You and me both love the thrill of a well-manicured statistical table. And who wouldn't? With the season just about under wraps, it's pretty much softnews-a-palooza from here on out, sprinkled in with links o' plenty and the occasional poached coach or Armon Bassett arrest. But it's always worth noting how much the MAC schools are spending, just to keep things in perspective, and you can thank USA TODAY for compiling all this information:
Ball St. Cardinals
Bowling Green Falcons
Central Michigan Chippewas
Eastern Michigan Eagles
Kent St. Golden Flashes
|Northern Illinois Huskies||$22,210,800.00||$21,899,024.00||$311,776.00|
Western Michigan Broncos
So with an average of almost $23 million, the MAC competes. And they compete decently. Now let's compare that with our bigger brothers.
Picking different FBS schools, we find:
What we discover here, which is clearly not news to anybody, is that it costs much more to field an elite football program (or least try to, wink wink victors valiant) than it does a top-notch basketball program (see: UConn). Kansas also spends similarly.
And when MAC schools take on huge programs, I feel like athletic budget ought to be one of those tale-of-the-tape stats. It's worth mentioning to keep such matchups in perspective. It also helps understand why one team's so much better. Case in point: U of M brings in more money on ticket sales alone than any single MAC program does in TOTAL REVENUE. Much more. They collect about a Bowling Green net-worth just on royalties. When Kent State plays Alabama this year, they're going to visit a school that gets more from the SEC ($21.3 million) than their entire revenue stream.
The only other discrepancy like this in sports that I can think of is baseball. Last year the New York Yankees' payroll was over $200 million, and the "cheapest" team was the Pittsburgh Pirates who spent $34.9 million on players. Now, it might make more sense to factor in all the other expenses it takes to run a baseball franchise and compare those numbers, and the ratio wouldn't be so cosmic.
It ought to be evident why we want the MAC to win these occasional games so badly.