Richard W. Evansa person much smarter then me happens to be a professor at BYU in economics and has four degrees — including a PhD in economics– put together a very good article. The article is titled NCAA Bowl Finance: Something Changed in 1995 is a must read as I attempt to stumble through his work and hopefully am able to add onto his article.
The pay difference has been closely the same, but in 1992 the Bowl Coalition was formed in order to have a national title game, but their agreement kept out the current non-BCS schools. The Coalition included the SEC, Big 8, SWC, ACC, and Big East and Notre Dame to play in six bowl games Orange, Sugar, Cotton, Fiesta, Gator, and John Hancock/Sun Bowl.
The Pac-10 and Big 10 were not involved because of their long ties with the Rose Bowl, because of tradition with the Tournament of Roses and cranky old men who do not like change. During the three years of the Bowl Coalition the revenue distribution actually dipped in 1994.
So, in 1995 the Bowl Alliancewas formed and the only difference was that the Big 8 and SWC merged to form the Big XII and then the bowl games were trimmed to the Sugar, Orange, and Fiesta. The Big 10 and Pac-1o kept their agreement to be stubborn and play each leagues champion in the Rose Bowl.
The 1995 season was the first year that the revenue disparity made a huge jump and feeding into the all ready gold-lined pockets with more gold and the teams not within the Alliance their revenue did not increase since they were not allowed into the party.
1998 was a huge deal because that is the year the BCS was formed and it actually included –reluctantly– joined the party and that is when the bowl season income jumped exponentially each year for the BCS leagues. As for the non-BCS leagues they get $9.5 million each year and then an additional $9.5 million once a non-BCS team makes it into a big money game.
However, when you look at the chart when the BCS money increased during the current BCS model the non-BCS stays the relatively stagnant except when a non-BCS team gets into a BCS bowl game. With the recent Congress hearings with the BCSthe ‘defense’ was that since the inception of the BCS it has given more access and money to the non-BCS, however when you take the bowl revenue where the majority is from the five BCS games that pay out is $17-$20 million.
Even with the money that is handed down to the non-BCS the disparity is growing everywhere, and the only years when the revenue moves in opposite directions is in 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2008. To no surprise that is the years when teams outside the BCS leagues qualified for a BCS game.
The argument that the BCS has given more money to the non-BCS is accurate that they would not have been able to get, but the flip side is that the BCS schools get astronomically more money then the non-BCS. I agree that the BCS leagues deserve more money then the non-BCS leagues because Florida, USC, Texas, and others in that caliber are the ones that bring the ad dollars and eyeballs to the game.
One last note is that out of all of the bowl games that have one non-BCS schools participating only four have payouts of one million dollars or more. Again, this goes back to my earlier statement that the big leagues bring the money, but that number is putrid when one compares that the BCS leagues have twenty-two where the payout is over a million dollars.
The disparity is just going to keep growing unless there is another to distribute more revenue to the non-BCS schools, my only suggestion would be when a non-BCS schools gets into a BCS game that school and league get the entire pay out; instead of going by the current model that requires these qualifiers to share the bowl payout with all of the non-BCS leagues.
That is just a thought and in my opinion a logical choice to reward a school and league for having a great season.