Meyer, Ferentz on powerful coaches list

Forbes has an interesting story out today in which it lists the 10 most powerful coaches in college football. Two of the top five hail from the Big Ten.

What is the magazine's definition of "powerful?" Like so:

"To measure coaching power, we looked at each coach’s salary, its proportion of the school’s total coaching salaries and athletic expenditures, the football budget at the coach’s disposal (football expenses less coach’s salary) and how much it would cost the school to terminate his contract before the end of the year. We feel these categories best reflect a coach’s influence and power in his athletic department, at his university and ultimately across college football’s coaching ranks."

Not surprisingly, Alabama's Nick Saban -- who's gunning for his third national title in four years and boasts the highest salary in college football -- topped the list at No. 1. TCU's Gary Patterson is a little bit of a surprise at No. 2. Checking in at No. 3 is Urban Meyer, even though he just completed his first season at Ohio State.

"Ohio State has spared little cost ensuring that the coach has everything necessary to run a successful program," Forbes writes. "The strategy has paid off thus far as the Buckeyes promptly went 12-0 in their first season under Meyer’s guidance."

Iowa's Kirk Ferentz is No. 5 on the list, mostly due to his highly favorable contract. Iowa would owe him more than $20 million if it were to fire Ferentz now. There's no doubt Ferentz wields a lot of power in Iowa City, though the Hawkeyes' 4-8 record this season left a lot of fans grumbling.

Other coaches on the list are Oklahoma's Bob Stoops, Texas' Mack Brown, LSU's Les Miles, South Carolina's Steve Spurrier, Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy and Oregon's Chip Kelly.