Monday, November 29, 2010

Apple #495: How Much Football?

I watched a ton of football over the long Thanksgiving weekend. I think I watched 6 games in 3 days. Which leads me to wonder, just how many football games are there in a season? I'm not going to count pre-season or exhibition games.

How much of this could you watch? In one sitting?

(Photo from Sports Newscaster)

  • In the NFL, 32 teams play each other in one game per week in a 17-week period, with one week off. So that's effectively 16 games in 16 weeks, or 256 games in the regular season.
  • The post-season playoffs and the Superbowl add 11 more games, so that brings the pro football tally up to 267.
  • In college, I'm only going to count the Division I games. Those are the ones most likely to be televised, though some teams in, say, the Mid-American conference rarely if ever have their games televised. But I'll count all the Division I teams.
  • There are 12 conferences in NCAA Division I football. The conferences have varying numbers of teams and they each play some out-of-conference teams as well as some in-conference teams which makes the math a little trickier. They do all play 12 games in the regular season.
  • I'll spare you some of the math details and tell you that it all adds up to 1,440 NCAA Division I football games in the regular season.
  • This year, there are also 35 bowl games. Adding those give us a total of 1,475 college games in 2010.
  • So in theory, if you could watch every college and pro football game on television this year, you would watch 1,742 games.
  • Assuming they last an average of three hours each, that's over 5,000 hours of football or just over 217 straight days of football. 
  • That's about 7 months, give or take.
If you had this many televisions and they all showed football games, you could watch the entire season's worth of games in maybe 2 or 3 months.
(Photo from Audio Advice)

        • the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, which is between a Conference USA team and a Sun Belt team, and provides a $325,000 per-team payout
          • there is also the Beef 'O' Brady's St. Petersburg Bowl (huh?) between a Big East team and a Conference USA team. That one pays $1 million to each participating team.

      Don't forget the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. I'm sure the players love to say they played in that one.
      (Logo from NCAA Football)

        • Some of the bowl games that involve better-known teams have more recognizable names and higher payouts, such as:
            • the Hyundai Sun Bowl between the ACC (Atlantic conference) and the Pac10 pays $1.9 million
            • the Outback Bowl between the Big Ten and the SEC (Southeastern conference) pays $3.1 million
            • the Chick-fil-A Bowl between the ACC and the SEC pays $5.83 million (that's a strange amount there)

        Nothing says football like a chicken sandwich.
        (Logo from SportsSystems)

          • When you get to the really big-name bowls, then you start getting into the big money:
              • the Rose Bowl, the Orange Bowl, and the Sugar bowl each pay $17 million.
              • The BCS National Championships Bowl also pays $17 million, to each team.
          • For sure it is more prestigious to say, "We played in the Rose Bowl," than it is to say, "We played in the Chick-fil-A Bowl" or "We won the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl" (yes, that one is for real; it's between the Big Ten and the MAC). But with that prestige comes money. The more prestige, the bigger the chunk of money. Which goes to the school, of course.

          I've been to this game, in person and everything. The year I went, my team won. That probably won't happen again, though, for quite a few years yet.
          (Photo from VernonCroy)

, Regular Season schedules, Post Season 2009 schedule
          NCAA Football, Division I FBS Schedules, 2010-11 Bowl Schedule

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