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Forbes: Texas Is Richest FBS Program By Far

by Christopher Smith
Dec 19, 2013 3:41 PM EST



According to a Forbes study, the Texas football program is by far the wealthiest, worth an estimated $139 million.

That's almost 20 percent more than No. 2 Notre Dame ($117 million). Alabama ($110 million), LSU ($105 million) and Michigan ($104 million) round out the top five.

Forbes looked at factors like revenue, profit, expenses, and the team's value to the school's other athletic and academic interests as well as how it affects the local economy.

The distance between the value of the Longhorns and Fighting Irish is greater than the spread between the teams ranked No. 9 (Ohio State) and No. 20 (Tennessee) on the list.

The SEC dominated, grabbing nine of the 20 slots, including Arkansas ($74 million) over USC ($73 million). The Big Ten also placed five teams on the list.

According to Forbes:

Texas has been college football's most valuable team since 2009, when it usurped Notre Dame's top spot with a value of $119 million. The team's unprecedented value is built on the back of the nation's most dedicated fan base, which has helped Texas lead all schools in merchandise sales, secure the most lucrative school-specific TV deal and become the only college football team in history to cross $100 million in revenue, which the Longhorns have done for the last two seasons.

Last year Texas had income of $109 million; no other team made more than $90 million. The biggest source of revenue was ticket sales, which contributed $34.5 million last season, an increase of more than $2 million from the previous year. Texas football also collected $30 million from contributions and another $15 million from Big 12 and NCAA distributions.

It's a far cry from Forbes' $2.3 billion valuation of the Dallas Cowboys, showing the vast chasm that exists between the NFL and college football (outside of coaches' salaries), but it's one of the reasons the Texas football job is both coveted and laced with pressure.

It gives you some idea of the program's popularity in Texas, as well, considering the school has lost 20 games in the last four seasons and still sold more merchandise than Alabama, which won three of the last four national championships, and Notre Dame, which plays all of its games on national TV and has a nation-wide following.

Forbes Estimated Value, College Football Programs

Rank Team Estimated Value (In Millions)
1. Texas $139
2. Notre Dame 117
3.  Alabama 110
4. LSU 105
5. Michigan 104
6. Florida 94
7. Oklahoma 92
8. Georgia 91
9. Ohio State 83
10. Nebraska 80
11. Auburn 77
12.  Arkansas 74
13. USC 73
14. Texas A&M 72
15. Penn State 71
16. Wisconsin 70
17. Washington 66
18. South Carolina 65
19. Oregon 64
20. Tennessee 63