‘Tis the season for bowl games, and ’tis the season for NCAA football rankings. Now that we all know which teams have secured themselves spots for the end-of-year party, Forbes has published a different sort of ranking. On this list, some of the best teams don’t fare so well. In fact, Auburn and Florida State don’t even make the top seven.
Forbes recently released its annually updated list of most valuable college football teams, revealing that of the top 10, seven hail from the SEC. Let’s take a look at the seven most valuable college football teams, according to Forbes.
7. Florida Gators / SEC / Team value: $93 million
The Florida Gators kick off our list at seventh. Valued at $93 million, this SEC team takes in revenue of $74 million with a profit of $51 million. The Gators have won three national championships and eight SEC titles in the 106-season history of their varsity football program, but 2013 marked a particularly poor season. The team finished 4-8 and missed making a bowl game for the first time since 2001. Despite the unfortunate 2013 scorecard, Florida still knows how to rake in the big bucks, holding its own on Forbes’ list. Meanwhile, rival Florida State doesn’t even make the top 20 — though the ‘Noles are headed to the BCS National Championship game in January.
6. Alabama Crimson Tide / SEC / $95 million
This next team rolls its way to No. 6 on Forbes’ list with a value of $95 million. Alabama is also in the SEC, but unlike Florida, it boasts a greater $82 million revenue figure, which equates to a profit of $45 million. The Tide’s overall profit is notably lower than Florida’s, but it still maintains its rank on the list thanks to the team’s greater reported value. Alabama will take on Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl on January 2. Roll, Tide, roll.
5. Georgia Bulldogs / SEC / $99 million
Surprise, surprise: At No. 5 is another team from the SEC. The Georgia Bulldogs of Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia, are worth $4 million more than Alabama’s squad, sitting at $99 million. Georgia’s total revenue figure stands at $75 million, while its profit comes to $52 million. The Bulldogs will face the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Gator Bowl on January 1.
4. LSU Tigers / SEC / $102 million
Another popular SEC team takes Forbes’s No .4 spot with a total value of more than $100 million. Forbes reports that the Tigers are now worth $102 million — their revenue stands at $69 million while their profit comes to $45 million. The Tigers enjoy a great deal of attention when it comes to college football: They have won three BCS National Championships, among other accolades. LSU has been featured on ESPN College GameDay a total of 20 times, and the show has broadcast from Baton Rouge nine times.
3. Notre Dame Fighting Irish / Independent / $103 million
Coming in at No.3 is a team not in the SEC — in fact, it’s the only squad in the top 20 not from a power conference. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are the third most valuable college football team on Forbes’ list, and the college has its strong alumni base to thank for that. The Fighting Irish are now worth $103 million and bring in revenue of $69 million compared to a profit of $43 million. Notre Dame’s exclusive broadcast deal with NBC obviously provides the team great value, but the Irish faithful’s willingness to donate money and travel to away games also surely helps the team’s cause.
2. Michigan Wolverines / Big Ten / $120 million
The No. 2 spot on Forbes’ list goes to the only Big 10 team that makes the top 10. The Wolverines prove that it’s lonely at the top, and Michigan is very close to the top, considering the team is worth $120 million. Compare that to No. 3 Notre Dame, which is valued at $17 million less than Michigan. The Wolverines invite their rivals to the Big House — one of the largest football stadiums in the world – every fall and bring in revenue of about $85 million, making a profit of $62 million. Like Notre Dame, Michigan also benefits from a particularly strong alumni base.
1. Texas Longhorns / Big 12 / $133 million
Coming in at No. 1 are the Texas Longhorns, a team in the Big 12 that is worth an exorbitant $133 million, effectively blowing all of its rivals away. Hailing from Austin, Texas, the school’s football program is worth more than the calculated value of several NFL teams and is also known as a great historic program. Despite coming in first on Forbes‘ list, the Longhorns have to worry about taking on the Oregon Ducks at the Alamo Bowl on December 30, and they also have to worry about replacing their former coach, Mack Brown, who has officially stepped down.
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