Wisconsin has seen its greatest success since football was in its infancy, winning three Big Ten titles in a row. However, the Badgers have also failed to get over that final hump in four consecutive bowl games.
Itâ€™s a familiar theme for the rest of the Big Ten too, yet despite the lack of overall national success the Big Ten is about to become a very rich conference indeed. According to a report from the Journal & Courier, the conference is projected to hand out $44.5 million per year in TV revenue to 12 of the 14 schools starting in the 2017-18 school year.
That would be the first year of the new television deals coming in, and it would mean all schools but Rutgers and Maryland (who have to wait the full six years to earn a full-share of TV money).
Compare that total with future projected earnings obtained by Mike Carmin of the Journal & Courier:Â $30.9 million in 2014-15; $34.1 million in 2015-16 and $35.5 million in 2016-17 for the 11 schools, excluding Nebraska.
Itâ€™s a significant bump in revenues available. The biggest question is where will fans see Big Ten games during that year?
Some have speculated that there is about to be a massive bidding war between ESPN/ABC and Fox for the national rights, especially given the new SEC network ESPN is investing heavily in and the Big Tenâ€™s partnership with Fox Sports for the Big Ten Network.
Also helping to up the ante is the Big Ten moving to a nine-game conference schedule starting in the 2016 season. It means more conference games to sell to potential buyers and more that the Big Ten can demand for its content.
With college football moving to the new College Football Playoff, revenues increased quickly for this upcoming season. Teams are scheduled to receiver $4.7 million, up nearly $2 million over just last season thanks to the reworked television rights and the new bowl partnerships the Big Ten has established.
One thing is for sure; Wisconsin (and the rest of the B1G) wonâ€™t have trouble keeping up with the Jonsesâ€™ of the college football world in the foreseeable future. It would put the Big Ten back on top of the TV revenue heap as well, outpacing what is expected to be around $34 million for the SEC.
The Big Ten may not rule the national title, but it sure will make everyone bow down to its financial power! B-1-G, B-1-G!!!