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   Welcome to TSLMail #259 - Friday, December 29, 2006    
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A Look at the 2006 Bowl Payouts

by Chris Coleman,

Examining the numbers from the 2006 bowl payouts shows that there is more money to be made in college football than ever before. Payouts have increased dramatically since the 2004 season, the last time we analyzed each conference.

In 2004, bowl games paid out $159,374,000 to the conferences. That number does not include the $1.5 million total received by independents Notre Dame and Navy. Just two years later, those numbers have increased significantly.

Total Bowl Payouts
per Conference
Conference Total Payout





Big Ten


Big 12




Pac 10


Big East



*Includes all non-BCS
Conferences and independents

Normally the non-BCS conferences get a total of $9 million to spread amongst each other, but this year that number doubled to $18 million because Boise State made a BCS Bowl. That makes this a strong year for the non-BCS schools, as they collectively earned more than $35 million, counting the $4.5 million that Notre Dame will receive for playing in the Sugar Bowl.

That number isn't as high as the SEC, which is regarded by many people as the best conference in college football. The SEC placed nine teams in bowl games this year, and each bowl paid out at least $1.1 million. Only three bowls paid out less than $2.4 million.

The SEC placed a second team, LSU, in an at-large BCS spot. First-line BCS spots, for conference champions, pay $17 million, and an additional at-large spot for a conference pays out $4.5 million more, for a total of $21.5 million. The SEC also has a spot on the Capital One Bowl, the highest-paying non-BCS bowl at $4.25 million to both the SEC and Big Ten.

The Big Ten is the other major power as far as bowl payouts are concerned. Like the SEC, the Big Ten placed two teams (Ohio State and Michigan) in the BCS, and they also have a spot in the Capital One Bowl. The Big Ten played seven teams in bowls, and only one of those bowls paid out less than $2.2 million.

Back to the non-BCS schools. There were a lot of representatives from the BCS conferences pulling for Boise State to lose a game in the regular season. If the Broncos had not made a BCS game, the overall payout for the non-BCS conferences would have decreased by $9 million, and that money would have been spread amongst the BCS conferences.

Had the non-BCS conferences not received that extra $9 million, they would collectively rank behind every BCS conference but the Pac 10 and Big East in payout money.

In per-team payout, the ACC ranks near the bottom.

Payout Per Team
Conference Total Conference
# of Teams
in Conf.
Bowl Payout


$38,350,000 12 $3,195,833

Big Ten

$34,400,000 11 $3,127,272

Big East

$20,800,000 8 $2,600,000

Big 12

$29,350,000 12 $2,445,883


$28,200,000 12 $2,350,000

Pac 10

$23,298,000 10 $2,329,800

Interestingly enough, the Big East is in the top half of the BCS conferences. Five of their eight teams received bowl invitations. The ACC placed eight teams in bowls, but that includes the MPC Computers Bowl ($250,000 payout), Emerald Bowl ($850,000 payout) and Meineke Car Car Bowl ($750,000 payout). Except for the Big East and Pac 10, the ACC is the only BCS conference team that has three bowl tie-ins that pay less than $1 million.

In fact, the Big Ten and SEC have no tie-ins that pay less than $1.1 million, while the Big 12 has just one bowl payout less than $1 million.

For the ACC to continue to grow as a football conference, they need to start getting better and more lucrative bowl tie-ins. Cutting ties with the MPC Computers Bowl in Boise, Idaho would be a good start. Good bowls on the east coast are out there, such as the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, which is paying out $1.5 million per team to Houston (a non-BCS team) and South Carolina (a below average SEC team).

The ACC did a good job in the offseason, getting higher payouts from the Chick-fil-A Bowl (now $3.25 million), the Gator Bowl ($2.25 million) and the Champs Sports Bowl ($2.25 million). Those are three good games for teams 2-4 from the ACC (after the conference champion). If the ACC could get a little more from their lower-tier bowls, they would be in much better shape. Pass - Your Ultimate Ticket to Hokie Sports!

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For more info on TechSideline Pass, and to subscribe, click here. Updates From the Past Week

Hokie Hotline Notes for 12/28/06

December 28, 2006
Thursday night's Hokie Hotline was a treat for Tech fans, with several players being made available for interviews. Sean Glennon, Brandon Flowers and his father, David Clowney and Xavier Adibi gave their thoughts on Tech's season, as well as the upcoming game with Georgia.

