Notre Dame No. 2 in ranking of football riches, IU tops Purdue

January 9, 2014
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Florida State may be the BCS national champion, but when it comes to cash flow and valuation, the Seminoles can’t touch Texas and Notre Dame.

Those two college football programs are head-and-shoulders—financially speaking—above the rest according to a recent study released by Indiana University finance professor Ryan Brewer.

In 2011, IBJ first wrote about Brewer’s work valuing college football programs the way Wall Street analysts value for-profit businesses. Since then, several other noted publications, including the Wall Street Journal, have written about Brewer’s valuations.
College football fans coast-to-coast have taken note of this year’s list.

“I’ve had interest in it from Miami to Jacksonville [and from] Montreal to Seattle,” Brewer said.

No program approaches Texas in terms of football revenue. The Longhorns brought in just over $131 million during its most recently reported fiscal year, according to Brewer’s calculations using specific and non-specific football revenue. Notre Dame scored $96.6 million in revenue, according to Brewer.

Based on revenue and other factors, Brewer gave Texas’ football program an $875 million valuation and pegged Notre Dame at $811.5 million.

Florida State, which beat Auburn in the national championship game on Monday, had football related revenue of $54.1 million during its most recently reported fiscal year and carries a valuation of $277.9 million, according to Brewer, putting FSU No. 22 on his list.

Brewer’s initial 242-page study was more than two years in the making. He’s now expanded it to include private institutions such as Notre Dame and Southern Cal.

Brewer derives his valuations by considering long-term on-field performance, stadium size, state-by-state growth rates, cash flow, revenues and other factors.

The one thing that is quickly evident from Brewer’s list is how dominant—and football rich—the SEC and Big Ten conferences are.

The Big Ten has six of its football programs in the top 15 in terms of valuation, according to Brewer.

While the SEC’s top school in Brewer’s most recent valuation—Florida—is ranked behind the Big Ten’s top two schools (Michigan and Ohio State), the SEC has a staggering five schools in the top 10 and eight in the top 18, according to Brewer.

Interesting note for Indiana residents is that IU ranks higher than Purdue, although according to Brewer’s study Purdue brought in more football related revenue ($39.9 million) than Indiana ($39.4 million).

IU ranks No. 46 with a $125.8 million valuation while Purdue ranks No. 48 with a $114.6 million valuation.

Purdue’s stated football revenue was $20.2 million. IU's stated football revenue was $24.4 million. Purdue's stated expenses related to football were $17.6 million, while IU’s stated football expenses were $15.9 million, Brewer explained.

“I made adjustments to these numbers to reflect the football aspects of the non-football revenues and expenses. Yet still, IU ended up with over $15 million in adjusted football related cash flow while Purdue had about half of that,” Brewer said. “So in short, IU football created much more in free cash flow for use by its host university than did Purdue.”

Methods for estimating program revenues include applying Brewer’s proprietary system of procedures to adjust for multi-sport revenue sources and facility-specific revenues not pertaining to any one sport program. Cash flows reflect certain programs' efficiency in providing cash to its owner (host university).

This explains why certain program values don't necessarily correspond to revenue levels one-to-one. However, Brewer noted that there is clearly a strong correlation between revenue and value.

Here’s the entire list from top to bottom. Read, enjoy and let the debate begin.

