As soon as news started swirling that Mack Brown would eventually be leaving his perch as head coach at Texas, rumors started to spread that Alabama coach Nick Saban would be the first person school officials would target to replace Brown.
In the end, Saban announced he was staying in Tuscaloosa and had agreed to a new contract that would pay him nearly $7 million a year. The Longhorns moved on and surprisingly hired Charlie Strong from Louisville for $5 million a season.
It's starting to look like the decision to return to Alabama couldn't have been an easy one for Saban, though.
AL.com obtained an advance copy of ESPN radio host Paul Finebaum's book, which he wrote with Gene Wojchiechowski, and in it the popular Southern radio host claims Texas boosters threw an obscene amount of money at Saban.
"Texas was dead serious about trying to money-whip Saban," according to a passage in the book, "My Conference Can Beat Your Conference: Why the SEC Still Rules College Football". "Depending on whom you talk to -- Bama big hitters or Texas big hitters -- the Longhorns were prepared to give Saban somewhere between a $12 and $15 million signing bonus and a salary package worth $100 million (plus performances)."
That's a lot of cash, even for somebody as highly compensated as Saban. If remotely true, it was one heck of a package to rebuff and certainly speaks to Saban's commitment to Alabama.
"I knew that if Mack stepped down, there would probably be an opportunity, but it wasn't something I was interested in doing, not at this stage in my career," Saban said in December.
Alabama regents approved Saban's extension in early June, making him college football's highest-paid coach by a significant margin. Saban earns more than all but eight NFL head coaches.