It’s still a few weeks before Thanksgiving but it’d sure be nice to have a Christmas bonus early, wouldn’t it? Well you can if you’re a college football coach. Turns out these guys don’t have salaries like most people. They have base salaries, and then they can really cash in if their teams make significant wins. According to an article by Steve Berkowitz in USA Today:

As the college football season winds down, coaches’ bonuses are adding up. One big winner is Chris Petersen of No 4 Boise State. On Saturday, his team got its eighth win, triggering a one-year contract extension through 2015 at a $1.49 million salary that year.

It all depends on what the contract specifies. Some coaches have big money coming if they can win conference title games:

Auburn’s Gene Chizik claimed $75,000 last week with his team’s 10th victory (a bonus that will rise with each successive win), but he can get $100,000 more if the Tigers beat Georgia and win the Southeastern Conference Western Division. South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier also can get his team into the SEC title game and earn $100,000. Nebraska’s Bo Pelini needs a win against Kansas and a loss by Missouri to Kansas State, a combination that will put the Cornhuskers into the Big 12 title game and $150,000 into his pocket.

Coaches at most major universities earn base salaries in the mid-six figures but can more than double that with significant wins.

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Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer