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ACC Lags Behind in Bowl Payouts

by Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, TSLMail #489, June 17, 2011

The ACC's bowl tie-ins look basically the same as they did last year, and their total payout is fourth - almost third - of all the BCS conferences.

Naturally the SEC leads all conferences, with the Big Ten in second place. The Big 12 and ACC are separated by less than $1 million in payout money. Here's a look at how the conferences stack up with each other.

Bowl Payouts by Conference
Conference Payout
SEC $40.85 million
Big Ten $37.25 million
Big 12 $34.55 million
ACC $34.05 million
Big East $30.65 million
Pac-12 $29.4 million

The Pac-12 is so low because they only have six official bowl tie-ins. However, considering they have expanded to 12 teams, the number of official bowl tie-ins will most likely be going up very soon. Besides, with the Pac-12's huge new television contract, bowl revenue just doesn't matter as much.

Also, the average per-team payout in each conference is vastly different. The Big East only makes $30.65 million per year on bowl games, but they only have eight teams to split it amongst. That puts them #1 in average per-team payout.

Average Per-Team Payout
Conference Average
Big East $3.83 million
Big 12 $3.45 million
SEC $3.4 million
Big Ten $3.1 million
ACC $2.84 million
Pac-12 $2.45 million

The ACC stacks up quite well in total payout, but they are lagging behind in per-team payout. Once the Pac-12 signs some new contracts, I fully expect them to pass the ACC in per-team payout as well.

This is another reason the ACC needs Miami, Florida State and Clemson to improve. FSU seems to be doing their part, with a victory over South Carolina in the Chick-fil-A Bowl last season, but the Canes and Tigers have work to do.

Since expansion, Virginia Tech has been a consistent top 10/top 15 team. However, there has been no consistent program behind the Hokies. If Tech, Miami, FSU and Clemson were all top 20 caliber teams each year, the ACC would likely be getting some better bowl games. The Gator Bowl would not have bailed for the Big Ten.

As of now, there are three SEC-Big Ten bowl matchups in the state of Florida: the Capital One Bowl, the Outback Bowl and the Gator Bowl. Considering the close proximity of the conferences, the ACC really should be putting a team in at least one of those bowls to face the SEC. An Auburn-Clemson matchup in the Outback Bowl, or a Gator Bowl featuring Florida State and Georgia, would be quite compelling.

However, until the ACC shows that they can field more than one (or sometimes zero) nationally competitive teams each year, their bowl situation is not going to improve.



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