- Darren Rovell, ESPN.com Sports Business reporter
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Former Notre Dame assistant coach Urban Meyer nearly made $100,000 from the Fighting Irish's loss to Alabama in the Discover BCS National Championship on Monday night.
The current Ohio State coach didn't bet on the game; rather, the blowout 42-14 loss dropped Notre Dame to No. 4 and gave his Buckeyes a chance to slip into the No. 2 spot in the final Associated Press poll. Meyer's amended contract, which came after the Buckeyes were made ineligible for this postseason, says that if the team finished in the top two, he'd get $250,000.
It was not to be, but that doesn't mean Meyer was left empty-handed. Oregon's convincing Fiesta Bowl victory over Kansas State put the Ducks 56 points ahead of the Buckeyes in the final poll, leaving Ohio State at No. 3 and Meyer -- who makes $4 million a year -- with a $150,000 bonus.
Finishing at No. 3 through No. 10 was worth $150,000 to Meyer.
For coaches whose teams actually played in bowl games, Tuesday morning was an interesting one, as many have their bonuses tied to the final Top 25 polls.
The top bonus unsurprisingly goes to Alabama coach Nick Saban, whose team thumped Notre Dame 42-14 in the title game on Monday night. Saban, who is already the highest-paid coach at $5.3 million per year, will get a $200,000 bonus for finishing No. 1, on top of the $110,000 bonus he got for getting his team to the game.
Georgia's Mark Richt missed out on a bevy of potential bonuses after a loss to Alabama in the SEC title game kept the Bulldogs from playing for the top spot, but the team's 45-31 win in the Capital One Bowl over Nebraska helped keep the team in the top five in both the AP and USA Today coaches' polls. Richt will get a $100,000 bonus.
Florida's bad 33-23 loss to Louisville in the Sugar Bowl dropped the Gators from No. 3 to No. 9 in the AP poll and No. 10 in the coaches' poll. Staying in the top 10 means head coach Will Muschamp will get a $50,000 bonus. Rival Florida State finished eighth in the coaches' poll and 10th in the AP poll to secure coach Jimbo Fisher a $50,000 bonus.
Oregon's Chip Kelly, who talked with NFL teams only to return to the school, gets an automatic one-year extension worth at least $4 million for having at least 11 wins, although it's likely that Kelly's dance with the professional ranks will result in a new contract altogether.
The other big winner with a win-based incentive in his contract was South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier. The team's dramatic victory over Michigan in the Outback Bowl gave the Gamecocks their 11th win of the season, which equals a $200,000 bonus for the Ol' Ball Coach.
Kansas State's Bill Snyder was on the outside looking in after his team was throttled 35-17 at the hands of Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl. The loss put the Wildcats outside the top 10 in the polls, meaning Snyder will pick up $50,000 instead of a top-10 $100,000 bonus.
Louisville's victory over Florida led the Cardinals to a No. 13 ranking in both polls, which gives coach Charlie Strong a $25,000 bonus.
A bigger boost will come from a contract extension that will now run through the 2020 season and a raise for Strong after he turned down the Tennessee job.
2hMitch Sherman and Josh Moyer
4dSharon Katz, ESPN Stats & Information
4dAndrea Adelson and Matt Fortuna