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Bowl Game Season Lucrative for College Teams

The SEC champion, Alabama, will pocket nearly $2 million for playing Notre Dame.

Bowl Game Season Lucrative for College Teams

When Georgia came up short against Alabama in the SEC title game earlier in December, it cost the Bulldogs more than a national title shot.

The difference in revenue for the Bulldogs between the BCS National Championship Game and the Capital One Bowl likely is about $600,000.

As bowl season begins Saturday (December 15), it's another reminder that the postseason -- especially the elite BCS bowls -- is very lucrative for college teams.

According to available information and estimates, SEC champion Alabama will make about $1.925 million for playing Notre Dame in the national championship game on January 7.

Georgia, by virtue of its loss to the Tide, will play in the Capital One Bowl on January 1 -- a non-BCS bowl that has a far lower payout than the elite games. One estimate is that the Capital One Bowl has a total purse of $4.5 million. The Bulldogs would retain about $1.325 million of that amount.

The BCS title game has an estimated payout of $18 million; the other BCS bowls -- Rose, Orange, Sugar and Fiesta -- pay an estimated $17 million.

Florida was invited to a BCS bowl, as it finished higher than the Bulldogs in the final BCS standings. So the Gators will get a payout of about $1.825 million. No conference can have more than two teams in the BCS bowls.

However, all SEC teams will benefit somewhat from the bowl bonanza. According to the SEC's revenue-sharing formula, bowl revenue not paid to the participating teams is divided into 15 shares -- with each of the 14 teams getting a share, and the conference itself getting a share.

Yes, that means bowl teams get two payouts. This year, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Texas A&M, Mississippi State and Ole Miss are in bowl games.

(Material from the SEC office in Birmingham, Ala., was used in this report. The SEC office would not confirm bowl payouts, just the conference's revenue-sharing formula.)

-- How do you think Alabama, Georgia and the other SEC teams will fare in bowls? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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