Every single Alabama message board, chat room and talk radio caller agrees that even at $5.3 million, Saban is worth every penny and more.
Don't get cheap on me, Alabama. I know $5.3 million a year seems like a lot — that's about a million bucks per foot and an extra $100,000 per inch — but the reality is that, despite a raise that makes Nick Saban the highest paid head coach in college football, he's still underpaid.
This isn't a story about the plight of the college football coach. Nick Saban isn't struggling to feed his family, so we can hold off on the PSA and the Michael Jackson ballad. The Alabama head coach is still making mind-boggling money, but in terms of what he brings to the University of Alabama he's simply undervalued.
In the strictly commercial sense, Mack Brown should still be the highest paid coach in the country because Texas football is still the most profitable collegiate athletics institution in the country. That has more to do with Texas as a brand than the actual success of Mack Brown and Texas football (not to slight Mack Brown or Texas football); however, the revenue increase Alabama football has seen under Nick Saban along with the tangible successes on the field make Saban unquestionably the most valuable asset in college football.
Unlike the NFL, where far and away the largest expense are players, the largest expenses in collegiate athletics are the coaches and the support staff. Making Nick Saban the highest paid coach in the country obviously reflects on what the university thinks of Nick Saban, but considering that from before Saban's first title in Tuscaloosa up until before last season, he had already increased revenue by 19 percent and made Alabama the seventh-most profitable entity in college sports, he simply merits more.
Couple that consensus with the knowledge that someone approached Saban about luring him away from the program he's led for the last five years and that he turned them down, and there's almost no limit to what he could have asked for.
Suffice it to say that the Bama Nation is grateful that "Miss Terry" likes it in Tuscaloosa.