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Alabama coach Nick Saban to lead SEC salary in 2016

nick saban and les miles shaking hands
John David Mercer- USA TODAY Sports

Money is the next thing in line for coaches, aside from winning of course. Conference title games, prime time bowl match-ups and double digit win seasons mean financial extensions.

Being the modern-day Paul Bryant is on the forefront of Alabama coach Nick Saban’s mind, yet it is good to dominate in more ways than one. Saban anticipates his fourth national title with the Crimson Tide and the school’s 16th in history.

The 64-year-old will open 2016 as the highest paid coach in the Southeastern Conference, commanding $7.09 million.

Next season will Saban’s 10th year at Alabama, and the $7.09 million stands as a nice increase from his $4 million deal that he signed in 2007. Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin falls second with $5 million a year. He and the Aggies will be under much pressure to produce a SEC title winning season in 2016, after having three straight years of nine wins or less.

Mississippi head coach Hugh Freeze stands third with a $4.93 million extension. The Rebels extended him after he produced a 10-win season. Ole Miss finished 6-2 in conference, with wins over Alabama, Texas A&M, LSU and Mississippi State.

LSU coach Les Miles slides into the four spot, bringing in $4.39 million a year. The Tigers missed a 10-win season for a second straight year, but finished strong with a 56-27 win over Texas Tech in the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl to end the year at 9-3. Miles has not beaten Alabama since the 2011 regular season.

He may very well be on the “hot seat” in 2016.

Rounding out the top five is Auburn’s Gus Malzhan, who is set to make $4.31 million next season. The Tigers have done very little outside of national championship appearances in 2010 (champions) and 2013. It limped to a 6-6 regular season and then defeated Memphis 31-10 in the Birmingham Bowl.

With a new defensive coordinator coming in, a lot will be on Malzhan’s plate at Jordan-Hare Stadium in 2016.

Stephen M. Smith is a senior analyst and columnist for Touchdown Alabama MagazineYou can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @ESPN_Future.

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