For the first time in our three years studying college football’s most cost-efficient teams, Kansas State is not on top. The Wildcats fell to No. 2 this year thanks to rising expenses – up more than $3 million last year – and a down season in which the team won just seven games. Kansas State’s title has been usurped by Cincinnati. The Bearcats rank among the sport’s lowest spenders, but only 12 teams have won more games over the last three seasons.
That the Bearcats rank highly in this measure is no real surprise to anyone. We all know, intrinsically that the Bearcats are on the low end of the spending spectrum. Even so the Bearcats expenses actually went up this past season.
Cincinnati’s football expenses actually increased by more than 30% to $16.5 million last year, a cost surge tied to hiring head coach Tommy Tuberville away from Texas Tech (his buyout alone cost nearly $1 million). Despite the increase in spending, the Bearcats still have college football’s fifth-lowest expenses over the three years included in our study.
Those expenses are only going to go up for the Bearcats too. The Nippert renovation is being paid in part through contributions, but the athletic department is financing a chunk of that. That part will go down in the books as an expense, even if the payment for it is already accounted for already. That makes a repeat unlikely, unless UC puts together another 10 win season in 2013.