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Presidents Could Be Making A $5 Billion Decision Today

For the past few months, folks around college football have whispered that a new playoff television package would likely fetch somewhere in the neighborhood of $500 million per season.  Nice neighborhood, eh?  Well, if The Sporting News’ Matt Hayes has a good source — and he usually does — then that $500M number is very much real.

The BCS deal paid out $174 million last year.  That number could triple depending on the length of the new TV deal as well as how much value is assigned to the new semifinal games — something we’ve never seen before.

Ten years.  $500 or so million.  Yep, that could mean $5 billion going into college football’s pot to be divvied up among the conferences and schools.  To put that into perspective, if all 120-125 FBS programs got an even split from that $500 million payout on a yearly basis, that’d be give-or-take an extra $4 million per school.  (Of course, schools in the five big conferences will get more than that with the guppies of the world getting a smaller share.  But still.  Also, that’s not counting the money that the bowls will keep and other various expenses, but you get the point.)

We’ve noted many, many times before that the presidents have turned down enormous potential payouts from television for a college football playoff in the past.  But this time around — as Hayes’ source puts it — “They’d be throwing away $2 1/2 billion… at least.”

That kind of money could slow expansion down as the five biggest leagues might not need to add any more schools to their rosters and schools might not be forced to leap from one big conference to another.  Also, a 10- or 12-year TV contract could lock in the four-team system and prevent “playoff creep” and expansion until the current batch of presidents have departed from their current offices.

That’s three reasons — one of them potentially worth $5 billion — that for the first time ever the university presidents might just take the money and run when it comes to the dreaded P-word.  Then again, never underestimate the stupidity of people in groups.

Yeah, $5 billion makes it a slam dunk on paper.  But we’ll pop the champagne once the votes are counted.



The folloing tweet does not induce confidence in todays meetings..... Joe Schad @schadjoe Reply Retweet Favorite ·More Nebraska President Harvey Perlman said he has no particular expectations for today's meeting

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