In the first year of the new college football playoff, the ten FBS (formerly division 1-A) conferences have been divided into two groups dubbed the “Power 5” (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC) and the “Group of 5” (everybody else) and the chart below shows just how different those two groups are.
In 2013, football programs for schools in the Power 5 conferences generated an average of $US45.7 million in revenue while the average football programs in the Group of 5 took in just $US9.4 million according to data collected from the Department of Education. The SEC led all conferences where the average football program made $US56.0 million in 2013.
What is really scary is that gap between the haves and the have-nots is about to get a lot bigger. This year is the first with ESPN’s new $US5.6 billion contract to broadcast the college football playoff games. That deal alone means an extra $US345 million in revenue for FBS schools and most of that money is going to the Power 5 conferences.
There may be a few more seats at the big kids table and some schools in the Group of 5 will win the lottery and join one of the Power 5 conferences. But once those spots have been filled, it is just a matter of time before some schools follow Alabama-Birmingham and shut down their football program and the smaller conferences leave FBS to form their own subdivision of college football.
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