LSU Football: Did the Tigers Spend Too Much on Les Miles' Extension?

Barrett SalleeSEC Football Lead WriterJanuary 24, 2013

After briefly flirting with Arkansas this offseason, Les Miles recommitted to stay as the head coach of the LSU Tigers. 

Apparently, that commitment has paid off.

According to a release from the university, LSU and Miles have agreed on a seven-year contract extension that will pay him $4.3 million per season. The new compensation package will be presented to the LSU Board of Supervisors on February 1. 

"Les Miles is one of the most successful coaches in America and he has the LSU program in position to compete for championships each and every year in the most dominant football conference in the country," director of athletics Joe Alleva said (via the release). "He recruits at an elite level, his players graduate and he is a respected member of the community. We are proud he will lead the LSU football program for the long-term future."

If approved, the deal would make Miles the fourth-highest paid head coach in the country—tied with Ohio State's Urban Meyer—according to the USA Today salary database.

The question is, did LSU overpay for Miles?

The program has established itself as the top recruiting power in the state, essentially picking and choosing Louisiana's top prospects. Despite that, LSU has still seen its share of down times under former head coaches Curley Hallman, Gerry DiNardo and others.

The resources that the LSU job provides are great, but succeeding at the level at which Miles has is really impressive regardless of where it happens.

Since taking over for Nick Saban prior to the 2005 season, Miles has compiled a record of 85-21, won three SEC West titles, two SEC Championships and the 2007 BCS National Championship. The program has won 10 or more games in three straight seasons, and annually dances around top 10 rankings.

Miles is absolutely worth what LSU is paying him now. If anything, his value could increase in the future.

The SEC cable network is rumored to hit the air starting in 2014. That, coupled with the revised media rights contract that commissioner Mike Slive is working on with ESPN and CBS, should give the SEC an injection of capital in the near future. 

The $4.3 million per season price tag may seem high now, but Miles has earned it.