Nevada budgets help illustrate MWC athletic budgets overall

USA TODAY Sports

MW Connection uses a report by the Reno Gazette-Journal to take a look at the raw budget numbers in the Mountain West Conference and helps break down some of the issues behind funding for the two top sports in the MWC.

The Reno Journal-Gazette printed a feature story analyzing the football and basketball budgets of the Nevada Wolf Pack, which - based on the numbers from the 2011-2012 season - are both ranked as the lowest in the MWC.

The story covers the school's struggles to raise more money for the department.

How dire is the situation at Nevada? The Reno, Nev.-based school spends as much on both football and basketball ($6.5 million) as the UNLV Rebels spend on football alone ($6.948 million.)

The numbers, compiled by the Journal-Gazette from numbers released by the U.S. Department of Education, were picked up and made websites across the country thanks to the Associated Press.

But we here at MW Connection took the numbers and crunched them to see how much value schools are getting.

Mountain West Conference Football 2011-2012

School

Budget

Record

Cost per game

Cost per win

1. San Diego State

$11.749M

8-5

$904,769

$1.4686M

2. Hawaii

$10.585M

6-7 (WAC)

$814,230

$1.764M

3. Colorado State

$8.903M

3-9

$741,916

$2.967M

4. Boise State

$8.538M

12-1

$656,769

$711,500

5. New Mexico

$8.106M

1-11

$675,500

$8.106M

6. Fresno State

$7.254M

4-9 (WAC)

$558,000

$555,8000

7. Wyoming

$7.209M

8-5

$554,538

$901,125

8. UNLV

$6.948M

2-10

$579,000

$3,474M

9. Nevada

$5.048M

7-6 (WAC)

$388,307

$721,142

Air Force

N/A

7-6

N/A

N/A

Based on wins as a measure of value, the Boise St. Broncos got the most bang for their buck. But Nevada, which spent about 60& percent less than the Broncos and got just about the same value.

Based on this, the New Mexico Lobos got the least bang for their buck, spending their entire $8.106 million for one measly win. But per-game-cost based on the number of games put UNM 3rd in the conference.

Obviously basketball plays more games, so the rubric is a bit different, But the numbers are still pretty interesting.

Mountain West Conference Basketball 2011-2012

School

Budget

Record

Cost per game

Cost per win

1. New Mexico

$4.448M

28-7

$127,085

$158,857

2. San Diego State

$4.432M

26-8

$130,352

$170,461

3. UNLV

$3.760M

26-9

$107,428

$110,588

4. Wyoming

$3.041M

21-12

$92,151

$144,809

5. Colorado State

$2.425M

20-12

$75,781

$122,750

6. Hawaii

$2.292M

16-16 (WAC)

$71,625

$141,375

7. Fresno State

$1.804M

13-20 (WAC)

$54,667

$138,769

8. Boise State

$1.729M

13-17

$57,634

$133,000

9. Nevada

$1.460M

28-7 (WAC)

$47,714

$52,142

Air Force

N/A

13-16

N/A

N/A

New Mexico spent the most money overall but came in second in money per game as well as money per win behind the San Diego St. Aztecs. No shocker there.

But again, Nevada was by far getting the most bang for its buck both with money spent for wins as well as per game.

More than in football, in basketball the amount spent is commiserate to the level of success (with the exception of Nevada, which vastly overachieved compared to other MC teams - tho the Wolf Pack was playing in the Western Athletic Conference at the time.)

In football, Boise State appears to be getting more out of the money it spends based on success. SDSU was not nearly a conference championship team in 2011-12 despite spending the most of the remaining MWC teams. But another thing to consider is that Hawaii's expenses could be inflated due to travel from the Islands.

All in all, it's not conclusive but it does give a good idea of what schools are spending on their two major sports.And what kind of success that money can buy.,

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