During his five years at Alabama, Nick Saban and his ever-evolving coaching staff has led the Crimson Tide back to preeminent status on the national stage, cleaning up the squalor left by the decade-long Shula-Franchione-DuBose triad. And the Mike Price embarrassment.
Since being officially named head coach Jan.3, 2007, Saban’s Tide has won 55 games — versus just four SEC losses the last four years — and two BcS titles. And four No. 1 Rivals.com recruiting classes in the past five years, which has set the table for yet another season in which Saban’s squad will enter a year deep inside the preseason polls.
How much is all of that success worth? In 2011, and before Saban’s third title as a college head coach, the number was pegged at just over $4.8 million. In 2012? Go north, old committee men.
According to the Birmingham News, the compensation arm of the University of Alabama Systems board of trustees will meet Monday to discuss the contracts of two newly-hired Saban assistants — offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier and outside linebackers coach Lance Thompson. Additionally — warning ! alliteration ahead!!! — the compensation committee’s conference call will consider, the News writes, “contract amendments for head coach Nick Saban and seven of his assistants.”
One of the “seven… assistants” is defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, who at $850,000 was one of the highest-paid assistants for his job title last season. Smart also oversaw a title-winning defense that finished 2011 No. 1 in nearly every major statistical defensive category. Based on the performance of “his” defense, Smart surely should get a salary bump. As (rightly) will the other holdovers from the crystal-hoisting staff.
The question is, will — or, more to the point, should — Saban get the compensation committee bump? In 2011, Mack Brown was the highest-paid coach in America at nearly $5.2 million.
Symbolic or not, and probably in spite of what he actually cares about, it’s time for the financials to match the reality that most don’t or won’t want to acknowledge: Nick Saban is the best college football coach in the country.
Check the numbers; the gag reflex will soon pass, after the biases are left at reality’s doorstep. He is, you see, regardless of what you don’t want is to be.
(Editor’s note: Jimmy Sexton did not contribute in any way, shape or form to the creation of this post.)