Remember when the ACC was going to be left out of the playoff structure predicted in 2012 by some? That didn’t happen. Remember when Florida State and Clemson were supposed to be in the Big 12 and the ACC was going to dissolve? That didn’t happen either. What about the ACC not being able to compete for football national titles? That definitely didn’t happen. Surely the ACC falling tens of millions of dollars behind the other power 5 conferences in revenue distributions as anti-ACCers warned would occur. Nope…
The ACC released their revenue numbers for the 2014-2015 year, and the conference made over $400 Million in revenue. That enabled the conference to distribute $26.2 Million per school as reported by ESPN. For comparison the SEC and Big 10 were in the $32 Million range, the Pac 12 at $25.1 Million, and the Big 12 $23.3 Million.
I realize that the ACC had the benefit of money earned from the Orange Bowl, and Maryland’s exit fee, and that the other 4 conferences will get their contract bowl money next year. We can still make some generalizations. The SEC and Big 10 are beginning to separate themselves from the other 3 conferences. In a given year the Pac 12, Big 12, and ACC will be swapping positions 3-5 and be within $5 Million of each other.
The other generalization is the ACC is in the same distribution territory of the Pac 12 and Big 12 – and at the moment in range of the Big 10 and SEC. I don’t believe the ACC is at any competitive disadvantage. Certainly the on the field results prove that.
That said the arms race in college athletics never ends. The ACC needs that additional revenue generator. ( * wink * The ACC Network * wink *). The SEC and Big 10 are slowly pulling away, but a $6-7 Million difference is peanuts for athletics departments producing over $75 Million in revenue. What the ACC can’t let happen is the revenue gap to begin getting into $15 – 20 Million or more range.
Today’s news was good. It’s certainly no time for the ACC to be complacent though about growing conference revenue, but I don’t think that is happening either.