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Mike Leach is the fourth-highest paid Pac-12 coach

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Actually, he might be fifth (or sixth). But either way, he's in good company with his salary, according to the USA Today.

Steve Dykes/Getty Images

The USA Today released its annual research into coaches' salaries yesterday, and after his offseason raise Mike Leach checks in as the No. 4 paid coach in the Pac-12 among the 11 salaries that were able to be obtained.

Leach's ranking could actually be as low as sixth; Southern California, as a private institution, is not required to disclose Steve Sarkisian's salary, and USA Today appears to only have been able to get partial information on David Shaw of Stanford (also a private institution), as no potential bonus pay is shown.

Here's the complete (sortable) list - the ranking on the left is the coach's national standing:

RK SCHOOL HEAD COACH SCHOOL PAY OTHER PAY TOTAL PAY MAX BONUS
13 Washington Chris Petersen $3,681,720 $0 $3,681,720 $1,175,000
18 Arizona Rich Rodriguez $2,898,500 $400,000 $3,298,500 $2,125,000
19 UCLA Jim Mora $3,250,000 $0 $3,250,000 $930,000
31 Washington State Mike Leach $2,750,000 $0 $2,750,000 $625,000
33 Arizona State Todd Graham $2,700,000 $2,960 $2,702,960 $3,491,000
43 Utah Kyle Whittingham $2,200,000 -- $2,200,000 $740,000
49 Stanford David Shaw $2,012,666 -- $2,012,666 --
50 Colorado Mike MacIntyre $2,008,500 $1,650 $2,010,150 $1,500,000
51 Oregon Mark Helfrich $2,000,000 -- $2,000,000 $1,135,000
56 California Sonny Dykes $1,800,000 $8,000 $1,808,000 $304,000
61 Oregon State Mike Riley $1,510,008 -- $1,510,008 $369,000
??? Southern California Steve Sarkisian -- -- -- --

I love these lists, because I always hold out hope that our fans will stop with comments like "We're paying almost $3 million for these results?" and "Why in the world did we give a raise to a coach who just blew a bowl game?"

This is about keeping up with the Joneses. While Leach is making more than any coach in school history and he's definitely in the upper tier of coaches in the conference, his salary -- compared to his peers -- is only slightly above median and definitely commensurate with a coach who has accomplished what he has.

As Bill Moos will tell you, that raise was for what Leach is going to do and is designed to keep him here when it happens.

Thoughts on what you see?