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The $1 billion college football bowl bill

Northern Illinois, which made an unexpected run to the Orange Bowl through a Mid-American Conference championship, spent about $7.1 million on its football program in 2011-12. Its Orange Bowl opponent, Florida State, spent more than three times as much: $22,052,228.

That's one of many facts that comes from analyzing the 2011-12 athletic department and football finances of the 2012 bowl teams. In all, 68 of the 70 teams (excluding Army and Navy, which aren't required to report figures) spent a combined $1.084 billion last year to help build their programs into contenders for these bowl bids, according to U.S. Department of Education figures.

The money earned is even more staggering. The same 68 teams took in a combined $3.066 billion in football-related revenue in 2011-12. That was 58 percent of those schools' total athletic department revenue for the year.

Some are on equal ground. Minnesota ($16,177,355) spent almost exactly the same amount on football as Texas Tech ($16,202,114), its opponent in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

Others are not. Washington ($25,368,852) spent 197 percent more on football than MAACO Bowl opponent Boise State ($8,537,612).

Find these and other financial statistics about the 2012 bowl teams in this searchable database compiled by Cox Media Group Ohio:


Online Database by Caspio
Click here to load this Caspio Online Database.
2012 Bowl Schedule
Date Bowl Matchup/Result Time (TV)
Dec. 15 New Mexico Bowl Arizona 49, Nevada 48  
Dec. 15 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Utah State 41, Toledo 15  
Dec. 20 Poinsettia Bowl BYU 23, San Diego State 6

Dec. 21 Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl Central Florida 38, Ball State 17

Dec. 22 New Orleans Bowl Louisiana-Lafayette 43, East Carolina 34

Dec. 22 MAACO Bowl Boise State 28, Washington 26

Dec. 24 Hawaii Bowl SMU 43, Fresno State 10

Dec. 26 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl Central Michigan 24, Western Kentucky 21

Dec. 27 Military Bowl San Jose State 29, Bowling Green 20

Dec. 27 Belk Bowl Cincinnati 48, Duke 34

Dec. 27 Holiday Bowl Baylor 49, UCLA 26

Dec. 28 Independence Bowl Ohio 45, Louisiana-Monroe 14
Dec. 28 Russell Athletic Bowl Virginia Tech 13, Rutgers 10

Dec. 28 Meineke Car Care Bowl Texas Tech 34, Minnesota 31

Dec. 29 Armed Forces Bowl Rice 33, Air Force 14

Dec. 29 Fight Hunger Bowl Arizona State 62, Navy 28
Dec. 29 Pinstripe Bowl Syracuse 38, West Virginia 14

Dec. 29 Alamo Bowl Texas 31, Oregon State 27

Dec. 29 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl Michigan State 17, TCU 16

Dec. 31 Music City Bowl Vanderbilt 38, North Carolina State 24

Dec. 31 Sun Bowl Georgia Tech 21, USC 7

Dec. 31 Liberty Bowl Tulsa 31, Iowa State 17

Dec. 31 Chick-fil-A Bowl Clemson 25, LSU 24

Jan. 1 Heart of Dallas Bowl Oklahoma State 58, Purdue 14

Jan. 1 Gator Bowl Northwestern 34, Mississippi State 20

Jan. 1 Capital One Bowl Georgia 45, Nebraska 31

Jan. 1 Outback Bowl South Carolina 33, Michigan 28

Jan. 1 Rose Bowl Stanford 20, WIsconsin 14

Jan. 1 Orange Bowl Florida State 31, Northern Illinois 10

Jan. 2 Sugar Bowl Louisville 33, Florida 23

Jan. 3 Fiesta Bowl Oregon 35, Kansas State 17

Jan. 4 Cotton Bowl Texas A&M 41, Oklahoma 13

Jan. 5 BBVA Compass Bowl Mississippi 38, Pittsburgh 17

Jan. 6 Bowl Arkansas State 17, Kent State 13

Jan. 7 BCS National Championship Alabama 42, Notre Dame 14

-- Story and graphics by Kyle Nagel, staff writer

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