Does financial investment guarantee victories? That’s an age-old question for sports fans.
Do the Yankees win more than the Rays? Do the Lakers win more than the Bucks? Do the Seahawks (league-high $95.1 million payroll) win more than the Panthers?
The same question applies to college athletics.
The Department of Education (through the publishing of its Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act reports) recently released athletics department budget figures for last year. Iowa State was 49th among Power 5 (Big 12, ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC) schools for sports budget.
The Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup is the best all-sports ranking compiled annually. Among the Power 5 schools, the Cyclones placed 38th last season.
Combining those metrics into a “dollars spent per point earned” measure, ISU was 22nd among the 65 big-school programs. The Cyclones, in fact, finished higher in the Cup standings than two schools with budgets surpassing $100 million.
Here is the list (in order) for “dollars spent per point earned” for 2013-14.
(1-10) Stanford, Virginia, Duke, UCLA, Arizona State, North Carolina, Arizona, Oregon, Texas A&M and Florida State
(11-20) Kentucky, Penn State, USC, Maryland, Notre Dame, California, Florida, Oklahoma State, Georgia and Nebraska
(21-30) Minnesota, IOWA STATE, Colorado, Michigan State, Baylor, Virginia Tech, Louisville, Vanderbilt, Arkansas and North Carolina State
(31-40) Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Michigan, Illinois, Mississippi State, Indiana, Northwestern, Texas, Washington and Missouri
(41-50) LSU, Purdue, Ole Miss, Alabama, South Carolina, Auburn, Utah, Ohio State, Wake Forest and Texas Tech
(51-60) Boston College, Tennessee, Syracuse, Clemson, Miami (Fla.), Oregon State, West Virginia, Kansas, Georgia Tech and Pitt
(61-65) TCU, Rutgers, Kansas State, Iowa and Washington State