To be fair the actual bowl game appearance payout number was higher, but each participating school kept some for itself. The participating schools kept $14.2 million, making the actual number closer to $45.5 million.
This year, the SEC schools could earn up to $56.895 million from its bowl game appearances, which could equate to an increase of almost $25.6 million.
Crazy numbers, but it could have been more insane. Texas A&M and Missouri, who will join the SEC in 2012, earned $1.7 million and $1.15 million, respectively for their appearances.
All things equal, that would bring the SEC institutions’ total listed payout to nearly $60 million.
The astounding numbers should also help the SEC break for the 22nd straight time how much money each school is given at the end of the 2011-12 fiscal year.
In June 2011, the SEC broke its revenue-sharing record for the 21st consecutive year after it distributed a record $220 million among its 12 member schools, or an average of $18.3 million per school.
Each of the 35 bowl games designates a payout to the colleges that participate in their respective bowls. The listed payouts ranged this year from $500,000 per school in the New Orleans Bowl to $18 million per school in the BCS Championship game.
Granted a bowl’s listed payout does not always equal what a school is paid.
As Dan Wetzel, Josh Peter and Jeff Passan pointed out in their 2010 book “Death to the BCS,” “When athletic departments compare actual payouts with expenses, the collective profits are dramatically slimmer than advertised, and the bowl system is more boondoggle than moneymaker.”
That is unless you are the SEC it seems who possibly has been the biggest the profiteer of the BCS system.
Most are unaware that bowl games don’t pay for transportation or lodging or most of the teams’ meals.
Thus a lot of conferences look to pooling money and revenue sharing and athletic directors look to cut as many costs as possible to save the school and conference money when it can.
BCS bowl teams are not so lucky as many times a marching band and/or cheerleading squad is required to go to pregame events and the teams must make their way to the host site a few days early.
Furthermore, things like not selling your allotted tickets can also hurt a school financially.
But again the SEC has been lucky, and this year appears to be no different.
No SEC school traveled outside of the SEC’s basic parameters this season for a bowl game or more than a few states over if not the case.
For example, Vanderbilt, Florida and LSU have/will not travel outside of their own state to go to their bowl game, saving on travel expenses and helping boost ticket sales.
Mississippi State may have had one of the longer journeys to its bowl game, but even it was less than a six hour drive, an added incentive for Bulldogs fans who may have wanted to make the trip.
Plus most, if not all, SEC schools have a reputation of traveling to bowl games well.
All this only helps the SEC bring in more of the listed payout back to their school and parent conference.
SEC schools and their bowl’s listed/projected payouts were:
- Mississippi State, Music City Bowl, Nashville, Tenn., $1,837,500 per school.
- Vanderbilt, Liberty Bowl, Memphis, Tenn., $1,700,000.
- Auburn, Chick-fil-A Bowl, Atlanta, Ga., $2,932,500 for SEC school ($3,967,500 for ACC school.
- Georgia, Outback Bowl, Tampa, Fla., $3,500,000.
- South Carolina, Capital One Bowl, Orlando, Fla., $4,600,000.
- Florida, Gator Bowl, Jacksonville, Fla., $2,700,000.
- Arkansas, Cotton Bowl, Arlington, Texas, $3,625,000.
- Alabama and LSU, BCS Championship, New Orleans, $18,000,000 (each).
And with Missouri and Texas A&M joining the superconference next year the bar will go even higher.
To think people wonder why six BCS titles have been in SEC trophy cases for the past half-decade.