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An examination of the bowl payouts for 2004, which total over $160 million, reveals some surprising results in bowl payouts for the Big East and the ACC, in the first season post-ACC expansion. We'll take a look at what conferences earn the most, from a total payout standpoint and a per-team payout standpoint, and the numbers are thought-provoking.
There are 28 bowls this season, with a total payout, according to a table published in the Roanoke Times, of $160,874,000. Of that total, $132,094,000, or 82.1%, will go to the BCS conferences: the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10, and SEC. That figure is usually over 90%, but the entry of Utah from the Mountain West into the BCS removes $11.78 million that the BCS conferences usually receive and spreads it amongst the Mountain West teams.
We'll get to the bowl payout info in a minute, but first, we need to explain the BCS Bowl payouts. BCS payouts to the conferences are anywhere from $11.78 million per conference to $14.67 million, depending upon the at-large entries.
Each BCS conference receives $11.78 million as a baseline for providing 6 conference champions to the 8-team BCS. That leaves 2 more payments of $11.78 million, and here's how they're distributed: each non-BCS team that gets into the BCS is paid $11.78 million. In 2004, Utah makes the BCS, so the Mountain West gets $11.78 million.
Any at-large invitations extended to a BCS conference team will result in that conference getting a payout of $6 million, and the remaining $5.78 million ($11.78 - $6 million) will be distributed evenly amongst the other BCS conferences. In this year's case, Texas is an at-large selection, so in addition to the $11.78 million the Big 12 gets for Oklahoma, they get an additional $6 million for Texas. The other five BCS conferences get $1.156 million each ($5.78 million / 5 = $1.156 million).
So here's the final tally for BCS payouts:
You can see why the BCS conferences don't want non-BCS schools crashing the party. Utah cost five of the BCS conferences $11.78 million, or $2.356 million per conference.
Of the 28 bowls, the conferences were able to meet all but 6 of their tie-ins. The following tie-ins (and revenue) were lost because conferences couldn't provide enough bowl eligible teams:
Though I don't know the story, it looks like the WAC sent UTEP to fill the SEC's $1.1 million Houston Bowl slot, willingly giving up the $750k Silicon Valley Bowl slot to the Sun Belt in the process.
And Notre Dame, of course, took a bowl bid from the Big East (the Insight Bowl, at $750k).
When the dust settled, how did the conferences fare? Utah's entry into the BCS put the Mountain West Conference right up there with the big boys in terms of total bowl income.
The SEC narrowly edged the Big 12 in total bowl payouts. The Big 12 got two BCS bids (Oklahoma and Texas), but the SEC has some of the more lucrative non-BCS bowl payouts, like the $5 million Capital One Bowl and the $3 million Cotton Bowl.
But what happens when you look at per-team payouts in the conferences? To cut straight to the chase, the Big East gets the last laugh over the ACC, at least for 2004.
Very interesting stuff. Not only does the Big East come out on top on a per-team payout basis, but the ACC lags behind every other BCS conference in per-team payouts. And next year, the ACC's take will be spread even thinner, 12 ways instead of 11.
This speaks to two important requirements for the ACC: (1) Get two teams into the BCS; and (2) get more lucrative bowl tie-ins. While expansion was good for the bottom line on football TV contracts, the ACC needs to roll up its sleeves with regards to bowl tie-ins, squeezing more out of the tie-ins they've got (the Gator and Continental Tire Bowls, both very successful bowls, look like prime candidates for increased payouts) and looking for new tie-ins.
Editor's Note: Bowl
tie-in info from usatoday.com;
payout info from the Roanoke Times "Guide to the Bowls," 12/16/04 (not
here to download our Excel spreadsheet with the teams, conferences, and
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|TechSideline.com Updates From the Past Week|
TechSideline.com Recruiting Report Archive, 12/16/04 (MP3 Audio)
Miles to Go
Tech Talk Tuesday Archive for 12/14/04 (Streaming Audio)
Hotline Notes for 12/13/04
For an Embattled Coaching Staff, a Season of Redemption
Gym Rat's Notebook: Sending Out an S.O.S.
Get Back on Track with Win Over JMU
TechSideline.com Recruiting Report Archive, 12/9/04 (MP3 Audio)
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