One of the most amusing things about the logic of people like Orrin Hatch and Craig Thompson is this almost child-like faith that if only someone can find the right lever, or manner of persuasion, the BCS conferences will see the proverbial light and share the wealth with those schools less fortunate.
You need to quit kidding yourselves, fellas. The BCS conferences don’t even do that so much among their own.
Georgia signs an incredibly lucrative deal with ISP Sports for media rights. That’s one of the things that lets the school pay North Texas $975,000 to come to Athens and get its brains beat out (hopefully). Meanwhile, fellow conference school Mississippi State can’t afford that luxury.
“Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly I-A) schools are asking for, and in some cases receiving, $1 million as a guarantee for playing road games. We currently gross just a little over $1 million in revenue for a home game. Thus, it is challenging for us to schedule straight-up guarantee games with FBS opponents. A solution is to schedule home-and-home series, where each school plays a home game against each other in a two-year agreement, where no guarantee payment is necessary. The drawback is that if the other three non-conference games are home-and-home series, we would alternate between seven and six home games. However, many FBS opponents are willing to take a smaller guarantee if they can get an SEC opponent to play at their place. For instance, the recent three-game agreement announced by South Alabama calls for two games in Starkville and one in Mobile. In the additional game played in Starkville, we are paying USA $350,000. These are called two-for-ones (two game at one site, one at the other). Two-for-ones give us the best chance to schedule seven home games each season and, at the same time, schedule in a way that gives our team the best competitive opportunity to become bowl eligible. Two-for-ones also give us the best chance of being fiscally responsible on what we pay as game guarantees.”
And the SEC is actually one of the better conferences when it comes to sharing the wealth from TV contracts and bowl revenues. For comparison, check out the revenue figures from the Big XII.
Big 12 South
Total Revenue – Football Revenue
1. Texas $120.3 million – $72.9 milion
2. OSU $88.5 million – $23 million
3. OU $77 million – $41 million
4. A&M $74.8 million – $42.5 million
5. Baylor $44 million – $11 million
6. Tech $42.8 million – $20.2 million
Big 12 North
Total Revenue – Football Revenue
1. Kansas $86 million – $15 million
2. Nebraska $78.4 million – $49 million
3. Colorado $56.5 million – $28.7 million
4. Missouri $49 million – $19 million
5. KSU $48 million – $21.9 million
6. Iowa St. $38.6 million – $17.4 million
How does anyone there keep up with Texas?
I know it’s hard to believe, but in life, the rich tend to get richer. And one way they do that is by not sharing too much with the less well off. No matter how much of a nudge they’re given, the power conferences aren’t going to see the light suddenly and start shoveling money to San Diego State.
UPDATE: Another amusing delusion comes from Joe, at Coaches Hot Seat Blog, who proves, with geometric logic, that the BCS conferences are leaving at least a half billion dollars on the table by not embracing a playoff. Keep in mind that Joe has this to say in the same post: “The WAC has been playing some very good to great football for a number of years now, and these undefeated WAC teams cannot get a shot at playing for the national championship.” Sure, man.