Why don’t we have a College Football playoff? Money. Everything about college football revolves around money, which is going into everybody’s hands – Schools, Conferences, TV networks. Everyone, but the players. It’s an amateur sport, remember? One you’re supposed to be playing for the love of the game and the chance of becoming pro?
But making money off they young men, who sometimes slip and take under the table payments? There’s nothing wrong with that, and it seems the schools from the Big Six (although in terms of success, we only have Big 4, or maybe less) are making more and more money from their marquee sports teams, usually football, each and every year.
Lets begin with the Big Ten, which is the Old School conference, now a 12 team one despite its name, after adding Nebraska to the mix. It also created a two division setup and a Championship game for the first time last year. How much do these guys bring home?
The Big Ten is still the richest in the country, with each school, excluding Nebraska, about to receive $24.6 million from the conference. The Big Ten network alone brings over $7 million to each school, while the contracts with ESPN/ABC and CBS bring in over $10 million. Some schools are even surprised by the take, as Illinois bring in more than they expected for in their budget.
But the big power is the SEC, soon to be the financial power as well. With the additions of Missouri and Texas A&M, the SEC is now a 14-school conference, getting a foothold into the coveted Texas state pool. The SEC did pay out just over $19 million to the schools, which seems small in comparison to the Big Ten. But hold on. Despite having to split the pie between more mouths, the soon to be revamped TV contract should increase each school’s income by $8 million, according to some sources.
Next up? The Pac-12. A modest prediction for the future revenues is something around $22 million. The Big power out-west has added Utah and Colorado these last couple of years in the ever growing battle between conferences to dismantle the small guys in this crazy university ammunition race. But wait – Adding new TV deals with national and regional broadcasters, the Pac-12 could eventually be paying each school $30 million.
How about the Big 12, which looked to be falling apart less than a year ago but has found steady ground. After losing Texas A&M and Missouri it looked like everyone was looking to leave the sinking ship to the SEC or the Pac-12. Well, things do look better after a little while, and the addition of TCU and West Virginia should make things even better. They’re headed towards making $20 million a year.
The ACC seems to has survived the whole realignment issue, while the Big East keeps looking for a way to survive. ACC teams are looking to bring home $17 million in the next few years. Not like the big boys, but nothing to complain about, considering what they bring to the big table, to College Football, in terms of quality. Even with Pitt and ‘Cuse joining, it’s hard to see them competing with the SEC and the others, especially with Florida State looking to leave.
Where is College Football heading? The rich getting richer while annihilating the small fish. The Big East can no longer be considered a major conference. It lost what were probably their three best schools to the Big 12 and the ACC. The name, ‘Big East’, might even sound unnecessary as their looking to add teams from West, South and generally anyone willing to join.
Don’t be surprised that with all this talk of parity, no more AQ and a playoff, some of the unsuspecting participant will get hurt and maybe taken off the map of the first division. It’s a brutal sport, on the field and off of it.