BCS Bowl Games: The Financial Winners Are In


It was a crazy weekend in college football. We know that No. 1 Missouri and No. 2 West Virginia went down and out of all the teams that will travel to their bowl games, LSU has "Les" Miles than anyone else (OK, it would have been better if the coach's name was "Fewer" Miles.)

So who were the financial winners? Here's the best list I could compile.

The National Championship Coaches, Jim Tressel (Ohio State) and Les Miles (LSU): Tressel should cut a nice check to the Tigers and the Mountaineers. He gets paid about $2.5 million a year, but he gets a $200,000 bonus for the national title game. Miles could win up making a lot more from an LSU win. After a very confusing press conference before the SEC championship game in which we still had to guess if he was really staying at LSU over taking the job at Michigan, Miles made the right decision (financially speaking) for staying. He will get a boost in salary from playing the "Who Wants Me" game and he'll have a shot at the title. If Miles and his agent George Bass are smart, they don't sign what has been agreed to until after LSU has a chance to win it all or they insist that if a national championship comes the Tigers way, every number gets augmented.

Fox: Missouri versus West Virginia would have been interesting, but traditional powerhouses always draw greater ratings. The Ohio State-LSU match up is a much better show for fans and advertisers.

Tim Tebow or Darren McFadden: With Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel not throwing for one touchdown in the Big XII Championship game against Oklahoma, it's the Florida quarterback or the Arkansas running back for the Heisman next Saturday. The Heisman will be worth more than $100,000 in autograph signings alone over the course of their lifetimes. McFadden's earning potential will start at $100,000 and will go up depending on his NFL career, according to Jeff Rosenberg, president of Tri-Star. Tebow obviously can't earn a dime until his college eligibility expires, but the Florida quarterback could be worth more than $500,000 in Heisman-related autographs if he wins this year and follows it up next year with another Heisman and a national championship. Rosenberg said the highest earning Heisman winner has been Reggie Bush, who Rosenberg says will clear $1 million in signings alone.

The airline charter business and Hawaiian Tour Companies: From campus to its BCS destination (the Sugar Bowl) in New Orleans, its more than 4,000 miles. Since Hawaiian Airlines doesn't currently have any direct flights, expect many airlines and tour companies to try to angle in on this lucrative business.

Big Ten & SEC: With the two top teams going down, Ohio State was vaulted to the National Championship game and Illinois slipped into the Rose Bowl, giving the Big Ten two BCS slots. LSU's spot in the title game opened up a spot for Georgia, meaning the SEC has two representatives in the five games. Each conference will receive $21.5 million for the two teams, instead of the $17 million paid out to a conference if only one team makes a BCS game.

Nike: Ohio State, LSU, Georgia, Illinois, Hawaii, USC, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech and West Virginia. Nike outfits nine of the ten BCS participants and will have its logo on each of the jerseys. Nike lost out to adidas in 2005 for the rights to outfit Kansas.

Notre Dame: Despite a horrendous 3-9 season, Notre Dame automatically receives 1/66th of the BCS revenues, after expenses (approximately $1.3 million). The school only receives $3.2 million more when it is in one of the BCS games.

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