BCS Knocks Notre Dame Off $14 Million Perch

(UHND) — As a member of the Bowl Championship Series, Notre Dame received a full conference payout (upwards of $14 Million) for qualifying for one of the BCS major bowls games — until today. The BCS announced changes today that changes Notre Dame’s payout structure that potentially limits paydays for Notre Dame starting in 2006.

In the past, a BCS berth to Irish was worth a full payout as they received for the 2001 Fiesta Bowl and got nothing as they have done the other 6 years since the BCS was created. From now on however, the Irish will see only $4.5 million in a year they are in a BCS game and $1 million every year they don’t make it.

The qualification requirements have also changed for Notre Dame. Previously a top 10 finish guaranteed the Irish a spot in a BCS game. This will change along with the payout to a top 8 finish for an automatic bid. A top 12 finish for Notre Dame will qualify the Irish, but not guarantee them a spot.

While some people are trying to make it seem like the $1 million guaranteed every is better than a full payout, if you do the math, the Irish got the short end of the stick on this one. There have been 7 seasons with the BCS in place, 1 in which Notre Dame was a participant. Do the math and that would be $6 million for the 6 seasons they did not qualify and $4.5 for the 2001 Fiesta Bowl for a total of $10.5 million as opposed to the $13.5 million they received.

The last 7 seasons have hardly been good times for the Irish with going 47-35. Notre Dame has had some of its worst season in years since the BCS started and yet they would still be ahead of the game in terms of money with the old system.

With Charlie Weis looking to return the Irish to past glory and appearing to be on his way to doing as much, its apparent this new BCS agreement could end up costing the Irish a lot of money. For Notre Dame to benefit from this new deal monetarily, the Irish would have to qualify for a BCS game only once every 11 years (10 non qualifying seasons = $10 million + $4.5 million for 1 season in the BCS).

With Notre Dame experiencing as much futility as they have over the last few seasons they still would make out better with the old deal despite getting a guaranteed $1 million every year. If Notre Dame were to qualify for just two BCS games in the same 11 year scenario talked about earlier, they would make about $28 million instead of the $14 million.

Obviously, Notre Dame has lost some clout among the college football ranks over the last few years, but this new BCS deal really brings that to light. Notre Dame had an elite place in the BCS system being the only major independent school, but this new agreement makes them like any other school in a conference something Notre Dame is anything but.

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