Penny for Joe Moorhead’s thoughts.
Several billion pennies, now that you mention it.
@PennStateFball just make sure you hang onto Joe Moorhead as long as possible.
— Sone (@TheSoneBro) August 18, 2017
— Billy Reinhardt (@BillyReinhardt) August 18, 2017
Since the deal’s done and dusted, it bears asking: If James Franklin is worth a reported $5.8 million per year to Penn State, the fourth-highest payday in all of college football, then what sort of price do you slap on the head of Moorhead, his offensive coordinator?
In James Franklin’s first two seasons PSU scored fewer than 22 points per game. With Joe Moorhead as OC in 2016, PSU averaged 37.3 pic.twitter.com/UNt9r0jYcH
— BlueWhiteIllustrated (@BWIonRivals) December 4, 2016
— Adam McClintock (@cfb_professor) June 22, 2017
According to USA Today’s 2016 database of assistant coaching salaries — and Nittany Lions staffers aren’t on the list — these were the top 5 highest-paid offensive coordinators in 2016 and where their respective units ranked in points per drive efficiency against FBS opponents last fall, per BCFToys.com:
1. Lane Kiffin, OC, Alabama* // $1.4 million // 30th in PPD
2. Cam Cameron, OC, LSU* // $1.21 million // 57th in PPD
3. Noel Mazzone, OC, Texas A&M // $965,000 // 69th in PPD
4. Lincoln Riley, OC, Oklahoma* // $905,000 // 2nd in PPD
5. Jim Chaney, OC, Georgia // $850,000 // 93rd in PPD
Average salary: $1.06 million // Average PPD rank: 50.2
Moorhead salary: N/A // Moorhead PPD rank: 26th
A couple points of interest:
First, it should be noted three of the men on this list, and not coincidentally, are no longer in the positions they held at this time a year ago. Cameron was swept out when Ed Orgeron took over for Les Miles in Baton Rouge.
Second: Of those three, Kiffin and Riley are now head coaches, at Florida Atlantic and Oklahoma, respectively.
In other words, stellar offensive coordinators tend to not stay stellar offensive coordinators for long. Unless you pony up.
Defense wins championships, yada yada yada. But points put butts in seats and eyeballs on television sets.
They also make athletic directors perky and boosters tingly, which is why Moorhead allegedly had UConn, where he’d served as offensive coordinator in 2009 and 2010 and quarterbacks coach in 2011; and Purdue, which pines to be less the Big Ten’s Kansas and more the Big Ten’s Texas Tech, sniffing around his agent’s doorstep.
Moorhead was 38-13 in four seasons at Fordham, his alma mater. He won a league title in Year 3 in the Bronx. The Rams have made the FCS playoffs just five times since 1978, and Moorhead was at the controls for three of them.
— Adam McClintock (@cfb_professor) January 12, 2017
This is awesome. Wait til Joe Moorhead leaves after this year. James will be back to his 7-5/8-4 ways. They’re paying him legend money. https://t.co/GSujq1ZCYe
— Brian Keller (@bkonhoops) August 18, 2017
I’m not a Franklin or PSU guy, but locking him up was the right play. They need to lock up Joe Moorhead too. I want JoeMo at ND personally
— Eric Thomas (@ByEricThomas) August 18, 2017
The Kiffins and Rileys and Kasparovs of the chess world are going to get theirs. Eventually.
It’s just a matter of who’s paying them to do what. And where. So if there isn’t at least a cool million suddenly burning a hole in the back of Moorhead’s pocket after Franklin cashed in, kids, Broadway Joe ain’t going to be long for State College, either.