Thanks to a new contract extension signed earlier this year that includes a $6.275 million annual salary and $4 million bonus, Saban is earning more than $11 million in 2017. If Saban doesn't deliver a national championship for the second-straight season and Alabama is fed up with the pattern of emotional distress inflicted on their fan base, he can get paid more than twice that amount to never coach again.
With a buyout of nearly $25 million, firing Saban would be a very expensive move. It's an expensive move for just about every FBS program to fire their coach, even if it's worth it given poor on-field results.
Here are the astronomical buyout amounts for Kevin Sumlin, Mike Riley and other college football coaches on the hot seat.
Buyout: $11.25 Million
Not only is Kevin Sumlin's buyout in excess of $11 million, Texas A&M would have to pay him the entire amount within 60 days of termination. That combined with a likely eight-figure contract for his replacement would mean the Aggies could pony up at least $15 million in two months' time.
Buyout: $6.63 Million
Mike Riley signed a one-year contract extension earlier this month that keeps him under control through the 2020 season. If he leaves for another job, Nebraska is owed $1 million. If they fire him, he is owed $170,000 per month through the term of the contract. Thirty-nine months times $170,000 equals nearly $7 million.
Buyout: $6 Million
Rich Rodriguez signed a two-year contract extension in 2014 that runs through the 2019 season. As of now, the buyout sits a shade below $6 million, which is due within 60 days of termination. While it's a large sum, had Arizona been aggressive and fired him last year, they would've owed nearly $9 million.
Buyout: $11 Million
After Jim Mora began his UCLA career with 29 wins over three season, there was talk of his buyout if wanted another NFL shot. That talk is long gone, and it's been replaced with dismissal buyout talk. He would be owed about $11 million if the Bruins' administration isn't pleased with his rebound from last year's four-win dud.
Buyout: $12.8 Million
Arizona State made headlines this summer when they did not automatically extend Todd Graham's contract by one year, as they did each of the four previous years. His contract pays him an annual salary of $3.2 million and runs through June 2021.
Graham is owed the entirety of his contract if he's terminated before then, which is around $13 million, depending when he's fired.