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Forbes rates Texas as college football’s most valuable program

Mississippi v Texas Getty Images

This should come as no surprise — even in light of Nick Saban staying in Tuscaloosa — but Texas is college football’s most valuable program, according to Forbes. Texas is worth $139 million, a staggering figure $22 million more than the second-most valuable program (Notre Dame, $117 million).

Rounding out Forbes’ top 10: Alabama ($110 million), LSU ($105 million), Michigan ($104 million), Florida ($94 million), Oklahoma ($94 million), Georgia ($91 million), Ohio State ($83 million) and Nebraska ($80 million).

Auburn checks in at No. 11 with a value of $77 million, while BCS Championship foe Florida State didn’t make Forbes’ top 20. In fact, no ACC team cracked the top 20, though the article notes FSU and Clemson both have values north of $50 million that’ll be boosted next year by BCS berths.

Here’s Forbes’ methodology:

To determine college football’s most valuable teams, we consider each team’s value to its athletic department, its university’s academic endeavors, its conference and its school’s local economy. Athletic value consists of football profit that is directed toward supporting non-revenue sports, like softball or gymnastics, while a team’s value to academics consists of money that supports football scholarships or other non-athletic programming, like faculty support, non-athletic scholarships or a library fund. Conference value consists of revenue generated for other conference teams by participating in a bowl game, and a team’s value to its local community consists of the direct spending injected by fans visiting the area on days of the team’s home games.

Our financial data is for the 2012-13 season, and we utilize team revenues and expenses as reported to the Department of Education. We also standardize those financial figures to account for differences in each school’s accounting practices.

Texas is the best job in the country, and these figures only further that notion. Being the best job doesn’t necessarily equate with being the best program — Texas hasn’t been to a BCS bowl since January of 2010 — so winning isn’t a guarantee despite the heaps of cash the Longhorns can pull in.

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29 Responses to “Forbes rates Texas as college football’s most valuable program”
  1. imaduffer says: Dec 18, 2013 11:52 AM

    And the players that make all this possible make?

  2. irishdodger says: Dec 18, 2013 12:06 PM


    And the players that make all this possible make?

    ANSWER: The same amount that the fans that make all this possible make…ZERO.

    Don’t like it? Don’t play college football. Go to Canada or the UFL or Arena League. See how those platforms display a player’s talent and get back to me. Life ain’t fair…wear a helmet.

  3. 8to80texansblog says: Dec 18, 2013 12:23 PM

    “Texas is the best job in the country”

    Then why doesn’t anyone want it….?

  4. wingsdjy says: Dec 18, 2013 12:34 PM


    The (good) players get a free education. It’s up to them if they want to take advantage of it.

  5. thekingdave says: Dec 18, 2013 12:38 PM


    This coming from a guy who’s team hired Sumlin from UH, who wouldn’t have made Texas’s list if Mack had resigned in 2011. Oh no, Saban’s staying at Alabama, the sky is falling and zero coaches want to come to Texas (insert sarcasm).

  6. halbert53 says: Dec 18, 2013 12:40 PM

    Just because the UT program is the most valuable in terms of money doesn’t mean the UT HC job is the best HC job in college FB. tOSU doesn’t rank at the top in terms of value, but was able to hire one of the top two coaches. There is no direct correlation (cause and effect) between program value and the hierarchy of how good the HC job ranks, just like value doesn’t automatically transform onto the playing field in terms of wins and losses. UT is one of the top HC jobs, but the fact the job hasn’t been filled yet by one of the top coaches reinforces that it is not the top HC job.

  7. bender4700 says: Dec 18, 2013 12:44 PM

    For those who doubted, told ya so.

    I like being right.

  8. jdbaker01 says: Dec 18, 2013 1:04 PM

    “Texas hasn’t been to a BCS bowl since January of 2010” – that statement is a little bit of “sensationalism”. The same statement could be said of every other program in the nation except 5 (Alabama, Auburn, Oregon, Notre Dame, and LSU being the exceptions). The fact is only 3 of the top 10 have been in the BCS championship since 2010, so what really difference does it make? Truth is BCS is a fraud and we need a full 16 game (4 week) playoff system.

