Nick Saban Tops USA Today's 2017 List of College Football's Highest-Paid Coaches

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistOctober 25, 2017

TUSCALOOSA, AL - SEPTEMBER 30:  Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks on during the game against the Mississippi Rebels at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 30, 2017 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Alabama Crimson Tide are getting their money's worth from their investment in head coach Nick Saban.

According to USA Today, Saban is the highest-paid coach in college football, as he earns a little over $11.1 million. Since Saban joined the school in 2007, the Tide have won four national titles.

Saban's total pay would also put him comfortably in first place among college basketball coaches.

According to USA Today, former Louisville Cardinals head coach Rick Pitino earned a total of $7.8 million. Louisville fired Pitino earlier this month in the wake of the FBI's investigation into illicit payments to recruits across multiple schools.

Saban justifies his sky-high salary in a number of ways. Not only has he delivered plenty of on-field success for Alabama, but the football program also earned a total revenue of $103.9 million and a profit of $47.7 million.

Dabo Swinney, who coached the Clemson Tigers to a win over Alabama in last year's College Football Playoff National Championship, earns the second-highest salary among college coaches. Swinney makes $8.5 million after re-negotiating an eight-year extension through 2024 in August.

The next two highest-paid coaches provide few shocks. Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh makes just more than $7 million, while his rival to the south, Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer, is fourth with a salary of $6.4 million.

Somewhat surprisingly, Rich Rodriguez is the fifth-highest earner among college coaches. The Arizona Wildcats have finished inside the Top 25 and won 10 games once in Rodriguez's first five years. Some may argue, though, the school's four straight bowl appearances between 2012 and 2015 are enough to justify Rodriguez's $6 million pay.

The Wildcats are on the verge of making their fifth bowl game under Rodriguez following their 5-2 start to the 2017 season.