It should be obvious that I’m a sucker for Animal House references, so this rebuttal to Dan Wetzel’s Death to the BCS has the schwing! factor going for me when I read this:
… But if you’re Doug Neidermeyer and Greg Marmalard in the BCS’ Omega Theta Pi, as opposed to Pinto and Flounder in the non-BCS Delta house, you’re looking at a big pile of cash.
Seriously, though, the article highlights the money side – the haves vs. the have-nots side, that is – of the football postseason debate in a succinct manner. And while there’s little doubt that a 16-team March Madness-styled football playoff would be a real Boon (see what I did there?) for the mid-majors, there’s too much money at stake for the big boys to risk making major changes.
Too much regular season money, I mean. How much? This much:
… Take the Southeastern Conference. The SEC is the premier conference in terms of BCS Championship trophies. It just distributed $209 million to its 12 members for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, a tidy $17.3 million each. About $150 million of that windfall came from football through TV contracts, bowl payouts, and the SEC Championship Game.
The SEC takes in up to $41 million in game ticket sales every week. According to the Birmingham Business Journal, South Carolina anticipates bringing in $16.5 million in ticket sales this year, while Florida raked in $16.8 million in 2009. School records show Florida’s football revenue jumped $7.2 million, to $61.3 million, after the Gators’ title in 2008.
Georgia averages $1.8 million to $2.9 million per game in ticket sales, and Tennessee, with a stadium that holds 102,455 screaming Vols fans, looked to collect $27 million in 2009 ticket sales.
Of course, that’s still not in the NFL’s league. So far in the 2010 season, with an average price of $76.5 x 15 games a week x average attendance of 67,695, that equals more than $77 million in weekly ticket revenue. But given that more than twice as many teams are in the NFL than in the SEC, the SEC is actually making more money per capita from ticket sales. [Emphasis added.]
When you’re making more money per sale than the NFL, that’s something you’re gonna be awfully reluctant to screw with. Even Greg Marmalard’s not that dumb.