I completely understand your accessment of population by state as a factor in your overall determination, too bad that isn't acknowledged in the replies. But as an accessment tool, its the least important determinent in the overall equasion. Since you identified major markets it might have been helpful to gather nielson data (as if that were readily available) to show number of viewers in that market that actually watched college football and specifically the ratings for a school in question. A recent article I read indicated that the viewership for Bama football games in B'ham was a whooping 85 share. Having lived in Jax, FL for 20 years I had determined that outside of UF, FSU & UGA (in that order) Bama had the largest alumni within the metro area. So, your attempts are to be commended but the research to be relied upon would need to be much more detailed and thorough.
In Part 3 of our SEC expansion series, we wanted to look total population. In addition to television households — which we looked at in Part 2 — leagues are hoping to increase their overall influence. You do that by reaching more people, total.
There’s also a financial side to expanding a league’s population base. First, there’s the obvious opportunity to convert new fans and sell more tickets, more caps and more t-shirts. All that’s well and good, but there’s a greater reason than merchandise sales. Let’s take Texas A&M, for example. Now that the SEC has a Texas-based school with a huge alumni base in its ranks, viewership for SEC games in the Lone Star State should rise. That’s added exposure for every SEC school that A&M plays.
Do a little research and you’ll find that schools like George Mason and Boise State actually see a jump in student applications (and alumni donations) after reaching a Final Four or BCS bowl game. So being seen by a percentage of the 25 million Texas residents could lead to more applications for the SEC’s schools. More students (or better students) equals more money long-term. Applicants become students become graduates become donors. That’s how you keep money flowing into a school decade-in and decade-out.
Just last summer, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany mentioned as one reason for expansion the continued population shift from the Rust Belt and Midwest toward the South. His league eyed ways to get into the South, but it didn’t pan out for them last year. Still, the fact that they were looking shows the importance of total population when it comes to conference expansion.
This Category: Total State Population
Why: Is it fair to suggest that a school in one corner of a state will reach and influence residents across that entire state? No. But it’s just about the best shorthand method we have. It’s impossible to measure a school’s true sphere of dominant influence. So we’ll just look at the each school’s home state and tally up the population base that the school could theoretically add to the league. One last note — schools currently located in SEC states obviously bring no new population to the league.
|Rank||School||Total Population In Home State (Millions)|
* Now, do Baylor or TCU truly influence as many Texans as Texas or Texas A&M? Of course not. But the potential is there.
* It’s clear why West Virginia, Kansas, Kansas State, and Iowa State are considered to be BCS schools that might have to fight to finding a landing spot in a realigned world. Grab one of those schools and the league doing the grabbing isn’t reaching many new folks.
For comparison, here is how the SEC stacks up:
|Rank||School||Total Population in Home State (Millions)|
* After looking at television households in Part 2 and total population in Part 3, it’s a good thing the Mississippi schools and Arkansas are already in the SEC. If they were on the outside looking in at this point, the business of expansion might leave them searching for a home just like West Virginia and the Kansas schools.
* The average population of an SEC state is 6.5 million people.
Up next in Part 4, we’ll actually take location into consideration.