Television networks like Fox and especially ESPN have looked for college football as a thriving market for new media revenue. The BCS, despite controversy, has created more of a national stir for the sport and the upcoming college football playoff means even more money.
Earlier this fall, the TV rights for the college football playoff in 2014 was secured in a negotiation with ESPN reportedly for $470 million dollars annually
and $5.64 billion for the full length of the 12-year deal. The current contract with ESPN for the Sugar, Orange, and Fiesta bowls as well as the BCS national championship is worth about $125 million annually.
"Because of college football's widespread popularity and the incredible passion of its fans, few events are more meaningful than these games," ESPN President John Skipper said (SI.com).
Fox and ESPN also made a deal earlier in the year with the Big 12 Network on an agreement reportedly worth $2.6 billion dollars over 13 years.
Basically, the networks need the content and the schools need more money. As the saying goes, a win-win situation for both sides.
I am actually surprised that the SEC does not generate more TV money from their success and fan following in college football. The SEC only tops the Big 12 for national television revenue of the top five conferences listed below.
College football is the second most popular sport in the United States, tied with baseball, which is a signal that there is even more room to bring in the dollars. Everything involving money in college football from coaches' pay
to television deals have skyrocketed in recent years and it does not look to go down. Even contract buyouts involving coaching changes may cost colleges around $50 million this season alone (USA Today)
. I have no problem with large coaches' salaries or athletic facility upgrades as long as funds do not come from sources like student funding to pay for football or other sports.
A major issue is that of 120 athletic departments in the FBS, only 19 percent reported a profit in 2011 and per-student funding has significantly dropped over the last 21 years, 79.1 percent in 1980 to 56.7 percent in 2011 (WSJ)
. However, college football cannot necessarily be blamed for the inability of college sports to profit since most schools with top notch football programs report a profit in athletics.
According to the Wall Street Journal
"At Louisiana State University, where football is profitable and conference-rights revenue has surged, officials recently agreed to transfer $7.2 million a year from sports to academic programs hurt by budget cuts."
Also noteworthy, no conference lost money on bowls in the 2011-12 season and the lowest payout for a conference was the Mountain West with over $1 million while the highest was the SEC with nearly $31 million. The BCS games had a payout over $192 million and the non-BCS bowls paid better than $98 million; after expenses, college football bowl payouts totaled around $281 million and a net revenue of almost $180 million. This money too is often used to fund other athletics at the schools.
The influx of money into college football should not necessarily be viewed as a bad thing or another reason for student-athletes to be paid. As long as the money is allocated properly, college football can actually help universities in academics and other sports programs that lack funds. But programs that overspend or lack the ability to sustain the revenue rise in comparison to others may have an issue with keeping up and ultimately could be detrimental to the either the academics at the school or the athletic programs. Otherwise, it is okay to raise and spend money, just do it within the means of the budget.
| |Annual revenue of national TV-rights deals for five major collegiate conferences
Current Deal, Previous Deal
1. Pac-12 $350 million, $57 million
2. Big Ten, $271 million, $62 million
3. ACC, $245 million, $70 million
4. SEC, $205 million, $57 million
5. Big 12, $192 million, $80 million
$25.5 billion in rights fees into college conferences and their member schools over the next 15 years.Source: SportsBusiness Journal Factbook & SNL Kagan as reported by the Wall Street Journal in print.
Bowl payouts for 2011-12 season
Highest per conference: SEC, $30,826,027
Lowest per conference: Mountain West, $1,066,190
BCS Bowls: $192,004,432
Non-BCS Bowls: $98,512,458
Net-revenue from bowl payouts: $179,896,463
Source: Football Bowl Association Media Guide 2012-13
The Big 12 outpaced the SEC in average salary pay per coach according to a USA Today
report. The SEC still has the top paid coach, Alabama's Nick Saban, and they have eight coaches in the top 25 of the highest paid. The Big Ten has five of the top 25 salaries for coaches and the Big 12 has four.
The SEC actually saw a decrease in average salary since last season, but that is partially due to new coaches hired for relatively low pay for the conference such as Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze ($1,505,500) and Arkansas coach John L. Smith ($850,000). The SEC average should rise at least some by next season since Arkansas is likely to be shelling out more money for a new coach.
The popularity of college football and the money frenzy dedicated to winning has skyrocketed the pay of coaches in the FBS. There are 66 coaches making at least $1 million, 42 at least $2 million, and 13 at least $3 million. That is up drastically from 2006 when 42 coaches made at least $1 million, only 13 at least $2 million, and just one at least $3 million.
According to USA Today:
"Coaches' pay has even outpaced the pay of corporate executives... Between 2007 and 2011, CEO pay — including salary, stock, options, bonuses and other pay — rose 23%, according to Equilar, an executive compensation data firm. In that same period, coaches' pay increased 44%."
