This, you see, was the lone BCS bowl you could watch this year where two coaches weren't grabbing for money off the Texas opening or any other accompanying job vacancies in their sport.
Ohio State's Urban Meyer already made his coaching moves, made his big money and made out well with everything but the Florida fans' applause thanks to his awkward departure. That will change in time. He'll get his delayed applause there.
Clemson's Dabo Swinney is one big year from playing on the biggest stage in college football. The one where money falls on coaches like bank vaults. It's coming with another 11-win season. Just wait, Dabo.
The most precious commodity in college football remains the star coach like Meyer and Swinney. The past couple of weeks confirm just how sordid the process is in a land that pretends to invoke phrases like, "student-athlete" and "higher learning.
We talked a lot for a while about Alabama's Nick Saban possibly leaving for Texas. Saban's shrewd agent, Jimmy Sexton, let everyone keep talking until Saban got a seven-figure pay raise from Alabama.
We then talked of Michigan State's Mark Danofrio and Florida State's Jimbo Fisher going to Texas, at least until they signed new contracts at their respective schools, too.
That doesn't mean Fisher is out of the Texas job that reportedly pays at least $7 million. This is the funny part. It simply means Fisher can defer questions before the national championship game against Auburn by refering to the signed contract.
"It doesn't mean a lot, really,'' a Florida State official said this week of the contract. "It can get ripped up as easily as it gets signed. Everyone knows it."
This is annual gold rush in college football. The only change is there's more gold. And fewer questions about grabbing some.
Or do you think Texas reached out to Louisville's Charlie Strong, Baylor's Art Briles and UCLA's Jim Mora, too? Or were their agents just throwing their names into the conversation to increase stature and bump pay?
This brings us to Coral Gables, where it's unclear if Al Golden wants to go home again to Penn State and make more money or wants to make more money and finish what he began at Miami.
The financial difference is real, not just for Golden but his assistants, too. Penn State paid $3.6 million a year to the departed Bill O'Brien. Golden is paid about $2.15 million.
Would you want to be paid one-third less than you could? Would you want your assistants to be paid that much less, too?
This is one issue Golden will wrestle with in the coming hours. Miami will, too. It always has been a school where the young, ambitious coach makes his name before landing a big-money deal elsewhere for a reason.
It doesn't have big money. It offers local talent and rich history. The schools it competes most directly against, Florida and Florida State have more money, more facilities, more everything.
Meyer knows. He won big at Florida. But something became too much for him there, just as it did for the school's other big winner, Steve Spurrier. It happens. Look around colllege football.
Meyer landed at Ohio State, where he is winning again in a big way and making big money for doing so. Opposite him on Friday night was Winney, the Clemson coach, who also didn't spend a week making fans wonder a pot of gold awaits him after the Orange Bowl.
That made this an archaic week of football questions, and only football questions, leading into a night of football, only football. The student-athletes played hard. The coaches talked of pride at being here.
You could almost ignore all the money thrown in the other corners of college football this week.