ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips on revenue: Most money doesn't always win - On3
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ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips on revenue: Most money doesn't always win

Wade Peery05/11/22
Article written by:Wade PeeryWade Peery
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(Photo by Dannie Walls/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

With the explosion of NIL and the chaos of the transfer portal — there has been a lot of chatter recently about the future of college football and on Wednesday, ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips gave his thoughts on a variety of topics. He took a direct swipe at the Big Ten and SEC over the revenue gap between the conferences on their college football media rights television deals.

“Just because you have the most money doesn’t mean you win all the time,” Phillips said.

Still, the pure numbers paint a different picture.

While money doesn’t matter all of the time and there are outliers, it certainly matters and matters a lot in big-time college football and the data shows it. The Top 25 most valuable programs have made up all eight College Football Playoff Championships. They’ve also made up 31 of 32 College Football Playoff berths during the past eight years.

Teams that have ranked inside the top 10 of college football’s most valuable programs have won five of eight championships. Also, six of thirteen teams that have made the College Football Playoff the past eight years have ranked inside the top 10 of the sports’ most valuable programs.

The numbers regarding the television media rights deals for college football simply don’t look good at all for Phillips and the ACC and there’s no way of getting around it.

Per Forbes Magazine, the Big Ten is set to top $450 million in college football revenues by next season. It’s easily the most lucrative TV deal of all the Power Five conferences, in the short term. The SEC’s back-loaded TV deals are projected to pay that conference an astounding $599 million combined for the 2024-2025 seasons, per Forbes and Industry estimates. The projections for the SEC’s TV rights deal gets even sweeter once Texas and Oklahoma are finally in the conference. SEC schools could be in a position to receive $80 million apiece when the Longhorns and Sooners are finally brought into the fold. More recently in August of 2021, the conference reported that it had dispensed revenue of $46 million to its 14 member schools.

The high end of the ACC’s deal lags far behind the Big Ten and the SEC. Their TV deal isn’t set to clear $200 million until the 2025 season, which is a pretty massive disparity. For more numbers on the college football media rights deals, check out this excellent chart on Twitter here.

Phillips also addressed other topics earlier on Wednesday, such as talking about whether or not the Power Five conferences would split away from the NCAA — something that many in the media have discussed for several years.

Jim Phillips says Power Five not breaking away from NCAA

There is still uncertainty surrounding the future of college athletics. The developments of the past several years have wreaked havoc on multiple sports, leading some to call for wholesale changes. From the issues of this offseason to the conference realignment of last summer, questions regarding the future of the Power Five in relation to the NCAA have come up more often.

But now it appears that the Power Five conferences will not be breaking way from the NCAA, at least not right now. According to Notre Dame head men’s basketball coach Mike Brey, he was told by ACC commissioner Jim Phillips that is not part of any future plans.

“ACC commissioner Jim Phillips assured basketball coaches today the Power Five is not going to break away from the NCAA, says Notre Dame coach Mike Brey,” Brandon Marcello tweeted on Tueday.

While men’s and women’s basketball programs have much less incentive to leave than the top football schools due to the success of the NCAA Tournament, any move in football would surely trigger a decision across all sports too. Because the College Football Playoff is not organized by the NCAA, it is often viewed as the best opportunity for change, although conference commissioners left the last round of discussion on expansion disappointed.

On3’s James Fletcher III also contributed to this article.