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'Tis the season for college athletic programs to show their generosity. Not the holiday season, but the bowl season.
College football coaches have reached many of the milestones in the performance incentive clauses included in their contracts. And the tab will continue to increase for the nation's top programs.
Excluding Notre Dame's Brian Kelly, who coaches at a private institution, the College Football Playoff coaches have already combined for more than $1 million in performance bonuses, according to figures compiled by USA TODAY Sports.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney is one of eight Division I bowl subdivision coaches who have already earned more than $300,000 in bonuses. Swinney has accumulated $425,000 for leading his team to a fourth consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference championship and a fourth consecutive Playoff.
Swinney earned $50,000 for winning the ACC Atlantic Division and $150,000 for winning the ACC Championship Game.
He added $200,000 for earning a spot in the Playoff and another $25,000 for winning the ACC Coach of the Year honor.
A victory against Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl Classic semifinal would award Swinney another $200,000.
He would earn another $250,000 if Clemson wins the national championship.
Thus, a national title would earn Swinney a total of $875,000 from on-field incentives in addition to his $6.4 million salary.
Swinney totaled $500,000 in bonuses last season, when Clemson won the ACC title but lost to eventual national champion Alabama in the Sugar Bowl CFP semifinal. Alabama coach Nick Saban earned the same amount for winning that national title, although Alabama did not win the Southeastern Conference championship.
This season, Saban has already amassed $525,000 for sweeping to the SEC title and reaching his fifth consecutive Playoff.
Saban could earn $200,000 each for victories in the Orange Bowl semifinal and the national championship.
Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley has compiled $175,000 in bonuses for winning the Big 12 Conference title and reaching the Playoff.
Riley would earn another $100,000 for defeated Alabama in the Orange Bowl and another $250,000 for winning the national championship.
The sweepstakes will resume Dec. 29.
The Cotton Bowl is scheduled to kick off at 4 p.m. The Orange Bowl will follow.
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