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Texas, Tennessee Top Pay List for Assistants

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USA Today is running series on coaches salaries in D-1 football this week, and according to the national daily, Texas and Tennessee have the biggest budgets for football assistants.

Tennessee's nine assistants earn an average of more than $369,000; Texas' better than $327,000.

The paper used freedom-of-information laws to cull numbers from many D-1 schools. Most of the private schools and some public didn't release their contracts for various reasons.

The figures reveal that the pay scale for both head coaches and their assistants has been rising at a record rate. There are at least 25 head coaches making more than $2 million, while 66 football assistants are making at least $300,000.

As might be expected, the SEC leads the way in total compensation for its coaching staffs, while the Big 12 is also spending more freely than others when it comes to assitant coaches.

Of the 60-plus assistants USA TODAY found making $300,000 or more this season, 29 are in the SEC and 15 in the Big 12.

Three head coaches are making at least $4 milliion: Peter Carroll (4.4) Bob Stoops ($4.3) and Urban Meyer ($4.0).

Will Muschamp is among the Top 3 paid assistants in college football.

Tennessee has two of the highest-paid assistants, Defensive Coordinater Monte Kiffin at $1.2 million, and Ed Orgeron at $650,000. Texas Defensive Coordinator Will Muschamp is in between the Vols duo at $900,000.

As the fiscal "arms race" in BCS football continues, the SEC continues to find itself dealing from a position of strength. Right now the Big 12 is closest to the SEC in terms of total compensation.

On average, the SEC schools are paying their head coaches $2.64 million this season ( Vanderbilt's Bobby Johnson's contract wasn't made public).

Big 12 coaches average almost $2.1 million, led by Oklahoma's Bob Stoops at $4.3 million, followed by Mack Brown's $3 million.

The median salary in the SEC is Houston Nutt's $2.5 million at Mississippi.

The median salary in the Big 12 is Kansas State's Bill Snyder at $1.85 million.

There are nine head coaches making at least $2 million in the SEC, compared to five in the Big 12. Dan Mullen at Mississippi State is the lowest paid head coach in the SEC at $1.2 million. Meanwhile two coaches in the Big 12, Paul Rhoads at Iowa State and Baylor's Art Briles make less than $1 million.

This is just the first year of the multi-billion dollar deal with SEC and its media partners ESPN/CBS, and the cash flow will help that league continue to be at the top of the compensation scale. It will also make it easer for SEC programs to make their mistakes go away.

A quick look at the breakdown between the Big 12 North and the Big 12 South points to the disparity of play on the field continuing in the near future.

In terms of total compensation for coaches, the Big 12 South is spending on average in salaries $5 million for its coaching staffs. The Big 12 North, on average is spending $3.5 million on its football staffs.

One caveat, Baylor does not report any numbers for its assistants, but if you plug in the least amount spent by any Big 12 team, the South would still average $4.5 million in compensation.