clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Michigan Football: Don't Forget to Put Wolverines' $132K Loss Tied to Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl into Perspective

Yeah, the chunk of change lost is a dream yearly salary for most. However, in the grand scheme of things, Michigan's financial loss tied to the BWWB debacle isn't a big deal.

Technically, Michigan lost the equivalent of a low-paid assistant's salary. But that's no biggie for Dave Brandon's economic powerhouse.
Technically, Michigan lost the equivalent of a low-paid assistant's salary. But that's no biggie for Dave Brandon's economic powerhouse.
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Newsflash! Not only did the Wolverines lose their tails, 31-14, to Kansas State in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, but apparently they also lost a little bit of money.

Of course, the term "a little bit of money" means different things to different people. On my end, losing $132K (which I don't have) would be life-shattering and probably impact the destinies of future little Adams and/or Adamettes.

But for Michigan, Forbes' sixth-wealthiest/most valuable college football program of 2013, flushing a mere $132K down the drain is like a mosquito bite on the neck--annoying, but definitely survivable. It's a drop in the bucket, a bead of water slowly dripping from the sink (which reminds me, I need to fix that). In other words, it doesn't mean a thing. Not when considering the big picture.

The following is from's Brendan F. Quinn, who did a wonderful job of breaking down AD Dave Brandon's numbers. Quinn's findings are based on the total cost of the bowl game, according to UM's athletic department, but they don't consider outside factors--and they don't really have to. Technically, yes, the Wolverines lost some loose change.

Ultimately, the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl left U-M roughly $132,000 in the red.

The Big Ten Conference gave the university $1.875 million to offset the cost of travel and other expenses associated with the game, according to Michigan associate athletic director for media and public relations Dave Ablauf. But Michigan's overall expenditure of nearly $2.01 million left it with $131,861 in out-of-pocket expenses.

U-M's loss of $132,000 does not include revenue brought in from the Big Ten's shared bowl revenue plan, which splits all Big Ten bowl revenue among the conference's 12 teams. In its 2013 financial survey filed the NCAA in January, the athletic department reported $11.78 million in earnings for conference bowl game distribution and shares of conference television agreements, according to documents obtained via a public records request.

The Big Ten's Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl payout was $3.5 million this year.

Brandon bathes in 100s and he heats his up-north cabins with Grants. He probably owns fine pieces art that carry $100K-plus price tags (he's been rich from pizza for some time). And  to top it off, Michigan football is one of the most recognizable brands in the world. In all of sports, not just collegeland. That'll probably help recoup some of the losses.

But back to the point, which will be reinforced by a few values provided by Forbes: Michigan's not going broke any time soon.

Team value: $104 million
Revenue: $81 million
Profit: $58 million
Conference: Big Ten
Head coach: Brady Hoke

Michigan's value is down 13% from last year, the direct result of playing two fewer home games than in the previous season. The Wolverines also played two of their biggest rivalry games, against Notre Dame and Ohio State, away from home last year. Michigan spends more on football scholarships than any other public school on our list.

OK, so you've seen the dollar amounts for yourself. They're not the end-all, be-all, but they're helpful when discussing $132K-Gate.

Fans of rival schools, along with your general gaggles of Michigan loathers, have had fun with this story all day long. Combine that with the fact that Michigan was overlooked by Justin Hilliard and Jashon Cornell--a pair of 5-star Ohio State commits--and you're left with a not-so-good day filled with trolling courtesy of your OSU and MSU buddies.

Follow Maize 'n Brew's Adam Biggers on Twitter @AdamBiggers81