USA Today released its annual study of college football head coaching salaries Wednesday, and Gophers coach P.J. Fleck ranks 34th among FBS teams and 11th in the Big Ten at $3.55 million for the 2018 season.
Alabama’s Nick Saban leads all coaches with a total pay of $8.307 million for 2018, with Ohio State’s Urban Meyer ($7.6M) and Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh ($7.504M) second and third. Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher ($7.5M) and Auburn’s Gus Malzahn ($6.7M) round out the top five.
The Big Ten had five other coaches in the top 20: Nebraska’s Scott Frost (10th at $5M), Illinois’ Lovie Smith (13th at $5M), Penn State’s James Franklin (15th at $4.8M), Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz (17th at $4.7M) and Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio (18th at $4.39M).
Other Big Ten coaches and their rankings were: Purdue’s Jeff Brohm (27th at $3.8M), Wisconsin’s Paul Chryst (29th at $3.75M), Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald (31st at $3.62M), Maryland’s DJ Durkin (53rd at $2.51M; Durkin is on paid administrative leave), Rutgers’ Chris Ash (57th at $2.2M) and Indiana’s Tom Allen (65th at $1.83M).
In their 42-13 loss to Maryland in the Big Ten opener Sept. 22, the Gophers allowed four sacks. Still, their offensive line ranks highly in the Big Ten, according to Pro Football Focus’ college evaluators.
Pro Football Focus grades the Gophers offensive line as the fourth best in the Big Ten through five weeks, behind Wisconsin, Ohio State and Iowa. In addition, Gophers’ senior center Jared Weyler is ranked fourth among offensive linemen, behind Wisconsin center Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin guard Beau Benzschawel and Penn State tackle Ryan Bates. In pass protection, Weyler hasn’t allowed a sack, a hit or a hurry this season, PFF wrote.