Swinney made $9.3 million in total pay, surpassing Alabama's Nick Saban at $8.85 million. Swinney agreed to a 10-year, $93 million contract extension in April, after winning his second national title in three years.
Saban topped the list last year, when he signed an eight-year, $74.4 million extension to coach through the 2025 season.
Fisher has the largest buyout, at $60.6 million, followed by Swinney at $50 million.
Texas' Tom Herman was the top-paid coach in the Big 12, ranking seventh overall at $6.75 million.
LSU's Ed Orgeron, coach of the No. 2-ranked Tigers, is a bargain at $4 million, which ranks 30th.
Every coach in the SEC makes at least $3 million, with total average pay of $4.95 million, according to the database.
USA Today has compiled the list since 2006, when Oklahoma's Bob Stoops was the only coach to make more than $3 million in total compensation. This year, 31 coaches make at least $3 million.