BG, thanks for the link to the OPE site. Great info. When I'm truly bored, it would be nice to pull down the revenue and expenses info for all these schools to provide a comprehensive comparison of budgets among different schools and leagues. One quick thing I noticed form looking at some of the MWC, WAC and other non-BCS western schools, the difference among expenses for football were realtively negligible. Which leads to the heart of the debate regarding the two conferences: Would any combination of WAC members added to the MWC be enough to make the MWC expansion worth while? (To be fair, I guess the same could be offered vice versa but this is more likely, no?) Somewhere amidst all these numbers is the answer that we outside the conference calls can understand.
Using the above resources, it appears that any expansion to the MWC would need to bring in $1 mil per year per team to make sense. Slightly less if the conference went to 12 and held a conference championship for an additional $1 mil TV rights. While I think that Disney and Co. would find the larger MWC worth the money, the question is would they have enough air time to show those games; The last article points out the MWC will likely lose some Thursday night slots to the new ACC contract. Thus we're back to the MWC needing to off the WAC in order to find enough money to make expansion worth while, it seems.
Joedadi, the impact of attendance has been discussed heavily on these boards, but in sparse amounts lately. I've posted numerous tables comparing the conferences, most recently highlighting the disparity between the BCS average, the new BE, the MWC and other non-BCS leagues. This becomes a bigger issue when dicsussing the prospect of budgetary standards from the NCAA and a 12th game in the regular season, which for most SEC and Big 10 schools can translate into $3 - $5 million more dollars. In football alone, the SEC as a whole averages about 6k more fans than the Big 10, which averages about 10k more than the BCS avg. This translates into the average SEC team taking in about $1.4 mil per season in gameday revenue than the avg. Big 10 team, or about $3-4 million more per season than the average BCS team! That's more than what the entire WAC fb/bb contract is worth!! :o
Big crowds for all sports can make a huge difference in budgets and the appeal for a program to recruits. The SEC, Big 12 and western teams have huge baseball crowds (comparitively speaking), and while this revenue doesn't mean much to their overall bottom line heaven knows it helps further the distance between the Florida's and the Wyoming's of the world. Same for basketball. Yes, programs like Memphis and New Mexico draw well and use roundball as their money maker, but even weaker programs at larger schools can draw very well, which helps their budgets, which keeps the program going strong, which helps recruiting, etc...
If the MWC conference were to find 3 more programs that were solidly supported through thick or thin, there'd be slightly less pressure on the need for revenue from the TV contracts. If Fresno St. and Hawaii continue to pull in enough fans to help offset budget #'s, their appeal to the MWC will increase tenfold.