We show that the limiting ground state energy of the spherical mixed p-spin model can be identified as the infimum of certain variational problem. This complements the well-known Parisi formula for the limiting free energy in the spherical model. As an application, we obtain explicit formulas for the limiting ground state energy in the replica symmetry, one level of replica symmetry breaking and full replica symmetry breaking phases at zero temperature. In addition, our approach leads to new results on disorder chaos in spherical mixed even p-spin models. In particular, we prove that when there is no external field, the location of the ground state energy is chaotic under small perturbations of the disorder. We also establish that in the spherical mixed even p-spin model, the ground state energy superconcentrates in the absence of external field, while it obeys a central limit theorem if the external field is present.