  9. jdbaker01 says: Dec 18, 2013 1:04 PM

    16 game was supposed to be 16 team

  10. halbert53 says: Dec 18, 2013 1:10 PM

    As to players pay/scholarships, having worked in an athletic department six years, there is a lot of info many people don’t realize. A FB full ride covers tuition, required fees, housing and meals. The tuition waiver is “soft ” money that costs the university zilch. A GA assistant coach or athletic trainer for example gets a tuition waiver (soft money) and a monthly stipend (hard money).

    Housing (on campus) is also soft money.

    Bottom line is that most of what FB players get cost university zilch. Typical athlete is playing and training year-round about 40 hours for practice, travel, etc.

  11. jimbo75025 says: Dec 18, 2013 1:17 PM

    Got to love the arbitrary “top 10” lists. In 1960 there probably were a top 5 or 10 jobs, but in 2013 there is probably less difference between #1 and #25 than most people think. All big programs are televised each week and coaching salaries are certainly not on a downward spiral. Sure there is the oddball coach who is getting paid 7 million and can probably justify it(Saban), but pretty much every other coach is going to be “worth” 3-5 million based on their track record wherever they go on the open market.

    If Texas wants to spend 7 million on a coach who could only justify a 4 million salary anywhere else, that is their business. Seems to me though that UT forced out their borderline HOF coach without considering that the apple of their eye (Saban) may not bat a serious eye their way.

  12. amosalanzostagg says: Dec 18, 2013 1:31 PM

    king dave,

    let’s see who texas actually hires.

    texas doing less with more, 1 National Championship in 43 years.

    The ROI sucks.


  13. stouchst says: Dec 18, 2013 1:36 PM

    For all the haters who wonder why UT hasn’t hired a new coach, consider that Mack Brown is the current coach until after the Alamo Bowl. The University of Texas has class. Mack Brown was allowed to retire. At the appropriate time, the University will announce who the new coach will be.

  14. stouchst says: Dec 18, 2013 1:39 PM


    ” but in 2013 there is probably less difference between #1 and #25 than most people think.”

    The difference for a collegiate head coach is around $4 – $7 million annually. The next coach at the University of Texas will make around $8 – $10 million annually as a state employee with benefits in a state that has no state income tax.

  15. scotchman says: Dec 18, 2013 1:54 PM

    8to80texansblog says:
    Dec 18, 2013 12:23 PM

    Then why doesn’t anyone want it….?

    It seems that way because this is the time of year when all coaches are denying any interest in any other jobs. Let’s see who Texas ends up with before assuming that nobody wants the gig.

  16. wingsdjy says: Dec 18, 2013 2:04 PM

    @ jdbaker01:

    The article says “BCS Bowl” not “BCS National Championship”. I get what you’re saying, but we’re talking about something that 10 teams get to participate in annually, not 2.

    @ halbert53:

    Technically, it costs the university a set of 120 (or more) credit hours that some other student could be paying for. And if it weren’t for football, student athletes would have to pay “hard money” to go to a good university.

    Personally, I’d like to see more universities push the “student” half of student athlete. A lot of good college football players aren’t going to make it in the NFL, and it’d be nice if the coaches/universities made more of an effort to give these kids a solid back-up plan.

  17. jdbaker01 says: Dec 18, 2013 2:10 PM

    @wingsdjy good catch, i thought it was talking about BCS championship game but you are right, it’s a BCS bowl not championship. My mistake.

  18. vie05ua says: Dec 18, 2013 2:14 PM

    @bender4700 – you’ve been arguing on other articles as UT is the best program. Forbes only states it’s the most valuable, huge difference.

    Value is something that can be quantified.

    “Best” is a subjective assessment or opinion based on one’s own observations. Saying UT is the “best” coaching job is all in perspective, as UT has more politics involved in day to day operations, something that would make it more desirable to one coach, but might make it a complete nightmare to another.

    No one has ever denied UT brings in the most money.

