Cupcakes – The Secret to Success for College Football Coaches

Despite the headline, this post is not about whether multi-million dollar football coaches provide a good return on investment, because quite frankly that’s the kind of debate that has all kinds of rabbit holes. No, this post is about how those multi-million dollar coaches’ teams perform on the field against good competition and the Wall Street Journal has a fascinating graphic showing that very few are all that good against non-cupcakes. Here it is:

Source: Wall Street Journal

Source: Wall Street Journal

You’ll notice that only 14% have career winning records and only 9% have winning records with their current teams. For those of us here in ACC country here are the most pertinent numbers:

School (Coach): Career Record/Current School Record

Boston College (Addazio): 0-4/0-2
Clemson (Swinney): 9-13/9-13
Duke (Cutcliffe): 8-25/2-13
Florida St. (Fisher): 9-5/9-5
Georgia Tech (Johnson): 7-20/7-12
Louisville (Petrino): 14-17/4-5
Miami (Golden): 3-11/3-6
UNC (Fedora): 2-8/0-4
NC State (Doeren): 1-3/0-2
Pittsburgh (Chryst): 3-4/3-4
Syracuse (Shafer): 0-3/0-3
Virginia (London): 3-6/3-6
Va. Tech (Beamer): 43-50-1/43-50-1
Wake Forest (Clawson): 1-7/0-0

So one out of 14 coaches (7%) in the ACC has a career or school winning record against top-tier teams. Sounds terrible, but when you compare it to the other conferences it really isn’t all that bad:

SEC – 4 out of 14 (29%)
Big 12 – 2 out 10 (20%) + one coach with a .500 record
PAC 12 – 1 out of 12 (8%) + one coach with a .500 record
Big Ten – 1 out of 14 (7%)

Luckily these guys get to coach against each other a majority of the time so it’s all good.

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