Dabo Swinney got the best of Nick Saban in securing the national championship at the end of the 2018 season, and he's also getting the best of the Alabama coach at securing the bag.
The latest USA Today report on college football coaching salaries revealed Swinney is paid $9.3 million annually, eclipsing Saban's $8.9 million for the highest mark in the sport. Michigan's Jim Harbaugh ($7.5 million), Texas A&M's Jimbo Fisher ($7.5 million) and Georgia's Kirby Smart ($6.9 million) rounded out the top five.
Swinney signed a 10-year, $92 million contract in April after the Tigers bested the Crimson Tide in the national title game in January. Saban previously stood alone atop the ranks, but Swinney's run of two championships in three seasons earned him a massive raise. Saban is under contract through 2025.
"Dabo's leadership of our football program has brought value, exposure and unprecedented levels of success not only to our athletics program but to the entire university," Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich said at the time.
The top of the list shows it pays to coach in the SEC. Four of the top six and five of the top 10 salaries belong to those in the nation's toughest conference. The Big Ten and Big 12 (two apiece) were the only other conferences with multiple coaches in the top 10.
Swinney and Florida State's Willie Taggart (15th) were the only ACC coaches in the top 30. By contrast, there were nine SEC coaches in the top 30, and all 14 were inside the top 50. The Big Ten actually led the way with 10 of its coaches in the top 30.