Archive for the ‘Big 12 Bowl Games Payouts’ Category

Big 12 Bowl Games/Payouts: Who Gets What?

December 10, 2008

It’s always been a great mystery to me as to where the millions of dollars generated from the various bowl games really go. Although each BCS conference gets to decide how they want to split the money, I have always been curious as to how much each school receives individually. I did the best research I could and dug up some interesting information in regards to the Big XII.

First, below is a rundown of all the Big XII games and some quick information about the game with the payout highlighted in yellow. Conspicuously absent from the bowl overview provided by is the 2009 Gator Bowl (*fixed now – but was absent, I swear!).

-December 29-
No. 21 Missouri at No. 23 Northwestern
San Antonio, TX
8:00 PM ET
Missouri (-13.5)
O/U 66
Payout: 2.25M

– December 30 –

No. 13 Oklahoma State at No. 17 Oregon


San Diego, CA
8:00 PM ET
Line: Oklahoma State (-3.5)
O/U 77
Payout: 2.13M

-December 31-
Minnesota vs Kansas
Tempe, AZ
5:30 PM ET NFL Net
Line: Kansas (-10.5)
O/U 57.5
Payout: 1.2M

-January 1, 2009-

Nebraska vs. Clemson

Jacksonville, FL

1:00 PM ET

Line: Clemson (-3)
O/U 56

Payout: 2.5M

– January 2, 2009 –

No. 7 Texas Tech vs No. 25 Mississippi
Dallas, TX
2:00 PM ET FOX
Line: Texas Tech (-5.5)
O/U 71
Payout: 3M

– January 5, 2009 –

No. 3 Texas vs No. 10 Ohio State
Glendale, AZ
8:00 PM ET FOX
Line: Texas (-9.5)
O/U 53.5
Payout: 17M*

– January 8, 2009 –

No. 1 Oklahoma vs No. 2 Florida
Miami, FL
8:00 PM ET FOX
Line: Florida (-3.5)
O/U 72
Payout: 17M

So now the million(s) dollar question. Who gets what? It was always my understanding that the team in that particular bowl game gets 2 shares of the bowl game payout after the money is divided 13 ways (in the case of the Big XII).

According to osugrad78 on, that is not exactly true. It is actually much more complicated than that. For the Big XII, it can be explained like this.

There are 3 Tiers of Bowl games:

  • Tier I: which are BCS games.
  • Tier II: which are bowl games where the payout ranges from $1M to $4.5M per team.
  • Tier III: any bowl game that pays out less than $1M.

“In Tier I, each teams gets $1.48M right off the top to cover expenses. In Tier II, each teams gets $925,000 off the top for expenses. In Tier III each team gets $600,000 off the top for expenses. Each team then also receives $199 per mile of travel (round-trip) to the bowl game, which includes all three tiers. So the farther away you travel, the more you get. The rest of the money gets split up equally among the 12 teams in the conference and the Big 12 conference gets a share as well.

Next is ticket revenue. For each bowl game, the school/conference has to guarantee a certain number of tickets. For the BCS, depending on the game, it ranges from 17,500 -20,000 tickets per school. For Tier II games, it ranges around 12,000-15,000 per school. For a Tier III game it is around 8,000-10,000 per school. The school/conference must guarantee that they will sell at least 50% of their allotment for the game. If they don’t, the school/conference must reimburse the bowl game 50% of the price of the tickets. Meaning, last year Texas Tech had an allotment of 12,000 tickets for the Gator Bowl. The tickets were $50. Tech only sold around 5,000 of their 12,000 allotment. So, they and the Big 12 had to pay back to the Gator Bowl $25,000 (1,000 tickets x $50 x 50%).

Conversely, every ticket you sell over 50% of your allotment you get to keep 50% of the price. For example, last year Missouri had an allotment of 12,000 tickets for the Cotton Bowl. They sold every one of them. The ticket price was $100. So Missouri made an extra $300,000 (6,000 tickets x $100 x 50%) from the Cotton Bowl.

One other thing to remember, is that if a 2nd team from a conference gets into a BCS game, that payout is only $4.5M, not the $17M you get from a BCS game. The same formula applies as to the off the top expenses of $1.48M plus the $199 per mile. The remainder again gets divided up among the Big 12 teams and a share to the Big 12.

So a team in a bowl game doesn’t get ‘2 shares’. They get the off top expenses, plus the $199 per mile, plus an equal share of the remainder.”

Merry Christmas Baylor, Colorado, Iowa State, Kansas State, and Texas A&M.

Because Nebraska is receiving the 4th highest bowl payout amongst the Big XII teams, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will receive a dime more than any other Big XII team – bowl game or not. Furthermore, I also see why Texas Tech is being sent to the Cotton Bowl this year instead of across country.

There is no question that the Big XII wants to send teams to a bowl game where they can sell their ticket allotment. Nebraska’s allotment for the Gator Bowl is 12,750 tickets. Tom Osborne said, “The seats that the Gator Bowl has set aside for the participating schools are in excellent locations, and we want our fans to get a chance to purchase those tickets as soon as possible. Our fans have always supported us very well in past bowl games and we hope there will be outstanding support for our matchup with Clemson in the Gator Bowl.”

What Osborne’s getting at is we want at least 12,750 fans at the game in our seats. If Nebraska sells its allotment of 12,750 tickets at $50 dollars a ticket, the school/conference would earn (6,375 x $50 x 50%) an extra $159,375 from Husker ticket sales alone. As of December 8, Nebraska had only 3,000 tickets remaining.

Other payouts worth noting:

  • The Big East pays their teams based on performance. The BCS game is worth 2.4M, the second bowl is worth 1.6M, the third is 1.3M, the fourth is 1.1M, and so on depending on how many teams qualify.
  • The Big Ten, Pac-10, ACC, and WAC all divide their money evenly after expenses are taken out.
  • The non-guaranteed leagues – WAC, Sun Belt, Mountain West, Conference-USA, MAC – receive 9% of the projected net BCS revenue, which is around 9M per year. However, if one of their teams makes the BCS such as Utah this year, they receive an additional 9%. The leagues then must negotiate what is fair, which entails the majority going to the conference who sent a team to the BCS. For example, when Boise State played in the Fiesta Bowl two years ago, they received around 3.5M, which was more than half of the WAC’s cut after the money was split amongst those 5 conferences.
  • Notre Dame receives 4.5M per BCS game they appear in.