Louisiana State University has one reason to be pleased about yesterday’s 21-0 loss to Alabama in the BCS championship game — the defeat saved the school from a six million dollar outlay.

LSU football coach Les Miles made $3.75 million in salary this year, plus another $400,000 in bonuses for winning the SEC championship and qualifying for the BCS. But he missed a huge payday by losing yesterday, since his contract has a clause guaranteeing him an automatic salary hike to $1,000 more than the highest-paid public university coach in the SEC if he ever wins a national championship.

That highest paid coach happens to be Alabama’s Nick Saban, who made $4.7 million this year (plus $400,000 for beating LSU yesterday). Over the six years remaining on Miles’s contract, that bump would have worked out to exactly $5,706,000.

The LSU system raised tuition some $14 million this year, with plans for another $38 million in 2012-13. Miles’s salary hike would have amounted to $40 per student per year.