Sun Belt Conference Finishes First Among Non-AQ In Revenue
In the final year of the BCS era, the Sun Belt Conference finished first among the Non-AQ conferences in revenue.
The Mid-American Conference just missed out on a BCS bowl and that cost them $6 million, which would have put them ahead of the pack.
The Sun Belt led the Non-AQ conferences such as Conference USA, MAC and the Mountain West, with $4 million in BCS revenue. The MAC missed out on coming out on top with the undefeated Northern Illinois lost in the MAC championship game to miss out on an almost certain BCS birth. Then the conference went 0-5 in bowl games.
The revenue from the Non-AQ conferences were: Sun Belt $4 Million, Mountain West $3.4 Million, Conference USA $2.8 Million and the MAC with $2.28 Million.
Performance-Based revenue totally $6 millin was divided by shares. By finishing first, the Sun Belt got four shares and the Mountain West got three, and so forth.
The big five power conferences (Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 12, ACC and SEC) will split 71.5% of the approximately $400 million in revenue in the first year of the college playoff’s 12-year deal.
The American Athletic Conference will drop down to the Non-AQ status and will split approximately $86.5 million in revenue from the new playoff’s. That is up from the maximum $28 million in the BCS.
As such, the Sun Belt will see a 10-fold increase in revenue which will mean an increase from about $100,000 per team to $1 million per team.
Beginning next season the highest ranked of those 59 schools, as decided by the selection committee, will receive an automatic berth in one of the four playoff bowls below the two national semifinals.
Revenue standings were kept by averaging the rank of each of the schools in the six BCS computers. The Sun Belt was first with an average team rank of 77.39. The top team was Louisiana-Lafayette which averaged 52.5 in the computers, up from 66th after defeating Tulane in the New Orleans Bowl. Co-champion Arkansas State finished 55.66 after jumping from 73 in the average computer ranking with their win over Ball State in the GoDaddy Bowl.
Next season the Sun Belt Conference membership changes significantly. Western Kentucky will move the Conference USA while former FCS powerhouses Georgia Southern and Appalachian State join the Sun Belt along with independents Idaho and New Mexico State.
While the two Sun Belt teams were not the highest ranked teams in the BCS computers, the conference’s overall ranking was higher than the other conferences. The top five from the non-BCS conferences were: Fresno State 32.2, Northern Illinois 36.5, East Carolina 46.2, Rice 47.3 and Utah State 50.2.