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BCS Playoffs: Who Gets the Media Money?

The new playoffs promise to bring in almost twice the media revenue of the current bowls. How will the cash be distributed? There's much to work out, but Brett McMurphy of CBS sheds some light on it. The leagues are considering sizing the revenue pie slices according to the historic achievement of teams in each league. "However," McMurphy notes, "the key factor is that the cumulative rankings of the schools would be based on their conference membership in 2014 and not the conferences they were in the season they were ranked. In other words, the SEC gets credit for Missouri and Texas A&M... the Big 12 gets credit for TCU and West Virginia; ACC gets credit for Miami, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Pittsburgh and Syracuse" and so on. By most measures conferences fall into a "Fab Five" followed by the Big East and then everyone else. One proposal the commissioners are considering is to use rankings since 1998. A CBS calculation shows this result. 1. SEC 1,054 2. Big Ten 860 3. Big 12 816 4. ACC 673 5. Pac-12 671 6. Big East 240 7. Notre Dame 73 8. C-USA 49 9. MWC 48 10. BYU 45 11. MAC 21 12. Sun Belt 0 (tie) WAC 0 McMurphy figures the model gives each of the current AQ leagues (SEC, Pac 12, Big Ten, Big 12, ACC and Big East) about $22.3 million to divide among member schools. The remaining conferences would glean about $2.64 million each. Year by year payouts would also be affected by participation in bowls outside the playoff structure. Personal observation: If a system like this is adopted, the numbers could become another variable to consider in weighing the merits of conference switches. The first playoffs are set to begin in the 2014 season. What if a league like the SEC or Big 12 were to add a pair of historically strong football performers such as Florida State and Virginia Tech? The past record of those programs would count toward that league's payout--at the expense of the league the schools leave. To complicate the picture further, academic success could play a role in the payouts as well. A recent proposal by the Knight Commission is unlikely to be adopted in its pure form but it has been warmly received by university presidents and conference commissioners. We may see graduation rates and other academic benchmarks worked into the revenue formula. Read the full article at CBS Sports. ________ Update A new report from ESPN adds detail. "I think it’ll be adjusted modestly, but the five conferences are still going to get the lion’s share, it’s just how big of a lion are we talking about," said Gary Ransdell, president of Western Kentucky University and a member of the Presidential Oversight Committee, which meets this week to finalize playoff plans. Ransdell’s reference to the "five conferences" encompasses the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC -- the current AQ conferences, minus the Big East. Despite his school not being in one of those conferences, Ransdell said he doesn’t oppose them taking home larger shares of revenue. "It’s those five conferences who have invested the most, have the largest stadiums, and create the television marquee. We just want to be sure we get a little more proportionate share.... There has to be competition across all the conferences going forward." ... Ransdell said although no revenue distribution model has been decided upon yet, "there will be some premium on historic success and the value the five conferences bring to the marketplace." Check the full report at ESPN.

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