  19. 8to80texansblog says: Dec 18, 2013 2:14 PM


    I’ll be the first to tell you that I wasn’t sure about the Sumlin hire. I would have rather had Briles at the time… Probably still would…

    That said… all you Longhorns think Texas can just flash their money around and everyone will come like moths to a flame… but if you ask me… I think the LHN and politics of being the HC of Texas are more than a lot of coaches are willing to deal with… even at $10MM/yr.

    The list of coaches that have said no to “the best job in the country” is getting a bit long…

  20. normtide says: Dec 18, 2013 2:20 PM

    Money doesn’t equal winning? The b1g missed football 101 that day I guessed.

    Irishdodger- greatest post ever. Ty

  21. jimbo75025 says: Dec 18, 2013 3:30 PM

    stouchst says: Dec 18, 2013 1:39 PM

    The difference for a collegiate head coach is around $4 – $7 million annually. The next coach at the University of Texas will make around $8 – $10 million annually as a state employee with benefits in a state that has no state income tax.
    You seem to have missed my point. Texas can pay their coach whatever they please-both literally and from a figurative sense. Does paying a coach $10 million that nobody else has or would pay $5 million actually benefit anyone besides the coach?

    If I was a Texas fan I would be a bit worried. History has shown that the coach following a dismissed/resigned long time coach is usually a whiff.

  22. amosalanzostagg says: Dec 18, 2013 3:38 PM


    For every DKR, there is an Akers, McWilliams and Mackovic.

    Trust me, you know what we had to go through before Saban and after Bear.


  23. fsu01 says: Dec 18, 2013 4:14 PM

    Best is also based on timing. Let me give you an example. If you like a program that has the resources to be one of the best, but is not there and will take a couple or two years to get there, or if a coach leaves for another program or retires leaving a good (already there) program then it is about timing. For example, if Jimbo Fisher takes the Texas job leaving an opening at FSU, which job would you rather have this off season? The most valuable franchise as listed by Forbes which may take 2-5 years to return to the prominence they once knew or an FSU program that is playing for the national championship and returns a Heisman trophy winner and most of its other key components and should compete for a national championship again next year?

  24. polish1232 says: Dec 18, 2013 5:05 PM

    I love all these Texas haters saying all the top coaches are turning this HC job down. Fact is, nobody has even been contacted about this job. Saban has said that no communication ever took place. Every coach in the country will state publicly that they are not interested as not to alienate their current fan base. Wait, so two new NFL coaches have said no. Big Surprise there. I hope Jon Gruden takes the job, as has expressed interest because there is no backlash from his players or fans. I’ll bet my next 2 paychecks that no coach is hired until the 2nd week in January and all bowl games are over. There is no rush for a brand new AD to make a decision in 3 days. No other big school is going to beat us to the hiring punch.

  25. 8to80texansblog says: Dec 18, 2013 6:13 PM


    I agree with a lot of what you’re saying but traditionally schools that lose a HC try to replace him before the bowl to take advantage of recruiting time.

    Now I’ll admit this is a different situation with Mack still there through the bowl…

  26. shadowshand says: Dec 18, 2013 7:45 PM


    No one has even been contacted about this job?

    You can’t seriously believe that? We don’t know who–or whose agent–has been contacted, but I suspect you could safely bet every dollar you will EVER make that the wheels are turning and several folks have been specifically targeted and the initial contacts made.

  27. shadowshand says: Dec 18, 2013 7:47 PM

    I notice no private school, specifically Southern Cal, is on the list.

  28. shadowshand says: Dec 18, 2013 7:47 PM

    Oops–Notre Dame. My bad.

  29. cranespy says: Dec 18, 2013 10:34 PM

    The Horns need a coach who is intelligent, innovative and inspirational. They need a coach who can recruit the state of Texas, a coach who can put points on the scoreboard….one who knows the Big 12 and has a proven record of success there…..forget Briles, Gundy, Malzahn, Graham, Fisher and yes even Gruden…..Texas needs The Pirate himself……Mike Leach.

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