1. Texas $875 million
2. Notre Dame $811.5 million
3. Michigan $685.5 million
4. Ohio State $674.8 million
5. Florida $660.8 million
6. Oklahoma $655.2 million
7. Alabama $640.1 million
8. Georgia $581.8 million
9. Auburn $537.6 million
10. LSU $529.8 million
11. Iowa $479.1 million
12. Nebraska $432.5 million
13. Wisconsin $406.4 million
14. Penn State $377.6 million
15. Southern California $342.3 million
16. Tennessee $340.4 million
17. South Carolina $331.6 million
18. Arkansas $315.1 million
19. Oregon $313.7 million
20. Washington $305.7 million
21. Texas A & M $299.8 million
22. Florida State $277.9 million
23. UCLA $246 million
24. Kansas State $243.4 million
25. Clemson $242.6 million
26. California Berkely $230.1 million
27. Texas Tech $229 million
28. Oklahoma State $218.5 million
29. Michigan State $212.9 million
30. Kansas $211.1 million
31. Virginia Tech $203.7 million
32. Arizona State $196.8 million
33. Georgia Tech $184.9 million
34. Mississippi $183.9 million
35. Miami of Florida $180.8 million
36. Minnesota $179.7 million
37. Kentucky $162.9 million
38. Colorado $160.9 million
39. Utah $157.2 million
40. Northwestern $154.5 million
41. Iowa State $152.1 million
42. Oregon State $150 million
43. Stanford $146.4 million
44. North Carolina $131.8 million
45. West Virginia $130.1 million
46. Indiana $125.8 million
47. North Carolina State $119.3 million
48. Purdue $114.6 million
49. Syracuse $105.7 million
50. Miss State $102 million
51. Washington State $101.5 million
52. South Florida $100.3 million
53. Missouri $98.5 million
54. Arizona $97.9 million
55. Illinois $94.5 million
56. BYU $87.5 million
57. Baylor $85.9 million
58. UCONN $85.6 million
59. Boise State $79.6 million
60. Texas Christian $77.3 million
61. Boston College $74.3 million
62. Louisville $72.2 million
63. Central Florida $68.8 million
64. Maryland $66.2 million
65. Rutgers $63.3 million
66. Virginia $54 million
67. Vanderbilt $47.1 million
68. Army $44.7 million
69. Duke $44.7 million
70. Pitt $40 million
71. Cincinnati $36.9 million
72. Southern Methodist $33.6 million
73. Wake Forest $33.3 million
74. Temple $32 million
75. Fresno State $29.8 million
76. Hawaii $25.4 million
77. Colorado State $25.2 million
78. Memphis $25.1 million
79. Marshall $25 million
80. Houston $24.8 million
81. Wyoming $24.4 million
82. UTEP $24 million
83. San Diego State $23.1 million
84. Florida International $22.7 million
85. North Texas $22.1 million
86. East Carolina $21.3 million
87. Troy $20.1 million
88. Rice $20 million
89. San Jose State $18.9 million
90. Florida Atlantic $17.3 million
91. Middle Tennessee $16.9 million
92. UAB $16.1 million
93. Toledo $16 million
94. Ohio $15.7 million
95. Northern Illinois $15.5 million
96. Utah State $15.2 million
97. Western Michigan $15 million
98. Akron $14.9 million
99. Buffalo $14.7 million
100. Western Kentucky $14.1 million
101. New Mexico $13.9 million
102. Eastern Michigan $13.7 million
103. Southern Miss $12.9 million
104. Miami ? Ohio $12.8 million
105. Bowling Green $12.7 million
106. Central Michigan $12.5 million
107. New Mexico State $12.1 million
108. Kent State $12 million
109. UNLV $11.5 million
110. Ball State $11.2 million
111. Louisiana Lafayette $10.4 million
112. Nevada $10.3 million
113. Louisiana Tech $9.4 million
114. Idaho $8.6 million
115. Arkansas State $8.2 million
116. Louisiana Monroe $5 million


  • A thought...
    Confirms what we all know. Unlike makeups of their universities, major college football operates more as a capitalist endeavor, and that is a good thing. Isn't it high team the NFL make efforts toward a farm league and separate from the NCAA and universities? That way the players would have a way to profit from their risk and not others on their behalf. But I view it as an uphill climb against some tough superstitions (traditions will have to be adapted and changed) that will have to tumble.
  • Football riches
    This shows money can't buy national championships
  • Subjective formula
    I am an IU alum so love that the formula indicates a higher value on the IU football program that the PU program. With that said and not know the details behind the formula, it seems subjective when IU football can have a higher valuation than a program that has more tradition and much more success over the last 10 years. A good example is Louisville with a valuation of #62/$72M vs IU at #46/$125M. Louisville wins 10+ games a year and sells out a 60k stadium every game and goes to a good bowl game most years. It doesn't compute.
    • It's all about Cash Flow
      Clearly the author of the study understands finance. It's all about revenues and cash flow. SO, yeah great that UL has won lots of games, but at the end of the day, Value is driven by Money. Simple as that.
    • and yet
      And yet the purpose a university is not profit but education, and education in a Roman catholic institution would be the same as the purpose of life "know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in heaven," from the old Baltimore Catechism which I think must be valid unless God is now the Almighty dollar
    • Who Cares?
      Just let's you know "where the money goes" in colleges. High priced tickets/concessions/clothing. Sometimes the costs rival pro sports.

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