Since it is bowl season, I figured would show a summary of what the Buckeye football program does for the rest of the athletic programs.
The Ohio State football program brought in $60,837,342 last year alone.
The program spent $34,373,342 last year, meaning the University banked $26,463,498!!!
That put them 17th on the most profitable list out of 50. That revenue includes media, ticket sales, and memorabilia (individual player memorabilia sales and tattoos-for-autographs excluded).
The Big Ten Network pays $19.3 million annually for football and basketball games combined. This figure is a few million less because the Buckeyes had one less home game this year than last year.
The football program supports 36 sports programs. It is broken down by 17 women’s programs, 16 men’s programs, and 3 coed programs. Each of those programs is fully funded by scholarships that are allowed by the NCAA. That is 1,076 student athletes who reap the benefits of the football program.
When it is all said and done, the athletic program only shows a $93,678 profit. This profit doesn’t even cover all the other expenses associated with the athletic programs.
Operations cost another $40 million, with over $5 million going back to the university to pay for the athletic department’s share of overhead, which includes insurance, payroll services, purchasing and accounting.
Where does the rest of the money come from? The university gets grants, endowments, and the money given to the “Buckeye Club”.
This is why bowl season is so important to college football and the universities.
The bowl payouts range from serious money (tens-of-millions) from the BCS games combined, down to "chump change" (one million or less per) in the nobody bowls.
That is why it will be a hard sell to ever see a playoff system in lieu of bowl games.
There are 35 bowl games this year with 70 teams in the competition and a lot of money to be earned, whereas a playoff system would likely only involve four, or eight, or 12 or 16 teams at most.
As they say, money talks -- always.
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