"why would the top 40 share money"? Same reason the Globetrotters pay the Washington Generals...
By Zanzibar on 06:59:13 07/20/21
[In reply to "One big problem with 65 teams (m)" by WolfBuck, posted at 14:57:05 07/19/21]
As an extreme example, let's say that you make a conference out of the top ten in all-time winning percentage (currently: OSU, Alabama, Notre Dame, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas, USC, Penn State, Nebraska, Tennessee).
Every conference game that is played results in a loss to one of the teams on that list, and a win to another of the teams on the list. In a typical year, roughly half of the teams are going to be under 0.500 in conference play -- no matter how good they are.
In the long run, some of those teams will settle into the basement of that conference, despite having a history of winning about 70% of their games prior to the conference being created. And in the long run this will cost them money. If you don't have some lesser opponents, then you don't maintain your perennially excellent status. And in the long run that costs more money than sharing some revenue up-front.