The list was compiled based on win-loss record over the last two seasons, strength of schedule as measured by Sagarin ratings and salary as a share of overall football expenses.
The Irish reached the 2013 BCS National Championship game and have compiled a 21-5 record over the last two seasons under Kelly. The Notre Dame coach has earned about $1.09 million annually over that span, according to Forbes.
In 1987, Kelly accepted a low-level job that paid $4,000 per year. But in doing so, he sparked a career arc that would eventually bring two Division II national titles as the head coach at Grand Valley before subsequent gigs at Central Michigan,Cincinnati and, finally, Notre Dame.
The Seminoles went undefeated en route to winning the 2014 national championship, while the Tide beat the Irish to win the 2013 title.
- Chris Johnson and Pete Thamel