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Syracuse Football: Orange Had Nation's Worst ROI From 2006-2015

Syracuse fans shouldn't be surprised here.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Over on the mothership, there was an interesting and completely necessary article yesterday. It took a look at which college football programs got the most bang for their buck over the course of 10 seasons -- 2006 through 2015. Specifically, they're looking at the metric "success per dollar," measured by data from the U.S. Department of Education vs. the Massey composite.

Oh, here's a chart that plots every school's points:

SBNation ROI

If you haven't figured it out based on the above, the Syracuse Orange had the worst ROI in all of college football during the chose period. If you're reading this, you're probably a Syracuse fan. So you probably figured as much based on the last 10 years of on-field product too.

They earn that title by a slim margin, though. The usual suspects are all right there with them too. Syracuse comes in at a spending vs. success differential of -46.1. Colorado's nearby at -41.1, and they're followed by Virginia (-38.3), Texas Tech (-35.1), Duke (-34.5) and Washington (-33.8). A quick look at all of those tell you why:

The Orange have seen three winning seasons in the past 10 years and spending on football has only recently seen an uptick. Colorado's football product is even further in the tank than ours, and they spend more as a slight geographic outlier in the Pac-12 and a large state school in a talent-bereft state. Virginia's been a disaster and spends as poorly as we do. And... you can probably guess the rest too.


There's a point to this, though, I promise. We're not just piling on Syracuse. The other end the of the world also yields something interesting and notable... mostly that Boise State's (obviously) the most efficient program in the country. They spent modestly, succeeded greatly and have become the poster child for how to make the jump and then some.

And we recently hired their athletic director.

Mark Coyle wasn't there for ALL of this time period. I'm well aware of that. But he was there for some of it, and that could be more than enough to help Syracuse turn things around. I've yet to doubt a decision from SU chancellor Kent Syverud, and you'd be hard-pressed to find much doubt around the TNIAAM staff when he picked Coyle to be the school's next AD. He succeeded the man responsible for Syracuse being the lest cost-efficient program in the country and you can bet Syverud had numbers like these in mind when he brought in the Boise boss.


Syracuse isn't going to suddenly replace the Broncos atop this list over the next 10 years, or ever. You simply can't succeed in a power conference spending like Boise State has. And you're also unlikely to see SU reach the heights Boise did either (though I still hope the Orange feel free to try). But getting this program back in shape starts with a smart spending strategy. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing the program attempt to parlay intelligent dollars into wins.