Is Arizona State trying to poach a fellow Pac-12 coach -- as in Utah's Kyle Whittingham? Maybe. The Sun Devils certainly could do worse. Whittingham, in our mind, is a top-20 coach without question.
Whittingham's contract pays him about $1.7 million a year. That's great money. But it's not top-20 coaching money. In fact, at present, it's only eighth in the Pac-12 money (we're assuming USC's Lane Kiffin makes between $3 and $4 million, based on various news reports on his undisclosed salary).
Here's the latest tally (chart at right), with now-ex-coaches included.
It appears Whittingham is due a raise and is headed to the $2 million per club.
Further, Kelly's number on top is a bit misleading. Last year, he signed a six-year, $20.5 million contract, which means his average salary is $3.4 million over the course of the contract.
The larger point is the new TV contract continues to impact coaching salaries in the Pac-12. Arizona State is trying to find a coach, and Whittingham -- whatever conference he coaches in -- offers potentially good value if he can be lured to town.
Utah is likely to take steps to prevent that, and Whittingham hasn't seemed terribly eager to bolt Salt Lake, considering he's been pursued by the likes of Washington and Tennessee in past years.
What's becoming clear though is there is money to spend and schools are having to spend it to lure top coaches.