Big 10 members do earn more than the SEC. There is some question as to exactly by how much - high of $25M per to $19.7M compared to SEC $17.1M, but which will likely grow as BTN expands & debt service due to start up cost is reduced.
ESPN overpaid for ACC & now they are in the same subdivision as the SEC.
ESPN in the name of maximizing BCS value and Bowl Week overpaid dramatically for a weaken Big12-2 (Suits & bean counters made the decision for Gene Stallings who folded like a rented card table) with top members earning more than the SEC schools.
Pac-10 members are still going to get a HUGE increase from their new TV deal with Fox. Those talks are looming, who by the way is going to have a ton of moola after loosing out on ACC & Big 12-2 which will not bear on Kevin Weiberg's (ex-Big 12 commish, ex-BTN start up guy, now deputy commish of Pac-10) conscientious at all, likely resulting in at least the top members earning more than the SEC, if not all institutions (payouts on a disparaging basis like Big12-2).
Thereby allowing the SEC's value (comparing brands - market value premium & comparing conference competition in that market) to take a significant hit under the guise of "let's be Cool" going thru this process. Slive and the SEC have zero leverage for 4 more years (opt -out clause kicks in TV deals). Even though the weakest conference just got their contract torn up and renegotiated for boo coo riches!!! Aren't the real winners of this expansion round those with leverage going forward? And in at least the near term SEC comes up short -everyone else is gaining ground if not surpassed the SEC. That's a reason for celebration? Yeah, the landscape was saved, yeepie! Peace, hold hands and join in kumbaya, kumbaya.
But meanwhile back on the ranch the SEC is struggling for a 4th place ribbon in revenues - all in the name of "We're bad; we don't need to move!" What about opportunity cost? The cost of missed opportunities and missed revenue streams, while playing paddy cake - wait and see on the sidelines. That's what you call leadership from a commissioner? Status quo Slive struck out on this round of expansion, more so than Larry Scott! At least Larry Scott wasn't afraid to fail.