Soaring SEC salaries equal raised gridiron expections — especially in the West

When Mississippi State bumped Sylvester Croom’s salary package to $1.7 million for next season it meant every head football coach at a public institution in the SEC will be making more than $1.5 million next season.
But with great financial reward comes great expectations.
Those expectations may be greater in the SEC West — where two coaches will be making more than $3 million this year and two more will be making more than $2 million — than anywhere.
“You can’t pay that much money to six different coaches and expect them to all win the SEC West,” former Auburn coach Terry Bowden wrote for earlier this month. “Can you imagine paying between $2 million and $4 million each to (LSU coach Les) Miles, (Alabama coach Nick) Saban, (Auburn coach Tommy) Tuberville, (Arkansas coach Bobby) Petrino and (Ole Miss coach Houston) Nutt knowing that every year one of those guys is going to come in fifth in their division?”