Clemson Sports Information Director Tim Bourret may have hit the nail on the head in explaining how the SEC has created so much distance between istelf and the rest of college football. Bourret was responding to a tweet from college football beat writer Tony Barnhart on the gap between the number SEC NFL draft picks compared to the ACC. Bourret made a simple, yet undeniable point about how the SEC has pulled away from other conferences:
Tony Barnhart @MrCFB 28 Apr
Great draft stat from @MrSEC: SEC had 63 picks and ACC was second with 31. Greatest gap ever.
Tim Bourret @TimBourret 28 Apr
@MrCFB 5 years after Espn tv contract gives sec huge advantage. The numbers and $ add up.
It is pretty hard to argue with Bourret’s logic. Since the ESPN deal the SEC has gained strength over other conferences at an exponential rate. Look at what South Carolina has managed to do athletically since the television dollars started rolling in. Is it a coincidence the Gamecocks have pulled ahead in the rivalry with the Tigers during the same period they have created a 22 million dollar gap in athletic revenue?
This doesn’t mean Clemson can’t and won’t be able to compete. They aren’t going broke. But with the SEC Network ready to launch the revenue gap could get larger before it gets smaller. That means the Tigers, the ACC, and all the other conferences will be fighting an uphill battle against the SEC.