Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Gap widening between Big East, others
By Matt Fortuna
The new 12-year, four-team college football playoff set to begin in 2014 will only widen the gap between the sport's power conferences and the Big East.
The SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and ACC will earn an average of at least $91 million annually, sources told ESPN's Brett McMurphy. The Big East and the rest of the "group of five"? An average of $17.25 million annually.
That's a nearly $75 million difference.
The BCS' recent 12-year deal with ESPN averages roughly $470 million per year, with $125 million to go to expenses, McMurphy reports. The commissioners are expected to split the remaining $345 million two ways, just not equally, as 75 percent of it ($258.75 million) will go toward the power conferences and the remaining 25 percent ($86.25 million) to the group of five, which consists of the Big East, Mountain West Conference, Mid-American Conference, Conference USA and Sun Belt.
The power five conferences will also receive additional millions for their bowl contract deals with ESPN, while the group of five is still negotiating how to split their $86.25 million piece of the pie. In the past, the former non-AQ conferences gave each league the same base amount and rewarded conferences based on their cumulative BCS ranking as a conference.
In short, the Big East's average yearly revenue will be down by roughly $5 million annually, though its fellow group of five brethren will see an increase of at least five times what they see in the current BCS system.