The supply and demand for cupcakes

Seth Emerson takes a good look at the rising cost of scheduling lower tier schools for single home games, through the lens of Georgia’s opening opponent this Saturday.  Money quote:

“Supply and demand is part of it,” said Farmer, who worked at Georgia Southern from 1982-99. “Right now there’s more of a demand than there is a supply. I know that’s an awful lot of money to pay out to play a football game. But I think the other story would be how much does a Georgia or a Sooth Carolina make at a home football game. … If it wasn’t economically feasible for them, they wouldn’t pay it.”

There may be something coming that bears watching, though – the potential trend towards nine-game conference schedules.

The Next Big Thing in college football scheduling will be an old-school, fan-friendly concept: Playing conference rivals more, not less.

The Pac-10 has played nine conference games for a while, and it appears the Big Ten and Big 12 will soon follow. The trend could affect the national championship race, television contracts, the budgets of smaller schools, and bowl eligibility.

Fewer open slots in BCS-conference schedules means a drop in demand for opponents who will accept a one-and-done arrangement.  That means one of two things will result:  either appearance fees will decline, or the mid-major conferences will do some shoring up of their own to cut the supply and keep the costs up.

… If the Big Ten shifts to nine games, MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said his league should strongly consider going to nine as well.

“The Big Ten is going to have one fewer non-conference game to schedule,” Steinbrecher said. “Does that mean one fewer game against us they schedule, or one other non-conference game (not against the MAC)? That’s what we don’t know right now.”

Delany said the Big Ten has “pushed it about as far as we can” in paying for increasingly expensive “buy” games.

Conference USA is also considering a nine-game schedule. Many league coaches believe C-USA hasn’t had an undefeated team since 1998 because of difficult non-conference schedules.

Either way, the end result would be less money flowing downstream.  That’s not a happy development if you’re a school on the receiving end.

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15 Comments

Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

15 responses to “The supply and demand for cupcakes

  1. Ubiquitous GA Alum

    Considering that only 14 schools made a profit last year, a 9 game conference schedule really will be a huge loss for these smaller schools.

  2. BMan

    This morning 790theZone had Greg McGarity on, and it was a nice interview. At the end, McGarity noted that when they had Bob Stoops on the show later on, please tell him that he said hello and gave him all his best, etc. So one of the hosts started with some good-natured ribbing about when will we see a home and home with UGA and OU. He went on to say that he’s like to see the Dogs play Ohio State or Texas and so on. McGarity put the brakes on that one real fast. He stated that with the conference schedule and an end of the year game against an out-of-conference rival like Georgia Tech, it’s sometimes perilous to schedule anyone else of signigficance. He went on to say that he had seen how the “Florida model” worked and he liked that model. I took it to mean that Georgia would be looking through the cupcake brochure and picking out some good ones for the future.

  3. Dog in Fla

    Meet the 1st cupcake of the Greg Era of trickle down:

    UB Bulls http://www.ubathletics.buffalo.edu/football/news/ftb08-26-2010-sec.shtml

  4. west coast native

    I hope the new AD does not cancel the Oregon
    home and away game, but I see that one “ducking”
    out the window.
    Florida model-never leave the state for an out of
    conference game. Oh joy-now some division 3 schools for one million dollars.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      I appreciate that some of you guys want UGA to go to play OU or Southern Cal or Texas home and home. Those would be interesting matchups–for bowls. But regular season, not so great an idea. Putting aside the difficulty of playing an SEC schedule and still trying to play away games like those, think of the implications for the fans. Maybe some of our fanbase can afford to travel to see their Dawgs play an OOC game in Eugene, OR but most cannot. The Dawgs only have 6 home games this year while other teams (Auburn, for example) have 8 (FLA has 7 plus the WLOCP which I consider another home game for them). The fact is our fans are being shortchanged by the lack of HOME games already. Let’s give the Dawg fans a few more opportunities to watch their team play in person rather than have to go to the other side of the country to see the Dawgs play.

      • Dude, Airtran and Southwest ain’t that expensive. Both have hubs within driving distance of Athens. I’m just sayin’…

        I understand where you’re coming from, but going to a game at Folsom Field or Autzen Stadium is a once in a lifetime type of trip. Going to those locations to see the Dawgs play just puts the cherry on top IMO. College football is about way more than putting yourself in the best position to win the BCS every year. It’s the mystique of places like this and the ability to go to them that make college football a billionty times better than the NFL product. I don’t care if that’s not the approach that our neighbors to the South take. In thirty years I’ll be able to say I saw my team play at one of the greatest stadiums in the US and the Florida alum will never have seen his team play outside of his state. I’ll take that anyday.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          AD, I appreciate where you are coming from but even if UGA fans cough up the dough to fly there, stay in a hotel, get a rental car, etc., how many tickets can our people realistically expect to get—10,000? Less? We have a stadium that holds over 100,000 people. That means that 90,000+ UGA fans are deprived of the chance to see in person the Dawgs play that weekend. That’s one of the things I actually approve of regarding FLA. That team’s fans get a lot of opportunities to see them play in the State of Florida. Also, when the Gators are on the road it is close enough for the Gator faithful to be able to drive to the game. If you have a great big stadium you ought to use it. UGA goes to a bowl every year. You want a football trip to a distant locale? That’s the perfect time to do it plus each team gets half the tickets. My gripe is that UGA seems to go to the same bowls all the time. That’s not the fault of anybody in Athens, though.

    • Dog in Fla

      The Florida Model – I can’t wait until these chicks get a division 3 team that we can play at home…

  5. W Cobb Dawg

    Perhaps neutral fields will fill the out-of-conference home-and-home void. I wouldn’t mind playing a one-and-done with somebody like NC (Charlotte or ATL). I guess 8 home games are great for the team’s w/l record, but tailgating in Athens is a lot more hassle than it used to be, especially night games. I suppose it’s time for us 50+ folks to step aside and let the students pony up for the cost of a ticket (er, I mean their parents).

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Great idea WCD. In fact, Jerry Jones wanted to do that very thing last year offering the new Dallas Cowboy Stadium plus a boatload of cash to hold the UGA-Okie State game. Unfortunately, Okie State nixed the deal even though the Pokes would have made $6Mil more than they got from having the game in Stillwater. I wonder why?

  6. Hobnail_Boot

    Considering that Georgia already plays 5 road SEC games a year, I say bring on the 9/3 schedule and let’s get Ole Miss back on permanently.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      I favor more conference games also but have you considered that, because of the WLOCP, if UGA plays a 9 game conference schedule potentially every other year UGA will play 3 SEC home games and 6 SEC away games?

  7. Bryant Denny

    I seem to recall in the 1970s (maybe ’76 and ’77), back in the days when there were six conference games, that Alabama actually played seven SEC teams.

    I was a young ‘un at the time, but I seem to recall that we could designate one of those seven games as a “non-conference” one.

    Am I smoking crack or does anyone else remember this?

    I don’t like the idea of nine SEC games. Heck, I think eight and a championship game is enough.

    Do you think is an attempt to put the squeeze on the non-BCS conferences?

    If that’s the case it seems counterproductive to me (for the SEC, that is).

    Have a good day,

    BD