College bowl payouts don’t always add up

The bogus billing for Pitt-Cincinnati had nothing to do with the Big East championship on the line, yet everything to do with the automatic BCS bowl berth at stake.
Despite discussion to the contrary, Cincinnati’s 45-44 victory over Pitt last Saturday at Heinz Field wasn’t a winner-takes-all for the $18 million payout provided by the Sugar Bowl. Cincinnati will receive less than $2.2 million and Pitt slightly more than $1 million for their respective bowl trips, plus an eight-way cut of the conference share.

One of the major misconceptions in college football is that universities reap a financial windfall by earning a BCS bowl berth and risk losing tens of millions by failing to do so.