Ohio State head coach Ryan Day painted a picture of what kind of money the top-end talent should get to Cleveland.com. Dan Wetzel and SI's Pat Forde break it all down on the latest College Football Enquirer podcast episode.
DAN WETZEL: Cleveland.com, interesting comments by Ohio State coach, Ryan Day. He put a name, image, and likeness price tag on what he believes it will take to keep the Ohio State roster together. Do you know this number or can we play, like, "Price is Right?"
PAT FORDE: I saw the number, and I was like, wow.
DAN WETZEL: It's not $1. Don't bid $1. He's saying, $13 million will do it.
PAT FORDE: A year.
DAN WETZEL: A year.
PAT FORDE: In other words, almost as much as Pat Sajak makes on "Wheel of Fortune."
DAN WETZEL: Almost. Pat Sajak could have his own team. It could be like, Pat Sajak University.
PAT FORDE: [LAUGHS]
DAN WETZEL: He just donates all the money. He says, 13 million will do it. Basically saying that everyone is going to go on the portal and all these great recruits they have, they've got to match dollars. And I agree. This is a problem. But one phone call and they're out the door. We cannot let that happen at Ohio State. I'm not trying to sound the alarm, just trying to be transparent about what we're dealing with.
PAT FORDE: Hey, he's doing the same thing Saban did, except he's doing it more directly. He's talking to the base and saying, OK, this is what we need.
DAN WETZEL: Day said, a top-tier QB, two million a year in NIL, or pay for play, whatever you want to call this. Elite edge rusher is a million. Offensive tackle a million.
PAT FORDE: Sure. Wow.
DAN WETZEL: It's your lock down corner. Yeah, top players.
PAT FORDE: Yeah.
DAN WETZEL: I think it'll probably go higher. I hate-- you know. I don't know. I don't know where this goes. Mahomes, Rodgers, Josh Allen, they're making $40, $50 million a year. The coaches are not in the NFL.
PAT FORDE: Right.
DAN WETZEL: I know that's long term deals, but the day of a great quarterback to keep him, yeah those guys are going to be worth an enormous amount of money.
PAT FORDE: Clearly. I mean, it is still it's staggering to think that we went from, hey, you may be able to get $5,900 for Alston and a cost of attendance bonus of, like, $350, to, hey, here's two million.
And it's pretty wild.
DAN WETZEL: It's going go higher.
PAT FORDE: Yeah.
DAN WETZEL: You got to look at this in the terms of the NFL. Any pro sports salaries, any pro sport, any pro sport. Where does the-- how often does the coach make more than the players? Not many.
PAT FORDE: Never. Never.
DAN WETZEL: Rarely. I mean, certainly some players, yes.
PAT FORDE: Yeah.
DAN WETZEL: Belichick's problem making $15, $20 million a year.
PAT FORDE: Yeah.
DAN WETZEL: No one's really sure, but he's making whatever he wants. Not a lot of players aren't making it. That is the extreme. I know, like, Becky Hammon is making a million dollars a year, coaching the WNBA, right? It's big names, it's big-- but the-- to keep a player, sure.
Now, are top-tier QBs always going to jump for cash for, like, a one year leave? I don't know. That's-- I don't-- I think there's-- it would be kind of crazy, right?
PAT FORDE: Right. It would be.
DAN WETZEL: CJ Stroud give up what he's got that's working just to grab an extra 250 grand somewhere else or 1/2 a million, you know, which would be 10, 20%? Let's say he's making two million at Ohio State, or even one-- whatever he's making. I don't know that those great quarterbacks are going to jump. That's the thing that will probably suppress their market.
PAT FORDE: They shouldn't, because they are a year or two, in the most instances, away from the real big money in the NFL. So, you go there and you're going to get a rookie deal that, OK, it's not going to be the big money, but still, you're going to be making more in the NFL than you will in college.
DAN WETZEL: And then your four years from-- yeah.
PAT FORDE: Yeah. Then you really start raking it in. So, I just-- I mean, if I were an elite college quarterback, I would still view it as, what is the best fast way to get me to the NFL? Not like, hey, I can make a little bit-- I can make X amount this year, but I can make more if I go over there, and change systems, and change everything else. I would not-- I would not play that game.
DAN WETZEL: I think the biggest-- again, I'll say this again and again. I'll do it quickly, but the biggest issue is that transfer portal thing, because it really does, like, the-- the free agency aspect. And you can enter the portal and not transfer, take your raise, and then enter the portal again.
But again, if someone else wants to pay you, that's your bit, but certainly an interesting thing. 13 million, I think that would jump up. It very well may cost $20 million a year to have a college football team. But they can raise that.
PAT FORDE: At Ohio State they can.