Clemson players and fans no doubt are happy that Tigers coach Tommy Bowden is staying put.
Bowden agreed in principle this week to a new seven-year contract that extends his prior commit-ment an extra four years through 2014 -- and buys him considerable job security in the process. The deal also ensures that he won't be moving to Arkansas any time soon.
Bowden had floated the idea that he might be open to taking over as coach of the Razorbacks and even went through the motions of talking with Arkansas' new Athletic Director Jeff Long, a friend, about the job. But in all likelihood, Bowden never really intended to leave Clemson and used the potential Arkansas offer for leverage in negotiating the contract extension.
That, of course, is how the game is played. And if it worked out well for Bowden, it also must have been a relief for Clemson.
Bowden has done about as much as any college program could ask of a coach. The 15th-ranked Tigers finished 9-3 this season and got invited to the Chick-fil-A Bowl to play Auburn (8-4). While Clemson has yet to win an ACC title, it appears to be on the cusp of doing so.
And Bowden has run a classy program, demanding scholastic achievement from his players along with skill on the field. The Tigers also have not exhibited the thuggish behavior that has plagued other teams.
Bowden now will be pulling down salary and perks that are in line with those of other coaches in the conference, most of whom haven't done as well as he has. Bowden's new deal also includes incentives that could boost his earnings if Clemson wins its division, reaches the BCS and claims the national title.
We suspect that most Clemson fans -- and more than a few non-fans -- would agree he's worth it.