The gulf between SEC football and everyone is about to get larger, as the SEC prepares to announce details of its new cable SEC network. Pat Forde of Yahoo broke news that the SEC will announce details of this revenue bonanza in April.
What separates SEC football from the rest of college football? Yes, the seven straight BCS championships with Alabama holding three of these, is a big difference. But what has caused such a separation between the quality of the SEC and everyone else? Why the lack of parity?
Demographics. Energy. Money. Demographics favor the SEC and the West as much of the Old Northwest Territory rusts away in poor weather, unemployment and stagnation. This demographic stagnation is a big reason that the Big Ten hired an investment bank as its consultant during the conference expansion blitz. What did these money men tell the Big Ten? Look to new markets.
As noted here, the energy of SEC fans is truly remarkable in how much they spend supporting their programs via retail sales of licensed merchandise.
Money forms the sinews of war, as Cicero once famously said. And college football is war. Upgraded facilities are one element of the current arms race waging among the college football powers not unlike the battleship arms race that sparked the Washington Naval Treaty.
An example of that arms race is the new 37,000-square-foot weight room built for the Alabama football team and other Alabama athletes.
The price tag for this impressive facility? $9 million.
Just like those old battleships, everyone is building them bigger, better and pricier.
You need cash to do it. The new television deal is expected to net each SEC team a substantial payday. With expansion into Texas by adding Texas A&M and into Missouri with the University of Missouri, the television footprint is much larger. Some of this money will no doubt be reinvested in the great revenue producer—college football.
With demographics, energy and money on the SEC’s side, can anyone sink this dreadnought?