Dienhart: The monetary impact of one BCS team

With just over a month to play, the bowl picture is starting to come into focus. You can’t talk bowls without talking bowl payouts. And, in 2012, the Big Ten’s postseason bottom line may take a hit.

The Big Ten has eight guaranteed bowl slots, but it may not be able to fill all of those.

That’s not the real concern, though. This is: The Big Ten figures to have just one BCS team. The Big Ten has sent two teams to money-making BCS bowls each season since 2005 and 11 times in the 14-year history of the system. With only one BCS team, the bottom line will be a lot smaller.

[RELATED: Dienhart’s Week 10 Bowl Projections]

As a point of reference, last year, the Big Ten earned $47 million from going to 10 bowls, which meant each school earned about $2 million after expenses. More than half of those earnings ($28.4 million) came from the two BCS appearances—Wisconsin in the Rose ($22.3 million) and Michigan in the Sugar ($6.1 million).

US Presswire

The Big Ten earned a total of $17.7 million from the eight non-BCS bowls last season. Bottom line: Not being able to fill bowl slots in, say, the Little Caesar’s Pizza and Heart of Dallas Bowls, won’t really hurt the Big Ten’s pocket book severely.

It’s the likely loss of a second BCS game payout that will.

Let’s take a look at the bowl picture, as it stands entering Week 10: Wisconsin, Nebraska and Northwestern already are bowl eligible. Michigan, Michigan State and Minnesota each need one more win and figure to make it. That’s five teams.

After that quintet, Iowa has four wins, while Purdue and Indiana each has three. With four games left, including head-to-head battles, it seems doubtful all three will make it to six wins; probably just two at the most—and maybe just one—will go bowling.

[RELATED: View our 2012-13 bowl schedule]

Ohio State and Penn State aren’t eligible for a bowl, so they are out of the equation. And with just two wins, Illinois, losers of five straight, must win out to become bowl eligible.

So, it looks like the Big Ten may have just seven–maybe as few as six–bowl teams, leaving the Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl and perhaps the Heart of Dallas Bowl open.

Assuming there’s six teams and the Big Ten doesn’t fill Little Caesar’s Pizza and Heart of Dallas, the collective payout from the Rose ($22.3), Capital One ($4.25), Outback ($3.4), Buffalo Wild Wings ($3.3), Gator (2.5) and Meineke Car Care ($1.7) yields $37.45 million. Or about $10 million less than last season.

BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

And if you want to leave a comment on this post, use the box below. All comments need to be approved by a moderator.


Your Opinion?
Show Comments (5 Comments)
Richard on 11/1/2012 @ 3:13pm EDT Said:

Do Penn St and Ohio St still get B10 Bowl revenue this year? If not, the drop in revenue may not be so bad if only split 10 ways instead of 12.

John on 11/4/2012 @ 8:11pm EDT Said:

Does anyone really believe that the Big 10 would get more than 1 BCS bid, even if OSU & PS were eligible? PS would never get a bid with 3 loses. The only chance for 2 bids within the Big 10 would have happened if OSU would have won out and then lost in the BT Championship Game. There are 10 BCS openings, The SEC will get 2, ND will get one even though they don’t deserve it so that leaves 2 non-aq openings. Look at the top 20 and tell me how Neb or NW would jump to an at large team even if they win out. No Richard I don’t believe either will receive any revenues.

sbuel2 on 11/17/2012 @ 7:55am EDT Said:

I believe Ohio State received their share last year. The NCAA was probably not final on Ohio State penalties in 2011. And Nebraka did not receive a share last year on the first year of joining so a good move long term but expensive year for Nebraska having to buy out Big 12 membership and no share from B1G. I know it was a negotiated deal.

sbuel2 on 11/17/2012 @ 7:59am EDT Said:

The issue, John, Is that OSU AND PSU are on probation and cannot play in the title game or a bowl game this year. In Nebraska’s first year in the B!G, they did not get a share in the profits, expensive year after buying out there Big 12 membership, but the B1G is a great conference and a good fit for Nebraska. It will depend on the B1G bylaws as to the profit sharing this year and years on probation.

Michael McGrory on 11/23/2012 @ 9:19pm EDT Said:

Ohio State gets bowl revenue. Penn State does not for 4 years. Because the head of the Board of Trustees there, Karen Peetz, who runs the University, doesn’t want to go to jail. So by showering the NCAA with money that is not hers, and agreeing to any sanctions, she thinks this whole thing will go away and they’re won’t ever be a real investigation by someone she didn’t hire, Louis Freeh!
I’m pretty sure she’s wrong and she’ll rot in prison, along with the head of the Campus PD, some PA State troopers, at least 6 members of the PSU Board of Trustees, and the current Penn State President, who has no decision making power really.And hopefully Governor Bill Corbett of PA. At least his career will be over.
That’s going to be my life’s work to make sure that happens.
Sandusky is in jail. No one is going after the people still who did allow this to happen. And the only guilty parties are in the Board of Trustees, if you just take a moment to sit down and connect the dots. Penn State has raised it’s tuition and is now the most expensive public university in North America. But kids not being able to get an education . . . that somehow is something Mark Emmert President of the NCAA has jurisdiction over. A generation pays the price for what a pedophile did, and the Board, Governor, State Troopers covered up. FBI investigations, courts, outrage from the media . . . well it’ll happen. It just should have happened sooner.