There are many people disgruntled with the pay of corporate executives and how they have increased in relation to other jobs. I wonder if people are just as disgruntled about the large salaries of major college football coaches. Put your vote in about it on the fan poll at the bottom.
Top Three Average Coaches Pay per Conference in College Football
1. Big 12, $3 million
2. SEC, $2.7 million
3. Big Ten, $2.3 million
FBS average: $1.64 million
*averages are approximate.
Top 25 Highest Paid Coaches in Major College Football by Total Pay
1. Nick Saban, Alabama, SEC, $5,476,738
2. Mack Brown, Texas, Big 12, $5,353,750
3. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma, Big 12, $4,550,000
4. Urban Meyer, Ohio State, Big Ten, $4,300,000
5. Les Miles, LSU, SEC, $3,856,417
6. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa, Big Ten, $3,835,000
7. Steve Spurrier, South Carolina, SEC, $3,585,000
8. Gene Chizik, Auburn, SEC, $3,577,500
9. Chip Kelly, Oregon, Pac-12, $3,500,000
10. Gary Patterson, TCU, Big 12, $3,467,926
11. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State, Big 12, $3,275,000
12. Brady Hoke, Michigan, Big Ten, $3,046,120
13. Todd Graham, Arizona State, Pac-12, $3,000,000
14. Mark Richt, Georgia, SEC, $2,925,340
15. Bo Pelini, Nebraska, Big Ten, $2,875,000
16. Jimbo Fisher, Florida State, ACC, $2,750,000
17. Gary Pinkel, Missouri, SEC, $2,700,000
18. Bret Bielema, Wisconsin, Big Ten, $2,640,140
19. Dan Mullen, Mississippi State, SEC, $2,600,000
19. Jed Tedford, California, Pac-12, $2,600,000
21. Mike London, Virginia, ACC, $2,556,460
22. Charlie Weis, Kansas, Big 12, $2,500,000
23. Will Muschamp, Florida, SEC, $2,474,500
24. Larry Fedora, North Carolina, ACC, $2,448,605
25. Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech, ACC, $2,445,700
Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M, SEC, $2,436,300
Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech, ACC, $2,428,000
Steve Sarkisian, Washington, Pac-12, $2,425,000
Brian Kelly, Notre Dame, Ind, $2,424,301
Lane Kiffin, USC, Pac-12, $2,406,505
Source: USA Today
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Alabama was the only SEC team to defeat a top 25 opponent in week one despite the perception of the conference being the most dominant in college football. However, the SEC did have one of the most challenging schedules slated in the opening week and they scored the second most points per game among FBS conferences.
The ACC, Big 12, Big East, and Pac 12 did not play any top 25 out of conference opponents in week one. The ACC had the most games against non-FBS teams. The SEC, Conference USA, MAC, and Mountain West tied for the most matches versus the top 25 at three games.
The Big 12 was the only conference to go undefeated in week one, but played rather weak opposition with no BCS opponents and four non-FBS cupcakes. The Oklahoma Sooners also had a close call even though they were a heavy favorite going in versus the UTEP Miners.
The Mid-American Conference had a tough week with only 18.64 points per game and 31.73 points allowed per game. Ohio was the lone MAC team to have any real success with the only out of conference FBS win for them (24-14 over Penn State). The Bobcats are one of the only few teams left in contention from the preseason BCS Busters Watch List
after week one, but they have a weak schedule ahead so there will have to be a lot of losses racked up by BCS teams and they would have to win out convincingly.
FBS teams that lost to FCS or non-FBS teams were Pittsburgh, Memphis, Middle Tennessee, and Idaho.
See how each conference ranks after week one from an out of conference perspective:
Out of Conference Records
Big 12 9-0, vs Top 25: 0-0 , vs BCS: 0-0 , vs FBS: 5-0 , vs non-FBS: 4-0
ACC 7-1, vs Top 25: 0-0, vs BCS: 1-1, vs FBS: 2-1, vs non-FBS: 5-0
Big Ten 10-2 vs Top 25: 1-1 , vs BCS: 1-1 , vs FBS: 7-2, vs non-FBS: 3-0
SEC 9-2 vs Top 25: 1-2 , vs BCS: 2-2 , vs FBS: 5-2 , vs non-FBS: 4-0
Pac 12 8-3 vs Top 25: 0-0 , vs BCS: 0-0 , vs FBS: 6-3 , vs non-FBS: 2-0
Big East 5-2, vs Top 25: 0-0 , vs BCS: 1-1 , vs FBS: 3-1 , vs non-FBS: 2-1
WAC 4-2 vs Top 25: 0-1 , vs BCS: 0-1 , vs FBS: 2-1 , vs non-FBS: 2-1
Mountain West 5-5, vs Top 25: 0-3 , vs BCS 2-5: , vs FBS: 2-5 , vs non-FBS: 3-0
Sun Belt 4-5 vs Top 25: 0-2 , vs BCS: 0-3 , vs FBS: 1-4 , vs non-FBS: 3-1
MAC 3-8, vs Top 25: 0-3 , vs BCS: 1-7 , vs FBS: 1-8 , vs non-FBS: 2-0
Conference USA 2-10, vs Top 25: 0-3, vs BCS: 0-7, vs FBS, 1-9, vs non-FBS 1-1
Points Per Game
Big 12 48.56
Pac 12 33.73
Big East 32.29
Big Ten 30.17
Sun Belt 29
Mountain West 28.4
Conference USA 24.5
Points Allowed Per Game
Big 12 17.11
Big East 17.43
Pac 12 18.45
Big Ten 20.33
Sun Belt 27.33
Conference USA 35.67
*Conference games are not included in statistics.
