The ACC will be doling out a total of the $291.7 million in total revenue to its 15 member schools this year, which is an increase of $56.6 million since last year, according to ESPN’s Andrea Adelson.
The 14 full-member schools (not including the Notre Dame Fighting Irish) will receive $20.8 million on average, not including their individual multimedia rights deals. That figure is right in line with what the SEC will apportion to its member schools ($20.9 million).
The increasing revenue is just the latest sign that the ACC is gradually becoming a bigger player in the college football universe. The Syracuse Orange and the Pittsburgh Panthers both posted respectable first seasons in the conference last year, each finishing in the middle of their respective divisions and winning bowl games. Both teams also look like safe bets to improve this season.
Snagging Notre Dame, even as an irregular member, was a coup, thanks to the agreement that guarantees the Irish will play several games against ACC opponents each year. Getting the Irish on board as a full member would have been ideal, but the fact that they are going to play five games a year against ACC teams is almost as good. Say what you want about Notre Dame, but the Irish receive a lot of attention, and those games will give ACC members tremendous national exposure.
The conference will be upgraded even further next season when it swaps the Maryland Terrapins for the Louisville Cardinals. Oh, and of course, the Florida State Seminoles also won the BCS Title last season. That was also pretty good for the league.
While money isn’t everything, the increased revenue should be very helpful for the ACC’s member schools, in the current arms-race climate in college football. The added revenue from joining the ACC likely helped the Orange with their new $17 million indoor practice facility, which is beginning construction now, and should help them become more competitive, both nationally and within the conference.
The league is certainly moving in the right direction. The days of the ACC being perceived as primarily a basketball power may soon be over.