Devaluing the regular season

Again, it bears repeating that the single most valuable asset in the world of BCS-conference college athletics is the football regular season.  That’s where the bulk of the TV money is generated, and if there’s one thing we’ve learned in the past year, it’s that TV money rules the football world.

Here’s a handy chart comparing the revenues and expenses compiled at each SEC school over the 2008 football season and the 2008-2009 basketball season:

School F’ball Revenues F’ball Profit B’ball Revenues B’ball Profit
Alabama 64,606,392 38,162,437 8,766,826 3,777,011
Arkansas 38,630,265 20,321,009 14,391,769 7,755,353
Auburn 58,618,819 29,816,951 7,187,457 2,668,494
Florida 66,150,063 43,289,638 10,016,431 1,909,310
Georgia 65,218,406 45,381,440 7,266,018 971,584
Kentucky 26,143,126 12,895,649 14,773,034 6,157,308
LSU 61,868,953 39,125,745 6,034,178 1,264,808
MSU 18,732,248 5,873,586 6,197,698 2,473,007
Ole Miss 18,688,648 9,174,092 4,725,911 2,223,317
S. Carolina 57,118,519 37,232,819 8,101,086 2,963,232
Tennessee 42,805,360 19,842,551 12,576,715 7,111,804
Vanderbilt 18,564,940 4,383,262 8,021,361 1,020,874

As you can see, football revenue and profit dwarfed those from basketball, even at Kentucky.

In the debate about D-1 football’s postseason, what you and I think ain’t that big a deal.  But if you don’t think those numbers aren’t on the minds of every president, athletic director and conference commissioner in the Big Six, you’re kidding yourself.  They’re not going to do anything they perceive might present the possibility of killing that golden goose.

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14 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

14 responses to “Devaluing the regular season

  1. jermaine's dye

    But are college football fans suddenly going to stop attending games and turn off their television sets because there’s a legitimate post-season format?

  2. Dante

    I’m not exactly clear how the last game or two of the season not having playoff implications could possibly less interesting than Georgia playing Louisiana-Layfayette. I’ll believe schools are concerned with the value of the regular seaonson when the Floridas of the world stop scheduling cupcake-o-rama to give them a better shot at a BCS bowl.

  3. Mr. Georgia Football Returns

    College football is a “what have you done lately” entity. The answer, in UGA terms, is “not much.”

    Not won SEC since 2005

    Not won NC since 1980

    Not won over FL since 07, before that 04 before that 1997

    Writers are voting for proven teams

    UGA has shown a decline in performance over the last 2 years

    After # 1 ranking preseason 2008, UGA has Lost 8 of the next 26

    69 % Win Percentage is NOT GOOD enough to be a highly ranked team

    QB play will have to be better

    We also Lost 6 of the previous 26 before the last 2 years you so aptly describe, in the 2 years before that.

    We are in decline the last 4 years for the # 11 program all-time in 1-A wins to find 18 teams who we have not done better than.

    We face a tough schedule the season after this 2010 season, the 2011 season and face it losing 15 seniors and 4-5 juniors – nearly all the starters we lose after this season.

    Of course, it doesn’t help that we # 1 Fulmer Cup and 1-3 vs 4 sorry vols teams the last 4 years

    We are # 3 in Fulmer Cup All-Time now which started after the 2005 season, as well.

    We have a LOSING RECORD at Sanford Stadium the last 4 years vs SEC East teams, and there was NOT 1 single highly considered team among any of the games.

  4. Chuck

    I was surprised at some of the differentials. For example, UGA had a $500k edge over Bama in FB revenue, but about a $7 million edge in profit. No wonder Bama wins: they spend more of their money on the product.

    On the other hand, we had $7.2 million in BB revenues and less than $1 million in BB profit, which makes me ask: What did we spend all that money on?

    • Macallanlover

      Heck of a question regarding BB. UGA’s spending in bounce ball certainly wasn’t on facilities, nor apparently on successfully bringing in talent.

    • ugafan

      I’m not an econ whiz so this may be a stupid question but how does Bama’s spending more money help them win? Unless they’re buying athletes i don’t see it. And if you’re talking about paying for a better Coach, Richt is 1 of the winningest Coaches out there. Will paying him more make him better? I kinda doubt it.

      Again, no offense, just trying to understand your answer.

      • Macallanlover

        It doesn’t necessarily make them any better. I suspect the biggest difference is the money Bama has spent expanding their stadium to increase capacity twice in the past 5 years. It will now seat over 100K, which can give the impression it is better. (despite the dump that Neyland is, some (particularly teenagers)consider it special just because it once seated 103K. The fact many of those fans had to stand, or sit sideways, to inflate the capacity numbers didn’t get factored in by recruits or media.

        I also think Saban makes about a million more per year than CMR, they may have more administrators, fly a fancier plane, etc. Without analyzing the expenses and efficiencies, or seeing the numbers over a longer period of time to level out the capital spending, you just cannot draw too many conclusions. I even heard they gave their DC a huge raise recently. (:

  5. I just watched a rerun of last year’s Auburn game. I especially watched the players returning this year. We all know about the starters returning on Offense but I was pleasantly surprised at the # of players on Defense we have returning. I counted at least 7 that made plays while Auburn was making their last drive. The Dawgs do have a lot of talent returning.