Rivalry -vs- Revenue

Recently there has been a lot of discussion about scheduling.  Most of this discussion has centered around either adding a 9th conference game or scheduling tougher out of conference opponents to better position a team for a chance at getting into the College Football Playoff.  This article will deal with the ability to schedule good competition and meaningful rivalries in this new age of college football.

As everyone knows, with the conference expansions that started with the SEC in 1990, it has become more difficult to schedule top quality opponents because of logistics as well as the fact that teams’ conference schedules have become more difficult.  The only incentives to scheduling a top quality opponent are to improve your resume for the College Football Playoff or to satisfy the insatiable hunger of the fans.  From a revenue standpoint scheduling a Power 5 opponent is a negative because a team of that caliber would require a return visit which would limit the revenue that the school could take in …. Until now.

If the following system were to be adopted, it would enable teams to schedule these top quality opponents.  The following steps would need to be implemented for the system to work:

  1. Three or four weeks per season would be designated as out of conference weeks for all NCAA teams allowing for simplification in scheduling.
  2. Conference TV contracts would be negotiated to only include conference games, not games vs out of conference opponents played at a conference teams home field.  All teams would retain media rights to their out of conference games.  This would encourage teams to schedule better OOC games because they would be the only ones to financially benefit from them.  What would you pay more to see, Clemson -vs- Georgia or N.C. State -vs- Old Dominion?
  3. The two schools involved in the game in question would be allowed to negotiate a TV contract for their game or series.  Each school would get 50% of each contract to ensure an equal distribution of funds over the length of the series whether it be one game or multiple games (ensures that if one years contract is more lucrative than another, that one school doesn’t benefit from the agreement more than the other).

The ability to negotiate the Television contract for your game should somewhat offset the loss of revenue by agreeing to a home and home series.  Since money is the main reason many big time schools don’t schedule big time out of conference games a system like this one is needed to remedy the problem.  The implementation of this system would give us more good out of conference games to watch every fall.

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