Spots 1-4 are all that really matters as far as top conferences. The money isn't that great a difference. The SEC, B!G and PAC will always have the advantage of continuity and history. The B12 does just fine for itself on the field of competition and the decidedly smaller population profile.
So, this "distance" between 1 and 4 isn't really much of a brag. All the schools in the top 4 are going to get paid handsomely, then its just a matter of competition on the field/court.
You'll see it's all a show, keep 'em laughing as you go, just remember, the last laugh is on you, and always look on the bright side of life!