Let’s not kid ourselves, college football and college athletics in general have become a big business. Just look at the number of game day staff that are in press boxes or dealing with “guest relations”…we could go on and on, but we won’t.
Yet, not every school is getting bang for its buck or making the money needed to keep a program afloat just on football alone. Luckily the Big Ten doesn’t appear to have a lot of those problems, as Forbes released its ranking of the Top 20 most valuable college football programs in the country.
The Big Ten managed to put five programs on this list for 2014, second most of any conference (the SEC led with nine). Leading the way was the University of Michigan, who came in at No. 3 in the rankings and was ranked higher than any SEC school on the list.
According to the Forbes report, Michigan has a value of $117 million, with revenues of $91 million and a cool $65 million in profit.
The list was topped by Texas who was valued at $131 million and Notre Dame came in second with a value of $122 million.
Michigan’s rival, Ohio State, joined them in the top 10 — coming in at No. 9 with a value of $87 million and a profit of $39 million.
Also joining those two were Penn State (No. 12 – $80 million value), Nebraska (No. 15 – $73 million value) and Michigan State (Tied No. 16 – $72 million).
The Iowa Hawkeyes and Wisconsin Badgers were nearly on the top 20 list, but are ranked No. 22 and No. 23 respectively.
Having Ohio State make the inaugural College Football Playoff is a $6 million boon to the Big Ten coffers and Michigan State’s appearance in a “New Years Six” bowl game also will help the rest of the conference make some serious cash in bowl season.
Now the quest becomes turning the monetary advantage the Big Ten has over the likes of the ACC, Big 12 and Pac-12 in to an advantage on the field. Winning more than losing in the bowl season would be a good place to start.
That quest gets underway on Saturday, Dec. 27 with Illinois and Rutgers in action for the Big Ten.