Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Question of Money

You know eventually we’ll see a survey come out about it.

Someone will start comparing the amount spent per game by Auburn and Alabama on its head coaches in the first year. Alabama paid Saban $4 million and he went 6-6. This equates to $667 thousand for each victory. (Yes, I’m rounding, but what’s a dollar give or take, when we discuss the annual salaries coaches make. It’s equivalent to being tasked to cut $100 million from a trillion-dollar budget.)

Chizik is getting paid $1.9 million. Translation: three wins and Auburn is getting more bang for its buck out of its supposed savior on the gridiron, at least in the first year. I’ll think we’ll meet this target easily. However, Auburn, which has a habit of paying coaches that no longer work for the University, is still sending a check for $5 million to Tuberville sometime this season (if I have my understanding of the buyout). That’s right. It’s paying Tuberville more not to coach this year than Alabama paid Saban to coach in his first year. Combined, Auburn will pay current and former head coaches $6.9 million this season. Combining Shula’s buyout clause ($4 million over five years) with Saban’s contract, Alabama paid only $4.8 million in 2007. (I’m not adjusting for the job Shula took after Alabama fired him. However, adding in Shula’s contract means Alabama paid $800K per victory in 2007.)

A note on Tuberville: I honestly don’t begrudge him his buyout. His agent negotiated it. We had some great years under him with a lot of exciting football. God bless him. However, I feel when looking at the money Auburn is paying this year, we have to acknowledge the money going out.

So here are my questions?

1) In looking at a per game value for wins, should we include what is going to former head coaches? Or should we treat it as a sunk cost from a contract we’ve written off?

2) If we do include the money going to Tuberville, then Auburn needs nine wins this season to reach a per game value that exceeds what Alabama paid during Saban’s first year. Assuming my prediction of 7-5 is correct, Auburn will have 13 games this year (including the bowl game). Let’s say that we win the bowl game, that means we need to win eight games during the regular season. What teams can we upset? I predicted losses to West Virginia, LSU, Arkansas, Ole Miss, and Alabama. Let’s hear reasons why I’m wrong on specific games, other than just pride.

3) Will the announced failure on Monday of Colonial Bank have any effect on Bobby Lowder’s influence, real or perceived, in the Auburn athletic department?

War Eagle!

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