If Texas decides to part ways with Mack Brown in the next year, the university's financial hit would be relatively small compared with other recent buyouts in the college coaching world.
Brown, the third-longest tenured coach in FBS, has a buyout of only $2.75 million if he is let go before Dec. 31, 2014. He agreed to the buyout when his contract was extended through the 2020 season last January.
His job status has been the subject of much speculation during the Longhorns' roller-coaster 8-4 season, which will end with a trip to the Valero Alamo Bowl after missing out on the Big 12 title -- and a BCS bowl berth -- with a 30-10 loss at Baylor on Saturday.
Brown has not commented on whether he'll leave, and Texas has not commented on whether it would make a coaching change.
While $2.75 million might not seem like a small severance, it's paltry considering the fact Brown is owed about $40 million after this season. That means the payoff would represent less than 7 percent of the total value of his contract.
Under the terms of the buyout, Brown would receive four payments of $687,500 if he was fired by Texas in 2013 or 2014, with payments reduced until 2020, when the school would have to pay him nothing if it let him go.
Compared to other coaches who have been let go recently, it's a small price to pay -- especially for a coach who has led his team to a national championship.
California gave Jeff Tedford $5.5 million of the $6.9 million he was owed -- nearly 80 percent of the total money left on his contract. Auburn agreed to pay Gene Chizik a buyout of $7.5 million when he had $10.8 million left on his contract. That's nearly 70 percent.
Colorado fired Jon Embree after he went 4-21 in two seasons but paid him $1.5 million of the $2.25 million that was left on his contract -- good for 66.6 percent. And Tennessee gave Derek Dooley $5 million of the $8 million left on his contract, 62.4 percent of the total money he was owed.
Most coaches received at least 50 percent of the money that was left on their contracts with a couple of exceptions, including Purdue's Danny Hope, who received only $600,000 of the more than $4 million he had left (15 percent).
A review of buyouts given to coaches last year could find only one coach who was given a smaller percentage of a buyout than what Brown would receive.
That was North Carolina State's Tom O'Brien, who was owed $4.5 million but the school negotiated to give him only $200,000, which represented less than 5 percent of the money left on his contract.
Often schools have clauses in buyouts which lessen the total payout if a coach takes another job.
Brown had a similar buyout percentage arranged in his previous contract, but as the coach got raises -- he's making $5.4 million this season -- the buyouts did not change significantly.