Back on Sunday, when the final NFL draft tallies were in, we posted a note on the site and on Twitter stating that the “SEC had 63 picks and ACC was second with 31. Greatest gap ever.”
That nugget was retweeted by uber-reporter Tony Barnhart (Mr. College Football). A follower of Barnhart’s Twitter feed — which focuses a great deal on the SEC and the ACC — happens to be associate Clemson athletic director and sports information director Tim Bourret. He obviously he didn’t like what he read and tweeted a response:
“@MrCFB 5 years after Espn tv contract gives sec huge advantage. The numbers and $ add up.”
The feeling outside the SEC is that ESPN’s television contract with the league — there’s also the CBS contract, of course — has provided the SEC with the cash necessary to create an advantage in terms of facilities, recruiting budgets, weight rooms, etc.
It should be pointed out, however, that the SEC had already begun its streak of seven consecutive BCS championships before its new TV deals even kicked in. But the goal of those contracts was to keep the league’s programs at or near the top of the money tree and they have. Today the SEC will announce its plans for the SEC Network, an even larger money-making partnership with the four-letter network.
What’s interesting is that Bourret took the time to tweet about the cash discrepancy between the SEC and ACC right after his league had just inked a new grant of rights agreement. Either his comment can be taken as a sign that he believes the ACC will now start to catch up on the money front with its own TV package… or as a sign that there are still some ACC’ers who aren’t happy about the gap between their league and the SEC.
And this time we’re talking about the financial gap, not the NFL draft pick gap. Which, as we noted on Sunday, was the “greatest gap ever.”