For those left wondering whether Mike Gundy’s recent raise was warranted, The Athletic might’ve settled the dispute.
From 2010-19, Oklahoma State spent the second-fewest per win among Power Five football programs at $2.33 million. Kansas State is the only program that spend fewer in that time, coming in about $60,000 under OSU’s average. For what it’s worth, OSU had 93 wins in the time frame to K-State’s 81.
Andy Staples did the work, taking the numbers schools are required to submit for the Department of Education’s Equity in Athletics Database. For further reference, OSU spent about $840,000 less than Oklahoma, $2.8 million less than Texas and $6.6 million less than Kansas per win in that stretch. Kansas spent the most per win among all Power Five programs, collecting a whopping 21 wins from 2010 to 2019 and using four coaches to do it. Texas spent the fourth-most per win, shelling out the big bucks for 71 wins.
Despite the Jayhawks and Texas not spending the almighty dollar too wisely, the Big 12 actually spent the fewest per win among the Power Five conferences thanks to Kansas State, OSU and West Virginia all being in the Top 4 in terms of efficiency. Even Oklahoma is relatively efficient, spending the 16th-fewest per win among Power Five schools.
Staples breakdown of everything is great. He goes into the cost effectiveness of national champions over that time, breaks down the recipe for a cost-efficient season and some instances where finances got a little out of hand for some programs. You should read it.
Stability, turning three stars into four stars, Cowboy culture, Body by Glass — all these things can seem a little cliché at points, but it’s breakdowns like this that shows how impressive this machine is that Gundy built. It’s something that has been known that OSU is able to do less with more, but when it gets put into hard figures like this, it makes it all the more interesting.
With Gundy’s raise and the program spending a healthy amount on Derek Mason, OSU’s cost efficiency should be a bit worse over the next 10 or so seasons, but you can’t say that the program didn’t earn that ability to splurge a bit more.
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