Congrats to the school's athletics director, Jay Jacobs, for realizing he should renegotiate Gus Malzahn's contract sooner rather than later.
What if he had waited and Malzahn won an SEC championship today? And what if FSU, Ohio State or both lost today, opening a spot in the BCS Championship Game as well? And what if Malzahn won that, too?
If that had happened, who could've blamed Malzahn if he had told Jacobs he wanted Saban money?
Auburn won't have to pay anything close to that. Jacobs announced Friday the school and Malzahn have agreed to a six-year deal that will pay him $3.85 million next year and increase by $250,000 each year after that.
In the world of college football, Malzahn is a bargain. He has taken over a slumping team and already has his program in the hunt for a national title.
And even with his new contract, he still will make less than two other first-year SEC coaches who took over bad teams and didn't improve them.
According to the USA Today coaches salary database, Arkansas' Bret Bielema is the nation's third-highest paid coach behind No. 1 Nick Saban and No. 2 Mack Brown with $5,158,863. The Razorbacks went 4-8 last year and 3-9 under Bielema. That's $1,719,621 a win. That's almost exactly what Duke is paying David Cutcliffe for 10 wins this season.
Tennessee went 5-7 last year and matched that this season in Butch Jones' first season. Jones ranks fourth nationally with $4,860,000 a year.
Yes, Auburn is getting off cheap.
Contact Anniston Star Sports Editor Mark Edwards at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.