CoMO Sports: SEC-eding From A Big 12 Union

Missouri fans in favor of a switch-up in conference affiliation for their beloved Tigers have been gaining momentum at a rapid pace. You’ll be hard-pressed to find an informed MU fan not verbally picketing the email addresses of University Curators or Athletic Department decision makers.

There are still a select few that maintain that the Big 12 is the best option. There are those that would still like to hold out for the Big Ten invitation. But the boisterous majority are chanting, tweeting, and promoting: “#Mizzou2SEC”

How do the options stack up with revenue for each conference and how it’s handed down to each member school?

The SEC will break their conference record for revenue this year. When you add up football/basketball TV deals, championship tournaments and games,  and NCAA championships.. you get $220 million. Each school (whether it be the Florida Gators or the Vanderbilt Commodores) receive right around $18.5 million in shared money. Schools that reach bowl games retain that bowl money.

The Big Ten doesn’t announce conference figures, but it is largely considered the richest in the NCAA. Each school gets paid out equally in the Big Ten. Ohio State and Michigan received $22 million from revenue, same as Northwestern.

The Big 12 has tiers to it’s revenue sharing. Meaning, some schools generate more money and therefore get paid out a bigger share. On average, each school received about $12 million last year. But, that’s the average. Some schools get a lot more (Texas), some schools get a lot less (Iowa State). In 2006, Texas received 44% more revenue than Baylor.

Before the last revenue sharing flare-up in the Big 12, about 57% of the total revenue was shared equally in the conference.  The other 43% was not. Those numbers have since been changed to 76% and 24%. A unanimous vote must be had to make any change and when that time came last year, Nebraska withheld their vote for more equality. Eventually, the Huskers left the conference altogether.

There is more money coming in to the Big 12 with their newly signed TV deal. That’s good for everybody. Kinda. With the current structure, the more money that comes in, the bigger the gap gets between Texas and everybody else.

For instance, if you split up $15 among nine friends this way:

ME: $4, YOU: $2.50, EVERYBODY ELSE: $1.25 apiece

There’s a small discrepency. But I’m only making $1.50 more than you, and $2.75 more than everybody else. What happens when we split $60?

ME: $16, YOU: $10, EVERYBODY ELSE: $5

Wow. That gap widened didn’t it? Sure, you and everybody else is making MUCH more money. But, all of the sudden everybody is noticing just how much I’M now making. Did I mention that ESPN is throwing me an extra $10 on the side?

The scoreboard now reads:

ME: $26, YOU: $10, EVERYBODY ELSE: $5

See what the fuss is about? Texas A&M and Nebraska couldn’t stand to see one of their chief rivals continue to widen the gap on them, so they decided to simply leave.

Of the shared money, Texas makes nearly $10 million more than the lowest-earner in the conference per year. Texas also has an additional $15 million per year coming from ESPN in their new “Longhorn Network”. As of today, they do NOT have to share that money with anybody else. So, to recap:

Big 12: $12 million per school

SEC: $18.5 million per school

Big Ten: $22 million per school

Texas: $33 million per… well… themselves.

If all things are equal in the Big 12 and Texas gets 100% behind giving up more of their money annually and 90% of their Longhorn Network money… then the Big 12 doesn’t look so bad afterall. The chances of that happening are slim to none. That means the conference will continue having revenue sharing meetings every year and other schools will be looking to leave every year. That, my friends, is called “instability”.

As far as athletic competition goes, Texas A&M and Missouri have won one Big 12 football championship in 15 years between them. If they combine to win one SEC football championship sometime in the NEXT 15 years, would you be terribly disappointed or feel as if the Tigers and Aggies are out of their league, so to speak?

As far as most of us know, the Big Ten hasn’t been calling Missouri. So, maybe this adds a little more clarity as to why “SEC-eding from the Big 12” may clearly be the best option.

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