Sunday, August 2, 2009

Big Ten the Money Machine

When It comes to raking in the cash, nobody has done it better than the Big Ten in the BCS Era. Though the conference (along with the Pac-10 and Rose Bowl) had to be cajoled and enticed to join the BCS after the 1997 season, it has made the most out of this marriage of convenience.

Over the past 11 years, the Big Ten has cashed $212 million, an average of over $19 million per school over that period. That's far more than anybody else has managed to bank. The SEC, coming in second, made $204 million, or an average of $17 million per school.

Jeremy Fowler of the Orlando Sentinel did the research and came up with how much each conference (both BCS and Coalition), as well as Notre Dame, has made from BCS participation in the BCS Era. It goes without saying that the BCS schools have earned disproportionally more than Coalition schools, as was noted in a previous post.

The data also provides ample reason why Notre Dame has resisted joining a conference. Despite its horrific recent history under Bob Davie, Tyrone Willingham and Charlie Weis, Notre Dame remains the most profitable school in the BCS arrangment simply because it does not have to share its revenue with anyone. Over the past 11 years, the Irish have made nearly as much as the entire Mountain West Conference. Its $35 million haul is about twice as much as the likes of Florida, Ohio State and USC, who have accomplished far more.

Click to enlarge | Data courtesy of Jeremy Fowler, Orlando Sentinel

* In Millions
** Totals do not include the Football Championship Subdivision conferences that currently receive $225,000 per year from the BCS

The breakdown by school (BCS members only):

Notre Dame - $35.00 million
West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Rutgers - $21.92
Big Ten members - $19.29
Boston College - $18.94
Pac-10 members - $18.36
Miami, Virginia Tech - $18.10
SEC members - $17.06
ACC members (except Miami, VaTech and BC) - $16.91
Big 12 members - $16.43
Connecticut - $11.27
South Florida, Cincinnati, Louisville - $9.52 ($0.56 as non-BCS members)

*Temple earned $12.96 as a BCS member, $13.02 total


Griffin Caprio said...

So I don't know if Jeremy mentioned this, but it's worth noting that NDs split of the BCS money radically changed after 2005. They went from a full conference share amount ( hence the ~14 million ) to a "team" share comparable . Not sure how they figured out the 'team' share, though.

Griffin Caprio said...

sorry, should have said "comparable to a team in a BCS conference"

The Guru said...

Also, ND opted to take an annual payment in lieu of getting a windfall in the years they made a BCS bowl and nada in the years they didn't. It turned out to be shrewd because they have been stinking it up the last three years.

Griffin Caprio said...

Interesting. I didn't know that. That's a shrewd business move for any team, since the likelihood of being in the BCS year in and year out is pretty low. Also, they have no ability to get a second team in the BCS b/c, obviously, they're a conference of one. So their annual payment should be roughly comparable to a team in a BCS conference that only gets it's automatic qualifier in. That seems to be way fairer than the full conference split they got for appearing in their first two BCS games.