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The 2012 Maxwell Award Watch List for the college player of the year was announced earlier this morning by the Maxwell Football Club. The award is named after and presented in honor of Robert W. (Tiny) Maxwell.
USC quarterback Matt Barkley and Wisconsin running back Montee Ball are most likely the frontrunners coming in. Barkley is the top rated draft pick for 2013 and Montee Ball was a Heisman finalist last season.
USC has the most players on the watch list with four. Arkansas, Clemson, and Oklahoma have the next most with three each. As far as conference breakdown, the Pac 12 have the most players on the list with 14, but the SEC is a close second with 13. Running backs make up almost half of the list and the only tight end to make it is Tyler Eifert from Notre Dame.
You can find more information about the Maxwell award at MaxwellFootballClub.Org.Players Listed per Conference:
Pac 12: 14
Big 12: 11
Big Ten: 8
Big East: 3
Independents: 3 (Notre Dame 2 & BYU 1)
Conference USA: 2
Mountain West: 2
MAC: 1Players Listed per Position:
Running Back: 30
Wide Receiver: 11
Tight End: 12012 Maxwell Award Watch List:
QB Jr. AJ McCarron, Alabama
RB Jr. Eddie Lacy, Alabama
RB Sr. Cameron Marshall, Arizona State
QB Sr. Tyler Wilson, Arkansas
RB Jr. Knile Davis, Arkansas
WR Sr. Cobi Hamilton, Arkansas
RB Sr. Onterio McCalebb, Auburn
WR Sr. Terrence Williams, Baylor
RB Jr. Branden Oliver, Buffalo
QB Jr. Riley Nelson, BYU
WR Jr. Keenan Allen, California
RB Sr. Isi Sofele, California
QB Jr. Tajh Boyd, Clemson
WR So. Sammy Watkins, Clemson
RB Sr. Andre Elington, Clemson
RB So. Lyle McCombs, Connecticut
QB Sr. EJ Manuel, Florida State
QB Jr. Derek Carr, Fresno State
RB Sr. Robbie Rouse, Fresno State
QB Jr. Aaron Murray, Georgia
RB Jr. Charles Sims, Houston
QB Sr. James Vandenberg, Iowa
QB Sr. Collin Klein, Kansas State
QB So. Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
QB Sr. Denard Robinson, Michigan
RB Jr. Fitzgerald Toussaint, Michigan
RB Jr. Le'Veon Bell, Michigan State
QB Jr. James Franklin, Missouri
QB Sr. Mike Glennon, NC State
RB Sr. Rex Burkhead, Nebraska
RB So. Giovani Bernard, North Carolina
QB Jr. Bryn Renner, North Carolina
RB Sr. Cierre Wood, Notre Dame
TE Sr. Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
QB So. Braxton Miller, Ohio State
QB Sr. Landry Jones, Oklahoma
WR Jr. Kenny Stills, Oklahoma
RB Sr. Dominique Whaley, Oklahoma
RB Jr. Joseph Randle, Oklahoma State
RB Sr. Kenjon Barner, Oregon
WR So. De'Anthony Thomas, Oregon
RB Jr. Silas Redd, Penn State
RB Sr. Ray Graham, Pittsburgh
RB Sr. Zach Line, SMU
RB Jr. Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina
RB Sr. Stepfan Taylor, Stanford
QB Jr. Casey Pachall, TCU
WR Jr. Da'Rick Rogers, Tennessee
QB Jr. Tyler Bray, Tennessee
RB So. Malcolm Brown, Texas
RB Sr. Christine Michael, Texas A&M
QB Sr. Seth Doege, Texas Tech
RB Sr. Jonathan Franklin, UCLA
QB Sr. Matt Barkley, USC
WR Jr. Robert Woods, USC
WR So. Marqise Lee, USC
RB Sr. Curtis McNeal, USC
RB Sr. John White IV, Utah
RB Sr. Zac Stacy, Vanderbilt
QB Jr. Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech
QB Jr. Keith Price, Washington
WR Jr. Marquess Wilson, Washington State
QB Sr. Geno Smith, West Virginia
WR Sr. Tavon Austin, West Virginia
RB Sr. Montee Ball, Wisconsin
Oklahoma State (12-0) 18.771
Oklahoma (11-1) 17.408
Missouri (10-2) 13.285
Texas (9-3) 11.947
Texas Tech (8-4) 10.921
Baylor (5-7) 7.966
Texas A&M (6-6/5-7) 6.64
Kansas State (7-5/6-6) 5.299
Iowa State (2-10) 2.014
Kansas (1-11) -1.7
*Games against FCS teams were not projected. However, teams were given a win for FCS games to show a better depiction of the projected season record, but this does not help in accuracy since FCS teams do win some games.
