Maestro, mood music if you will...
That’s a big-ass number. It’s one that doesn’t translate well to we monkeys, who learned to count to 20 through the aid of our fingers and toes (and to 21, if you are extremely blessed).
1What is a billion?
It would take one billion oranges to fill the Orange Bowl. A billion seconds is thirty-two years. If you counted to one billion, and typed an asterisk for each digit, you would have a stack of paper 83 feet tall.
Yet, the GOATest of the GOATs inked a new deal worth almost 1/10th of that...and he’s still underpaid.
Quite a bit’s happened since Alabama and Nick Saban agreed to a new contract just a year ago.
A busy coaching carousel and a significant salary bump for a rival certainly contributed to the latest refresh for Saban’s deal approved Tuesday by the UA System trustees’ compensation committee.
Saban will be under contract through the 2029 season, adding one year to his last deal. He will make $10.7 million in Year 1 of the deal and $12.7 million in the final year.
In all, the contract is worth $93.6 million and covers the following eight football seasons. Saban will be 78 when this deal expires.
It began with an orgy of spending by TAMU, who agreed to a guaranteed deal worth $75 million over 10 years. Guaranteed. At the time, that seemed a little exorbitant. But $7 million or so was the going rate for a coach with a national title, and few could claim those.
Then, this offseason, the coaching carousel got stupid. Michigan State, overreacting to a successful season and trying to fend of potential Big Dollar suitors in the present and near future, shattered that ceiling: 10 years/$95 million became the newest benchmark. But that eclipsed the earnings of the greatest of all-time, and Tucker had hardly done anything to merit Nick Saban money — or even Jimbo, Kirby or Dabo-money: all guys hauling in $9-$10M per season.
We thought we had seen the end of the madness...until Kirby Smart won a title.
And then Jawjah freaked out, and also raised the stakes. Flush off their first championship in almost half a century, the Dawgs extended Kirby and gave him a raise: 10 years, $112,500,000 — $11.25M per season. The king of Athens was now the king of payroll, and that mentally-important $100M mark had been eclipsed. For getting them over the hump against the most banged up title contender perhaps ever, the guy had just set the new payroll.
Alabama simply will not let that stand.
Call it well-earned, call it administrators refusing to let the Padwan earn more than the Jedi master, call it a continued investment after almost two decades of brilliance, but Saban has again set the bar as the highest paid in CFB: $11.7 million per year, every year, until 2030.
And how much is that? Well, if you paid Nick Saban in pennies for his new contract — one nearing 1/10th of a billion dollars — you’d have a tower of pennies 467,769.34 feet tall — stretching 88 miles.
But if you think that’s the last time it’s getting bumped, you’ve not been paying attention. In fact, I expect another raise and extension in January 2023...after Saban claims his 8th National Title.
Get that paper, Big Poppa.
You’ve earned it.