Dec 4, 2012

Even though former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel and former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky are no longer tied to the Big 10, the two will still have an impact during the 2012 Bowl Season.

The Big Ten is sending seven of its twelve teams to bowl games this season. That number could have been nine, but both Penn State and Ohio State are ineligible for bowl play this year, due to vastly different reasons. Due to their ineligibility, the entire conference will be a little lighter in the pocketbook. By rule, the Big Ten splits all bowl revenue equally among the teams within the conference.

The conference featured ten teams in bowl games last year, and brought in roughly $48 million in gross revenue, with Wisconsin bringing in a little over $22 million for last year’s Rose Bowl.

An 8-5 Wisconsin team (4-4 in the Big Ten) is returning to the Rose Bowl this year, so at least one large payout from a BCS bowl is secured. The downside? The Big Ten, which by most accounts had a down year (at least in comparison to the 2011 season) has managed to secure an at-large bid to a BCS bowl, along with the Rose Bowl bid, for the last seven years. That would have happened this year too, with an undefeated Ohio State team more than likely playing Notre Dame for the BCS National Championship. But…

Oh yeah, the bowl ineligibility.

Worried that your favorite Big Ten school may not have enough for Christmas presents this year? Fear not. Predicting bowl monies is an impossibility when annual budgets are created months in advance. Therefore, bowl monies are usually not a part of a school’s budget, and are treated as a surplus, according to Associate Athletic Director of Minnesota Gophers Athletics, Tom McGinnis. Regardless, Big Ten teams are supremely aware of the fact they’ll have a smaller amount of surplus money, due to the sanctions,

“We took in about $2.6 million as our share of the bowl payouts last year,” said McGinnis. But that $48 million pool could be $8 million to $10 million smaller this year…But we don’t budget for that money. We treat it as a surplus if it happens, because we can’t count on it.” (via Star Tribune)

A $38 million dollar revenue pool, after net expenses, could lower each school’s payout by a million dollars or more. Again, not that school’s are banking on the money, but if you aren’t one of the Big Ten powerhouses (and even if you are), throwing away one million dollars because of improper conduct?

That’s no laughing matter.

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