired Muschamp to build on the legacy Leach had left behind. That's bad for business at Texas.
And Dodds' sole responsibility is to make sure business keeps booming.