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The Recruiting Wars: How Much does Oregon Spend on Recruiting?

The Ducks spend a lot of money on recruiting. What about the rest of the conference?

NCAA Football: Pac-12 Media Day Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Andy Wittry of had a really good article on recruiting expenditures made by FBS schools a couple of days ago.

According to the article, Oregon spent a total of $997,019 in the fiscal year 2018, which was good for 16th overall and second behind Utah in the conference out of 50 schools examined.

How did the Pac-12 schools do?

Utah spent $1,052,071 (15th) and finished with the 33rd and 42nd ranked classes with only six four stars to their credit.

UCLA spent $764,620 (23rd) and ended up 19th and 40th ranked classes with ten four stars.

Washington spent $714,872 (27) and finished 16th both years with 25 four stars and 0 five stars.

Oregon State spent $674,239 (31) and received the 69th and 66th ranked classes and had no four or five stars.

Cal spent $647,842 (32) and finished 42nd and 43rd with three four stars.

Colorado spent $635,077 (33) with the 52nd and 44th classes that included two four stars.

Arizona spent $545,968 (39) and finished 61st and 54th with one four star.

Arizona State spent $531,807 (42) and ended up with 37th and 31st ranked classes that featured six four stars

Washington State spent $523,791 (43) and finished 45th and 65th respectively in classes that included only two four stars.

What does all that mean for the conference?

It means that the teams are spending the money according to this study but aren’t very efficient at it. Four schools lost ground from 2018 to 2019 while four gained places.

How did the Power 5 conferences do in 2019 recruiting and spending?


SEC: 14.62 average ranked class

ACC: 28th average ranked class

Big Ten: 35th average ranked class

Big 12: 37.71 average ranked class

Pac-12: 41st average ranked class


SEC: $1,141,918.33 per team

ACC: $1,035,946.33 per team

Big Ten: $890,817 per team

Big 12: $961,981.25 per team

Pac-12: $715.484.55 per team

Budget % Spent on Football

SEC: 45.1%

ACC: 48.71%

Big Ten: 40.68%

Big 12: 44.2%

Pac-12: 45.52%


The SEC spent more money than any other conference and thus resulted in having the higher ranked class than the others. The expenditures played out exactly like the recruiting rankings. More money = more recruiting prowess so to speak. What’s interesting is that the Pac-12 spent more of its budgets on football than the SEC did but could not garner the same results. The SEC got more bang for its buck than the other conferences in terms of value for its recruiting successes. The Pac-12 spent the least on average per team and well, they got what they spent for the most part.

How efficient is the Ducks’ expenditure?

The past two classes were ranked 13th and seventh, respectively using 247 Sports rankings. Stadium looked at four and five star recruits that signed with the programs as well. Oregon landed 23 four stars and one five star during that period.

Of those four and five star recruits, Oregon landed the seventh most four stars, which led the way for the Pac-12.

Oregon spent 53% of its recruiting budget on football so yes, Oregon is considered a football school despite the track and golf programs disputing that notion. The 53% ranks ninth in the country among the programs that were involved in the study.

What’s the end game?

The Pac-12 clearly needs to improve its financial wherewithal in order to improve its national perception. Oregon is carrying the conference in terms of recruiting (right now) but Utah carries the banner for its development program. Admittedly, the conference on the whole is not healthy, stability wise just yet. Its flagship programs are on a downward cycle after consistent bouts of competency throughout the near two decades of this century thus far.

Like the famous football philosopher Darrell K.Royal said, “it’s not about the X’s and O’s, but the Jimmys and the Joes”. Football is THE national sport in this country. Some conferences have embraced it more so than the others by throwing their financial weight around to get results.

Football drives a lot of things for programs such as added enrollment, scholastic benefits, funding for facilities, and funding for other sports. I’m sure shifting demographics and socioeconomic factors play a role in recruiting success but like the Diddy song states, “It’s All About The Benjamins”.

As long as the big football schools in other conferences such as the SEC and ACC continue to rule the roost financially and on the field, it will be difficult for the power programs out west to compete for a playoff spot. There’s a fundamental difference in cultural attitudes regarding football that will keep the Pac-12 from seriously competing with the powers in the other regions. Football is the human life cycle in tangible form for the South + certain Northern programs while it’s a few hours of pleasant distraction on Saturday afternoons in the west in general.