Uconn received $2,523,200 from the Big East for making the Fiesta Bowl. In the end, Connecticut incurred expenses of $4,280,998 to attend the Fiesta Bowl game in Phoenix. This comes to a nearly $1.8M net loss — all to get beat up by Oklahoma by 28 points.
The biggest expense for Uconn was the cost of tickets. The athletic department had to eat a bunch of them — 14,729 to be exact. That’s right, nearly 15,000 tickets that Uconn couldn’t sell. The university is forced to buy 17,500 tickets for a game that is over 2,500 miles away. There is no chance a Big East football program can sell all those tickets. This ended up costing the university $2,924,385.
As you can see, this is a large portion of their $4.28M expense total.
Although I am loving the misery suffered by the University of Connecticut’s athletic program, it could be used as a great case study. It goes to show that there are often a large number of losers under the current BCS system.
There is no doubt in my mind, there is an agreeable way to facilitate post-season football without such extreme losses.
In 2010, NCAA football had at least 13 schools spend more to play their single bowl game than their conferences received in compensation. To make a comparison; in ’02-03 only 13 of the 65 participating NCAA Tournament basketball teams reported net losses for the entire year.
The cost to attend bowl games for schools is clearly large. If someone with reform ideas can get the major universities on their side, the conferences could have no choice but to follow. If the conferences follow, then we have some potential for actionable change.
Enter Mark Cuban.
For some time now, I have had the same idea that Cuban seems to back currently. You add a playoff while keeping some bowl games. To that end, Cuban is open to keeping some aspects of the BCS, but wants to institute a playoff in addition to bowl games. Touching on the profitability point; he wants to make it more profitable for programs to qualify for his playoff than to participate in a bowl. He believes this is key. As he told ESPN Dallas:
“Say, ‘Look, I’m going to give you X amount every five years. In exchange, you say if you’re picked for the playoff system, you’ll go.’”
Is it random, or odd to have Mark Cuban involved in this — sure. I am certain that the BCS executives hate it. But, really, that’s just what we need. Make the BCS people uncomfortable. That’s a good thing. If anyone can get this done, why not bet on Cuban?
[via The Daily Campus]