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For Longhorns, Money Grows on Football Program Instead of Trees

Jun 30, 2010 – 8:00 AM
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Brett McMurphy

Brett McMurphy %BloggerTitle%

Second of three parts. Read the first part here. Read the third part here.

Everything really is bigger in Texas. Especially when it comes to the University of Texas' bank account.

The Longhorns' football program amassed a whopping $87.5 million in gross revenue during the 2008-09 school year and the football program cleared a $65 million profit, according to figures from the U.S. Department of Education's Equity in Athletics. The 2008-09 school year is the most recent data that is available.

Both Texas-sized figures are easily the nation's largest among college football programs, according to FanHouse's comparison of the 120 Football Bowl Subdivision teams.

The Longhorns' $87.5 million in gross revenue from Texas' football program is nearly $20 million more than the amount from the next highest school, Ohio State at $68.19 million. Ohio State spent a national-high $32.3 million on its football program, about $10 million more than Texas.

Following Texas and Ohio State in football gross revenue are four SEC schools -- Florida ($66.15 million), Georgia ($65.21 million), Alabama ($64.6 million) and LSU ($61.86 million). Penn State ($61.76 million) ranks seventh, with Auburn ($58.61 million), South Carolina ($57.11 million) and Notre Dame ($56.92 million) rounding out the top 10.



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The SEC had six of the top 10 revenue producers.

Of the top 10 schools in gross revenue for the 2008-09 school year, only four -- Florida, Texas, Ohio State and Alabama -- earned BCS bowl berths.

The biggest revenue producing football programs in the ACC, Pac-10 and Big East, respectively, were Clemson (20th nationally, $35.205 million), USC (21st, $35.203 million) and West Virginia (26th, $28.95 million).

Texas' football program, which benefits greatly by receiving the biggest chunk of the Big 12's television revenue, also enjoyed about a $20 million advantage in net revenue over the next closest school. The Longhorns' net revenue of $65.02 million easily outdistanced Georgia at $45.38 million.

Florida ranked third nationally in net revenue ($43.29 million), followed by Penn State ($42.63 million), LSU ($39.14 million), Notre Dame ($38.18 million), Alabama ($38.16 million), Nebraska ($37.29 million), South Carolina ($37.23 million) and Ohio State ($35.89 million).

The SEC had five schools in the top 10 football programs in net revenue with the Big 12 and Big Ten having two schools each.

The other top football programs in net revenue from the Pac-10, ACC and Big East, respectively, were Oregon State (18th nationally, $18.35 million), Clemson (20th, $16.36 million) and West Virginia (28th, $13.05 million).

Even though Texas is literally printing money compared to other football programs across the country, it apparently wasn't enough for the Longhorns, who nearly left the Big 12 because of the possibility of even more revenue in the Pac-10.

Of the top 20 football programs in net revenue in 2008-09, only five schools -- Michigan (ranking 11th nationally), Auburn (12th), Texas A&M (14th), Arkansas (16th) and Tennessee (17th) -- had the dubious distinction of not playing in a bowl that season.

Of the 66 automatic qualifying BCS conference schools, only five football programs failed to make a profit for the 2008-09 school year, according to the Equity in Athletics data. Rutgers, which spent a Big East-high $19.73 million, broke even. Four other programs, however, lost money: UConn ($270,000), Syracuse ($840,000), Wake Forest ($3.07 million) and Duke ($6.72 million).

Of the four programs that lost money in 2008-09, three -- Rutgers, UConn and Wake Forest -- were successful on the field and went to bowl games.

While nearly all of the automatic-qualifying BCS conference schools' football programs finished in the black, the non-automatic BCS conference schools weren't nearly as profitable. Of the non-automatic qualifying BCS conference schools, excluding Army, Navy and Air Force, whose financial figures are not part of the Equity in Athletics study, only 17 of the 51 made a profit.

Utah, which recently accepted a bid to leave the Mountain West for the Pac-10 Conference, had the greatest net profit at $6.54 million, which ranks 49th among all 120 FBS schools. Utah, however, was the exception among non-automatic qualifying BCS schools, as 34 of the 51 either showed no profit or lost money.

On Thursday, FanHouse's series on finances in college athletics concludes with a report on which athletic departments generated the most revenue and how a bigger budget greatly increases a school's chance to reach the NCAA men's basketball tournament.

Charts below show the 66 automatic-qualifying BCS schools and net revenue for each football program, along with the 17 non-automatic qualifying BCS football programs that made a profit. Also included is a breakdown of the automatic qualifying BCS schools by conference.

