Skip to main content

Show Me the Money ... But Don't

The bottom line of winning in college football today
  • Author:
  • Updated:

When Arkansas defensive back Joe Foucha announced on Wednesday that he intended to transfer and defensive back Greg Brooks, Jr. announced the same Thursday morning, Hog fans lit social media up with assumptions that an NIL offer from another school must be involved. 

Shouts encouraging Arkansas businesses to try to keep up with Texas Longhorns of the NIL world echoed through the hills of Northwest Arkansas.

Joe Foucha


While Hog fans claim it's all about the money, Oklahoma signee Kobie McKenzie sent a message to the University of Texas to be less about the money, and more about substance within its football program.

“When (Venables) came to Lubbock, Texas had come the day before and their whole selling point to me was money," McKenzie said during an interview with the Hoover and Mayes Show on 97.1 The Animal in Tulsa. "Like that’s all they talked about in the meeting, and that just didn’t sit right with me. I understand the opportunities money-wise. They were amazing, but how do we change this football program?”

Well, in Ole Miss, Lane Kiffin did change the Rebels football program. The only problem is he doesn't appear to have enough money to keep his assistants following a 10-win season.

Lane Kiffin


Offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby nearly doubled his salary by leaving for the same job at Oklahoma. 

D.J. Durkin, whom Kiffin rescued from the bottom of the bottom of the pits of coaching Hell from behind seven electrified iron gates as a result his firing at Maryland after one of Durkin's players died from a heat stroke suffered during a practice, appreciated the gesture, but is off to Texas A&M to coach in the same defensive coordinator role for what is presumed to be a hefty raise.

Durkin reportedly only made $700,000 per year, but Ole Miss just finished paying former defensive coordinator Wesley McGriff close to $1 million to go coach at Auburn around this time last year, and is three weeks from closing its $1.1 million tab for former defensive coordinator Mike MacIntyre to coach defense at Memphis.

There should have been plenty of money to give Durkin a hefty chunk of change, but change may be what the Rebels' potential contract offer looks like when the ink dries over in College Station.

So which is the right approach?

Should boosters and sponsors hear the calls of Hog fans and invest money that would have went toward the school's athletic foundation money into NIL deals for athletes instead? 

Should Texas focus on trying to lure players by changing its culture, or is the path back to the days of Mack Brown paved with golden pancake NIL deals lined with platinum burnt ends?

Should everyone at Ole Miss, a school based in the poorest state in the union while drawing ticket sales to one of the SEC's smallest stadiums, sell their souls so they can afford to keep successful assistants? 

The truth is college football will always be dominated by programs with the most money. Money begats success (unless you're Texas), and success begats money. 

In the world of NIL and massive coaching contracts, the only way to compete is to land a coach or player the big money programs didn't want and build them into something spectacular through culture and a chip on the shoulder placed there by none other than the Lord God Himself.

That's why with the help of players like Brandon Burlsworth, Hayden Henry and Grant Morgan, or coaches like Sam Pittman, a program like Arkansas can rise up and be good every now and then. Same for Dak Prescott at Mississippi State.

Mississippi State Bulldogs quarterback Dak Prescott (15) accepts the Belk Bowl MVP trophy after defeating the North Carolina State Wolfpack in the 2015 Belk Bowl at Bank of America Stadium. The Bulldogs defeated the Wolfpack 51-28. 

Mississippi State Bulldogs quarterback Dak Prescott (15) accepts the Belk Bowl MVP trophy after defeating the North Carolina State Wolfpack in the 2015 Belk Bowl at Bank of America Stadium. The Bulldogs defeated the Wolfpack 51-28. 

But that's just it. At programs like Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Arkansas, it will always just be every now and then instead of every year. 

While those types of schools have a handful of high end donors, it just isn't enough to compete at the highest level. If you want a 0 at the end of your record, there has to be a lot of 0's in your checkbook. 

In the end, McKenzie is right. It can't all be about money when it comes to football programs. Culture and pride must be in the mix also.

But, if culture and pride is all you have, you will never buy enough wins to find your way to the championship picture in the current NCAA environment.

allHOGS Front Page

Want to join in on the discussion? Click here to become a member of the allHOGS message board community today!

Follow allHOGS on Twitter and Facebook.