USA TODAY Sports' George Schroeder breaks down the five matchups to watch. USA TODAY Sports
A regular season in which Iowa’s football team lost to North Dakota State ended Saturday with coach Kirk Ferentz securing a $500,000 incentive bonus and moving into position for more.
The Hawkeyes upset 15th-ranked Nebraska, 40-10, in Iowa City for their eighth victory of the season — an achievement that triggered one of the largest lump-sum bonuses available to a public-school coach for an achievement other than winning a championship. Louisville coach Bobby Petrino is getting a $500,000 bonus based on his team’s NCAA Academic Progress Rate, a goal that also resulted in his bonus for the team’s bowl appearance being increased by more than $40,000.
The $500,000 bonuses are more than the total compensation being received this season by 12 Football Bowl Subdivision public-school head coaches, according to USA TODAY Sports’ annual survey of coaches’ pay.
Ferentz could get additional money on Saturday if No. 6 Wisconsin loses at home to Minnesota. The Badgers’ place in the Big Ten Conference championship game was clinched Friday when Nebraska lost to Iowa. But if Wisconsin loses to Minnesota, that would create a four-way tie for the Big Ten West Division title. Ferentz’s contract gives him a $100,000 bonus if Iowa wins a West Division title but does not advance to Big Ten title game.
COACH PAY: USA TODAY salaries database
Ferentz already has secured the $100,000 bonus he gets if Iowa appears in any bowl game, and Iowa’s seventh win increased the guaranteed value of his new 10-year contract by almost $2.2 million. The new agreement — signed in September — added the provision for the bonus for eight wins in a season.
Also on Saturday, Kentucky’s Mark Stoops can claim a big payday. He gets a $250,000 bonus for each win beginning with the Wildcats’ seventh of the season, and they can get their seventh Saturday with victory on the road against No. 11 Louisville.
Meanwhile, the outcome of the Big Ten East race also could produce six-figure payouts for the head coaches.
If Jim Harbaugh and the No. 4 Wolverines win on Saturday at No. 2 Ohio State, Michigan will be the East representative in the conference title game. That will trigger a $125,000 payment for Harbaugh, whose contract does not give him a bonus for any Big Ten achievement less than an appearance in the conference championship game or for a bowl appearance outside one of the six affiliated with the College Football Playoff. If Michigan is selected for one of those six games — which seems likely if the Wolverines beat Ohio State — he would get at least another $200,000.
If the Buckeyes beat Michigan, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer will get a $50,000 bonus for winning or sharing the division title. A spot in one of the six CFP-affiliated games would give him at least $200,000 more. (Like Harbaugh, Meyer does not get a bonus for a bowl appearance other than one in a CFP-affiliated game)
No. 8 Penn State will go into Saturday tied with Michigan and Ohio State for first place in the division — and its home game against Michigan State is after the Michigan-Ohio State game. If Michigan has won, a victory by the Nittany Lions will give coach James Franklin $150,000 for tying for the division title but not playing in the Big Ten title game.
If Ohio State has won, a victory by the Nittany Lions will put them in the Big Ten title game — and Franklin will get a $250,000 bonus. Franklin already has secured at least $200,000 for an appearance in any bowl game.
Other coaches to pick up bonuses Friday included:
Memphis: Mike Norvell
►8th win of the season: $35,000
North Carolina State’s Dave Doeren
►Play in non-CFP bowl game: $25,000
Washington’s Chris Petersen
►Play in Pac-12 title game: $50,000
Virginia Tech’s Justin Fuente
►Play in ACC title game: $25,000
Other head coaches who could qualify for bonuses — many of which are in addition to amounts already secured — include (alphabetically by school):
Colorado’s Mike MacIntyre
►Play in Pac-12 title game: $100,000
Clemson’s Dabo Swinney
►11th regular-season win: $50,000
Minnesota: Tracy Claeys
►6th Big Ten win of the season: $25,000
►Tie for Big Ten division championship: $100,000
South Florida’s Willie Taggart
►10th regular season win: $15,000
►Play in AAC title game (needs win and loss by Temple): $10,000
Wisconsin’s Paul Chryst
►Play in Big Ten title game: $40,000
TOP 10 GAMES IN WEEK 13