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2008-09 Basketball Expense Efficiency Rankings

I saw the 2008/2009 college basketball expense sheet today during my normal lunchtime routine (thank you, message boards) and saw that Maryland was surprisingly low: #67. Yes, the University of Maryland was being outspent by such college basketball stalwarts as Nebraska, New Mexico, Rutgers, TCU, and Penn State. Actually, only 10 BCS (I know it's basketball, but that's the terminology I'm using) outspent Maryland.

Maryland, of course, heavily outperformed some of those programs this year. After all, Indiana and Oregon - both of whom are above Maryland by more than 20 spots - won fewer games combined. I got to wondering how much Maryland spent per win. Turns out, the answer to that question is $165,032. Then the problem was that I had nothing to compare it to, so I didn't know if it was good or bad.

And that got me rolling on this. In about two hours, I figured out how much each BCS (yeah, yeah, I know, live with it) program spent per win (plus a few non-BCS programs, because 1) they spend more than some BCS programs and 2) Excel was hell otherwise). Only regular season and NCAA tournament wins count. The non-BCS programs are Memphis, TCU, UNLV, New Mexico, Creighton, and Xavier.

You can see the entire breakdown in a chart after the jump, or view an easier to read PDF here (PDF probably recommended).

Here's the lazy man's version:

  • The most efficient program (least $/win) was Missouri, with a measly $127,899 per win. The rest of the top ten are (in order) Creighton, LSU, Xavier, Pitt, Mississippi State, Purdue, Florida State, Wake Forest, and Villanova. Maryland just missed the top 10, clocking in at 11.
  • The least efficient program was Indiana, spending (get ready for this) $1,248,438 per win. That's more than twice what any other program spent per win, and ten times what Missouri spent. Ouch. The rest of the bottom ten is (in order of least efficient to more efficient) Virginia, Arkansas, Oregon, Duke, Georgetown, Kentucky, Colorado, Vanderbilt, and Georgia Tech.
  • The ACC (in order) comes in as FSU, Wake, Maryland, UNC, NCSt, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Miami, Boston College, Georgia Tech, Duke, and Virginia.
  • Spending a ton of money doesn't guarantee wins. Half of the top ten highest-spending programs missed the NCAA tournament.
  • But efficiency does matter. Nine of the ten most efficient teams made the tourney (Creighton), while only one of the bottom ten (Duke) made it.
  • Really, though, Duke had no shot  to be anywhere near "efficient". To reach the median for efficiency, they would've had to won 55 games. Likewise, some schools (like Oregon State) would've had to be unbelievably bad to be considered heavily inefficient - like two wins bad.
  • I know that this doesn't really prove anything and is really unscientific (as the above bullet points out), but it's just a interesting way of looking at something I've never even really thought about before.
Okay, here's the list in it's entirety, just below the jump. Again, to see the plain old rankings, check Basketball State, and to view the results as a PDF, check here. Oh, and if I forgot anyone's school, let me know.

(Sorry folks, the ol' HTML is acting up. Looks like you'll have to deal with an embedded PDF until I can get that working.)

There's probably no way you can read this unless you enter full-screen mode, which is in the upper right hand corner.