Maybe Jeff Long could read college football’s financial tea leaves in advance.
When he gave Bret Bielema a pay raise and extension in February 2015 there were some raised eyebrows at the buyout.
To refresh memories, Bielema’s buyout numbers are $15.4 million through next season, then $11.7 million in 2018, $7.9 million in 2019 and $4 million in 2020.
The last two numbers are probably not relevant as if Bielema wins enough games there will, obviously, be another extension and if he doesn’t, well, things may be more interesting.
That’s the way these things work in this day and age.
Maybe Long saw all this nearly two years ago when he put together the extension. Jimbo Fisher’s newest deal with Florida State has certainly opened some eyes.
Fisher’s new deal included a $250,000 a year raise, but the buyout on the school’s side is a whopping $44.4 million in January. Yes, Jimbo could go 0-12 next season and it would cost them that much to get rid of him.
While that may be extreme, remember that Oregon gave Mark Helfrich a raise when he got the Ducks to the national championship game after beating Fisher’s Seminoles two years ago … then fired him a couple of weeks ago.
To add some context to it, Fisher’s buyout was $33 million before the new deal.
For some further context, the total of buyouts of every coach in the SEC West is $61 million, the SEC East is $58.7 million.
In case you’re wondering, there is no reverse buyout for Fisher. He can leave and owe Florida State nothing, exactly like Saban at Alabama and some other contracts in the SEC.
Which means Fisher (or his agent) made sure his name came up when Les Miles was fired at LSU.
Because, obviously, Florida State wants to keep him around for awhile.