It is really that simple. It is how much money TV executives believe SMU games on TV can generate. They will have to buy their way into 3-4 consecutive 10 win seasons, and cap those seasons off beating a big brand name schools to change their game broadcast revenue projections. They have to have a Boise State like run to even start speculating.
This is a knock on perceived recruiting to backfill the loss of TBIII & Drez.
Thing is, people were saying the same exact thing after Javion graduated last season, and NT still finished atop C-USA. McCasland is finding the right guys to fit into his system and coaching them up. I have no doubt NT battles for the Championship again this season.