I recently looked at how FBS and non-FBS athletic departments compare in terms of revenue streams and revenue inequality. To recap - I found that average generated revenues are statistically different and higher at FBS compared to non-FBS athletic departments and that non-generated revenues are not statistically different from each other at FBS and non-FBS athletic departments.
Additionally I looked at revenue inequality among NCAA FBS and non-FBS athletic departments by revenue streams and found that other than ticket sales, FBS athletic departments have greater revenue inequality as compared to non-FBS athletic departments.
I was subsequently asked about the difference between automatically qualifying (AQ) conferences and non-automatic qualifying conferences in the BCS. Great idea - so here I analyze both differences in revenue and revenue inequality among AQ and non-AQ conferences.
First - are revenue streams different among the AQ and non-AQ conferences? Short answer is yes. In fact using the data from USA Today's athletic department database from 2006 to 2011 every revenue category has higher average revenue by AQ athletic departments than non-AQ athletic departments.
Second - are revenues more unequal for AQ than non-AQ athletic departments? Short answer is that for some yes and others no. Specifically, AQ athletic department are more unequal for student fee revenue, school fund revenues and other revenues for each of the six years in the USA Today database and AQ athletic departments are more equal for ticket sales, contribution revenues, rights and licensing revenue, total revenue and generated revenues. Thus other than the two subsidy revenue streams, AQ athletic departments are only more unequal for other revenues.