Keys to the Game and Matchups to Watch: The Chick-fil-A Bowl vs. Georgia
December 28, 2006
Virginia Tech returns to Atlanta, the site of the Hokies' most dramatic bowl victory 20 years ago, to play in the Chick-fil-A (formerly Peach) Bowl. The matchup with Georgia is one of the more intriguing bowl games as two powerhouses from the ACC and SEC clash. While the ACC has experienced a down year overall in 2006, a good performance by the Hokies against the Bulldogs would greatly assist the ACC's football credibility and provide an important springboard into the 2007 season.

Hokie Hotline Notes for 12/27/06
December 28, 2006
Wednesday night's Hotline featured Virginia Tech's offensive and defensive coordinators, Bryan Stinespring and Bud Foster, plus athletic director Jim Weaver. Stinespring and Foster discussed Tech's preparation for the bowl, and Weaver gave ticket sales totals for the Hokies.

Okoli Ready for PSU, VT Visits
December 28, 2006
Chima Okoli, a 6-5, 275-pound senior defensive line recruit out of Salem (Virginia Beach, VA), has set two official visits for the month of January. He has already made two official visits to Marshall and Michigan State, respectively and is looking forward to his next two trips.

2006 Chick-fil-A Bowl Preview: Virginia Tech vs. Georgia
December 27, 2006
Virginia Tech will be looking to win a bowl game for two straight years for the first time in school history when they take on the Georgia Bulldogs in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on Saturday night. This is a huge game for the Hokies for two reasons. First of all, it's a chance to beat one of the top programs in the SEC. And secondly, it provides an opportunity to get some momentum heading in 2007, which could be one of the most entertaining seasons in Tech history.

Hokie Hotline Notes for 12/26/06
December 27, 2006
Tuesday night was the first of three hour-long Hokie Hotline shows from Atlanta this week. Tuesday's guest was head football coach Frank Beamer, who touched on a variety of topics, including practice strategies and the health of tailback Branden Ore. There will be Hotline shows tonight and Thursday night, as well.

Players With a Lot Riding on the Game
December 27, 2006
Collectively, the Hokie coaches and players have a lot on the line Saturday night. Winning 11 games, positioning themselves for next year, making a statement in SEC country, proving the strength of the ACC, and just delivering a victory for themselves and the fans are all important goals. But as individuals, a lot of Tech's players have a lot on the line, as well. We present a list of Hokies who have a little more riding on the Chick-fil-A Bowl than most of their teammates.

Class of 2008: 6-6, 315-pound OL Vinston Painter
December 27, 2006
One of the top junior prospects in the state of Virginia is also one of the biggest. 6-6, 315-pound Vinston Painter, a left tackle for Maury High School (Norfolk, VA), has already received numerous Division 1A scholarship offers and is well on his way to being one of the most highly recruited prospects in the state, perhaps in the country.

Bourbonstreet's 2006 Bowl Outlook, Part 2
December 26, 2006
Not a bad week last week for BStreet, who went 6-1 in his bowl predictions, correctly picking TCU, BYU, Troy, San Jose State, Tulsa and Hawaii (or Hawai'i, as ESPN shows on their graphics). BStreet's only miss was picking ECU to beat South Florida. Part 2 of his bowl outlook brings us ten more games, starting with tonight's Motor City Bowl and taking us through Friday's bowl games.

Hokies Blast Campbell 94-70
December 23, 2006
Virginia Tech overcame a shaky start to defeat Campbell 94-70 on Saturday night in Cassell Coliseum. The Hokies got down early, but blew the game open in the second half en route to the big victory. With the win, Tech improves to 9-3 overall, and remain 1-0 in ACC play. The Camels drop to 4-5 on the season.

CFA Bowl a Key Launching Point for 2007
December 22, 2006
I was pondering the significance of Tech's upcoming date with Georgia at the Chick-fil-A Bowl, and one thing struck me: whether Tech wins or loses the game will greatly affect their preseason ranking heading into 2007. Win, and VT will probably be a top 10 preseason team in 2007. Lose, and they will be at least 5-10 spots lower. And where you start affects where you can finish.

Basketball Game Preview: Virginia Tech vs. Campbell
December 22, 2006
The Campbell Camels will bring their up-tempo style of basketball to Cassell Coliseum on Saturday night for the first time since 1979. There probably won't be many people in Cassell Coliseum because of the opponent and the Holidays, but those that skip out on this one will miss a very entertaining game. Probably not a close one, but a fun one nonetheless.
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