For the second straight release, Texas has been determined to be the most valuable college football program in the country according to a renowned business magazine. And, thanks to a controversial network that wasn’t even included this latest evaluation, that stranglehold on the top spot is not about to end in the foreseeable future.
In its latest rankings of College Football’s Most Valuable Teams, Forbes.com has pegged the value of the Longhorns at $129 million, up roughly eight percent from its value in the 2009 rankings. UT is well ahead of No. 2 Notre Dame, with the Irish coming in at $112 million.
That gap will likely only widen, however; the 20-year, $300 million deal for the Longhorn Network was not included in Forbes’ most recent set of financial calculations.
Forbes also laid out exactly how it comes to its financial estimates:
… Unlike our NFL Team Valuations, which estimates each team’s enterprise value in an arms-length transaction, our college football ranking evaluates the financial impact each team has on four distinct areas. The two areas most important to our study are a team’s academic value, or the revenue directed towards university programs and spending (including football scholarships), and its athletic value, which is the football revenue used to support other athletic programs. The remaining two areas are weighted less heavily in our scoring system. They consist of the distribution of bowl game revenue amongst conference teams and the economic impact of visiting fans for each team’s home games.
While UT’s value will only continue to rise thanks in part to the LHN, another school will likely see its value tumble in the next set of rankings.
Penn State is currently the third-most valuable team in college football, but that value was determined prior to the Jerry Sandusky child-sex abuse scandal that rocked the State College school last month. As Forbes writes, “we expect the team to fall quite a bit in future rankings.”
As expected, the SEC and Big Ten accounts for a sizable majority of Forbes’ Top 20 — eight for the former (nine if you include Texas A&M), seven for the latter. In fact, exactly half of the members of the Top Ten come from the conference that, after Jan. 9, will have won the last six BcS titles.
Oklahoma State was the only team to fall out of the rankings, replaced by Iowa.
Below are the 20 teams that make up the upper financial echelon of the Forbes rankings:
1. Texas, $129 million (up 8% from 2009)
2. Notre Dame, $112 million (up 4%)
3. Penn State, $100 million (up 1%)
4. LSU, $96 million (up 12%)
5. Michigan, $94 million (up 15%)
6. Alabama, $93 million (up 1%)
7. Georgia, $90 million ( up 7%)
8. Arkansas, $89 million (up 59%)
9. Auburn, $88 million (up 27%)
10. Oklahoma, $87 million (up 5%)
11. Florida, $86 million (down 1%)
12. Tennessee, $82 million (up 6%)
13. Ohio State, $78 million (down 8%)
14. Nebraska, $77 million (down 18%)
15. Wisconsin, $67 million (up 40 percent)
16. South Carolina, $64 million (down 20%)
17. Texas A&M, $63 million (up 19%)
18. USC, $62 million (down 9%)
19. Michigan State, $59 million (3%)
20. Iowa, $48 million (unranked)