The Bowl Championship Series era resulted in a boatload of revenue for the NCAA, but it also widened the gap between the haves and have-nots.
That’s the upshot of a study published recently in the Contemporary Issues in Education Research by Xavier University of Louisiana professor Cary Caro.
Division I college football teams generated $24 billion in revenue from 2002 to 2012, he found, and being a member of a Bowl Championship Series automatic qualifying conference gave schools an $18.8 million per school advantage over non-AQ teams.
Utah is cited in the report, along with TCU, for their moves from a non-AQ conference and subsequent major gains in AQ conferences.
Utah averaged $11.8 million a year as a member of the Mountain West Conference, the report says, and has since averaged $24.2 million.
The U.’s single-season revenue of $16.4 million in 2008, when they beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, was the second-most for non-AQ institutions, behind TCU.
— Matthew Piper