*Bowl games are not projected.
Oklahoma State is projected to have an undefeated season, but their games against Oklahoma and Missouri are projected to be very close. Texas A&M at Kansas State is too close to call and that is why there are two projections for both teams. Texas A&M is possibly the most overrated team in college football numerically speaking. Their rankings in the preseason polls must be mostly due to the "eye test" and speculation.
Nothing to surprising about my picks, but I may change some before the season starts.These are my BCS conference champion predictions:
ACC: Florida State
Contenders: Florida State is almost everyone's preseason favorite for ACC champion, but Virginia Tech is the frontrunner to win the Coastal division and the conference overall this year should be solid.
Big East: West Virginia
Contenders: Pitt may be the next contender, but overall the conference looks bland coming into this season and West Virginia seems to be the only strong team in the conference.
Big 12: Oklahoma
Contenders: The Sooners are the clear favorite, but the Big 12 does have other contenders for the 2011 championship including Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, and longshot Missouri.
Big 10: Wisconsin
Contenders: It looks as though Ohio State should finally have a down year so that leaves the field wide open. Nebraska may be the next favorite to win championship after Wisconsin and they should win the Legends division, but plenty others have a chance including Michigan State and Michigan.
Pac 12: Oregon
Contenders: With Andrew Luck returning, it makes Stanford a contender, but it will be difficult for them to duplicate last season with all of their other key losses. If USC was not under a ban, then they could possibly win the championship. The Trojans may end up with one of the better records in the Pac 12. Oregon has a wealth of talent and should win another championship this year, but off the field issues are now looming over the program that may have an effect.
SEC: Arkansas/ Alabama
Contenders: I listed two champions for this conference since I am somewhat bias on this selection since I'm a known Hog fan. I do believe the Razorbacks can win the SEC this season, but Alabama is the clear favorite among most others. However, the SEC is stacked with competition with the West having other stout contenders in LSU and Mississippi State as well as in the East division there are contenders in South Carolina, Georgia, and maybe Florida under new coach Will Muschamp.
1. OklahomaAfter last season's Big 12 championship and Fiesta Bowl win, the Sooners are returning a veteran class with a stellar offense and an all around solid team.2. OregonThe Ducks bring back some key impact players like Darron Thomas and LaMichael James from a squad that lost the National Championship game by only 3 points.3. AlabamaThe Tide rolls into another season with an elite defense returning most of the players from last season's top five defensive squad while bringing in a top rated recruiting class. 4. Boise StateThe boys in blue down in Boise consistently win each season under Coach Petersen plus they are bringing back a Heisman finalist in Kellen Moore.
5. StanfordThe Cardinal faithful have the most feared ball slinger in college football in Andrew Luck which is the clear preseason Heisman favorite.6. Oklahoma StateThe Cowboys have a high scoring shoot em out kind of offense that will continue to give teams trouble with ten starters returning from a top five offense last season.
7. Florida StateThe Seminoles return 16 starters on offense/defense from a team that won the Chick fil A Bowl against South Carolina and brought in a top notch recruiting class for this season.8. ArkansasThe Hogs have an elite squad of wide receivers that is the deepest in the nation and returns enough playmakers on both sides of the ball to make a run at the BCS.9. LSUThe mad hatter consistently squeaks out big wins each year due to his solid defensive squads and deranged play calling. They are an experienced team that could be a BCS contender. 10. South CarolinaQB Stephen Garcia is questionable for the Gamecocks. But standout HB Marcus Lattimore will be back this season and Spurrier reeled in the number one rated recruit.
Just outside the Top 10: TCU, Wisconsin, and Ohio State.I will be posting the rest of the top 25 soon. See how CFU rankings compare so far to the ESPN College Football Live Top 25: http://espn.go.com/blog/statsinfo/post/_/id/18792/oklahoma-tops-cfb-live-preseason-poll
I also copied this blog post to www.HogBlog.org.