Ranking Big Ten football head coach updated contract buyouts

Lost in all the hubbub of teams vying for conference titles and jockeying for position when it comes to the College Football Playoff is the fact that USA TODAY updated its head coaching salary database which gets released annually.

The updated numbers not only show what head football coaches at public universities make as a part of their total compensation (hence no Pat Fitzgerald at Northwestern), but it also details what the contract buyouts are for each. And while we hate to wish ill will on anyone’s job status, those figures will come into play as performance either on or off the field come under the microscope.

I mean, we already have a very troubling and inexcusable instance of off-the-field conduct by players at Michigan State. We also have teams like Indiana and Rutgers not doing well on the field of play.

We’ve already seen Wisconsin let go of head coach Paul Chryst, and Nebraska part ways with Scott Frost, and it wouldn’t be utterly shocking to see another asked to leave in the high-stakes game of today’s college football.

So … if something were to happen that would warrant a departure of ways (with cause notwithstanding), here is each Big Ten football head coach’s contract buyout as it stands today ranked from the least to most ludicrous.

Figures are as of 12/1/2022.

Bret Bielema, Illinois

Sep 4, 2021; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Bret Bielema enters the field with his team before the start of Saturday’s game with the UTSA Roadrunners at Memorial Stadium. Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Total Contract Buyout

$10,125,000

Mike Locksley, Maryland

Oct 1, 2021; College Park, Maryland, USA; Maryland Terrapins head coach Michael Locksley looks on during the second half of the game against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium. Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Total Contract Buyout

$11,266,667

 

Greg Schiano, Rutgers

WATCH: What Rutgers' Greg Schiano said about Ohio State after the game
WATCH: What Rutgers' Greg Schiano said about Ohio State after the game

Sep 10, 2022; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights head coach Greg Schiano watches the action against the Wagner Seahawks during the second half at SHI Stadium. Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Total Contract Buyout

$16,143,750

P.J. Fleck, Minnesota

WATCH: What Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck said about Ohio State postgame
WATCH: What Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck said about Ohio State postgame

Sep 2, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Gophers head coach P.J Fleck looks on prior to the game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Huntington Bank Stadium. Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

Total Contract Buyout

$19,770,833

 

Jeff Brohm, Purdue

WATCH: What Purdue coach Jeff Brohm said about Ohio State pregame
WATCH: What Purdue coach Jeff Brohm said about Ohio State pregame

Nov 3, 2018; West Lafayette, IN, USA; Purdue Boilermakers head coach Jeff Brohm reacts against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Ross-Ade Stadium. Credit: Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

Total Contract Buyout

$24,375,000

 

Tom Allen, Indiana

WATCH: Indiana coach Tom Allen calls Ohio State 'special' after loss
WATCH: Indiana coach Tom Allen calls Ohio State 'special' after loss

Indiana Hoosiers head coach Tom Allen walks along the sideline during the fourth quarter of an NCAA Division I football game between the Indiana Hoosiers and the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Ind. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Total Contract Buyout

$24,900,000

Jim Harbaugh, Michigan

Oct 8, 2022; Bloomington, Indiana, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh yells during the second half against the Indiana Hoosiers at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Total Contract Buyout

$35,410,651

 

Kirk Ferentz, Iowa

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz discusses Ohio State, offensive failure
Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz discusses Ohio State, offensive failure

Oct. 22, 2022; Columbus, Ohio; Iowa Hawkeyes head coach Kirk Ferentz coaches during the second quarter against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium. Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Total Contract Buyout

$43,000,000

Ryan Day, Ohio State

Oct 29, 2022; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day walks on the field during a warm-up prior to the game against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium. Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Total Contract Buyout

$52,416,666

 

James Franklin, Penn State

What Penn State coach James Franklin said about Ohio State postgame
What Penn State coach James Franklin said about Ohio State postgame

Oct 29, 2022; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin walks on the field during a warm-up prior to the game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Beaver Stadium. Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Total Contract Buyout

$72,666,667

 

Mel Tucker, Michigan State

WATCH: Michigan State coach Mel Tucker talks about playing Ohio State
WATCH: Michigan State coach Mel Tucker talks about playing Ohio State

Oct 1, 2022; College Park, Maryland, USA; Michigan State Spartans head coach Mel Tucker reacts during the first half against the Maryland Terrapins at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium. Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Total Contract Buyout

$86,687,500

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Story originally appeared on Buckeye Wire