*All dollar figures are in millions

BCS Football Programs Net Revenue
Source: U.S. Department of Education's Equity in Athletics report for the 2008-09 school year
Rank University Net Revenue Conference
1 Texas $65.02 Big 12
2 Georgia $45.38 SEC
3 Florida $43.29 SEC
4 Penn State $42.63 Big Ten
5 LSU $39.12 SEC
6 Notre Dame $38.18 Independent
7 Alabama $38.16 SEC
8 Nebraska $37.29 Big 12
9 South Carolina $37.23 SEC
10 Ohio State $35.89 Big Ten
11 Michigan $34.21 Big Ten
12 Auburn $29.81 SEC
13 Michigan State $27.64 Big Ten
14 Texas A&M $22.29 Big 12
15 Oklahoma $21.84 Big 12
16 Arkansas $20.33 SEC
17 Tennessee $19.84 SEC
18 Oregon State $18.35 Pac-10
19 Wisconsin $17.29 Big Ten
20 Clemson $16.36 ACC
21 Minnesota $16.34 Big Ten
22 Washington $15.64 Pac-10
23 Illinois $15.22 Big Ten
24 Colorado $14.78 Big 12
25 Oklahoma State $14.04 Big 12
26 USC $13.83 Pac-10
27 Boston College $13.26 ACC
28 West Virginia $13.05 Big East
29 Kentucky $12.90 SEC
30 Arizona State $12.64 Pac-10
31 Iowa $11.99 Big Ten
32 N.C. State $10.77 ACC
33 Texas Tech $9.62 Big 12
34 Virginia Tech $9.47 ACC
35 Ole Miss $9.17 SEC
36 Indiana $8.99 Big Ten
37 Oregon $8.92 Pac-10
38 North Carolina $8.80 ACC
39 California $8.62 Pac-10
40 Missouri $8.46 Big 12
41 Arizona $8.31 Pac-10
42 UCLA $8.25 Pac-10
43 Northwestern $8.22 Big Ten
44 Florida State $8.17 ACC
45 Louisville $7.43 Big East
46 Kansas State $7.36 Big 12
47 Iowa State $6.86 Big 12
48 Georgia Tech $6.71 ACC
49 Miami $6.18 ACC
50 Mississippi State $5.88 SEC
51 Purdue $5.66 Big Ten
52 Pittsburgh $5.57 Big East
53 Vanderbilt $4.38 SEC
54 Kansas $4.34 Big 12
55 South Florida $3.79 Big East
56 Virginia $2.99 ACC
57 Washington State $2.48 Pac-10
58 Maryland $2.26 ACC
59 Baylor $0.99 Big 12
60 Cincinnati $0.94 Big East
61 Stanford $0.66 Pac-10
62 Rutgers $0 Big East
63 UConn -$0.27 Big East
64 Syracuse -$0.84 Big East
65 Wake Forest -$3.07 ACC
66 Duke -$6.72 ACC

Non-BCS Football Programs That Turned a Profit
Source: U.S. Department of Education's Equity in Athletics report for the 2008-09 school year
Rank University Net Revenue Conference
1 Utah $6.54 MWC
2 Fresno State $3.46 WAC
3 Wyoming $3.29 MWC
4 Boise State $3.15 WAC
5 Rice $3.14 C-USA
6 UTEP $2.46 C-USA
7 BYU $2.36 MWC
8 San Diego State $2.07 MWC
9 Central Michigan $1.94 MAC
10 Central Florida $1.38 C-USA
11 Idaho $0.94 WAC
12 Kent State $0.79 MAC
13 Florida International $0.59 Sun Belt
14 Ohio $0.18 MAC
15 UAB $0.14 C-USA
16 Utah State $0.14 WAC
17 Marshall $0.12 C-USA


Breakdown of net revenue for each football program by BCS conference:

SEC


Rank

University

Revenue
1 Georgia $45.38
2 Florida $43.29
3 LSU $39.12
4 Alabama $38.16
5 South Carolina $37.23
6 Auburn $29.81
7 Arkansas $20.33
8 Tennessee $19.84
9 Kentucky $12.90
10 Mississippi $9.17
11 Mississippi State $5.88
12 Vanderbilt $4.38

Big Ten


Rank

University

Revenue
1 Penn State $42.63
2 Ohio State $35.89
3 Michigan $34.21
4 Michigan State $27.64
5 Wisconsin $17.29
6 Minnesota $16.34
7 Illinois $15.22
8 Iowa $11.99
9 Indiana $8.99
10 Northwestern $8.22
11 Purdue $5.66

Big 12


Rank

University

Revenue
1 Texas $65.02
2 Nebraska $37.29
3 Texas A&M $22.29
4 Oklahoma $21.84
5 Colorado $14.78
6 Oklahoma State $14.04
7 Texas Tech $9.62
8 Missouri $8.46
9 Kansas State $7.36
10 Iowa State $6.86
11 Kansas $4.34
12 Baylor $0.99

Pac-10


Rank

University

Revenue
1 Oregon State $18.35
2 Washington $15.64
3 USC $13.83
4 Arizona State $12.64
5 Oregon $8.92
6 California $8.62
7 Arizona $8.31
8 UCLA $8.25
9 Washington State $2.48
10 Stanford $0.66

ACC


Rank

University

Revenue
1 Clemson $16.36
2 Boston College $13.26
3 N.C. State $10.77
4 Virginia Tech $9.47
5 North Carolina $8.80
6 Florida State $8.17
7 Georgia Tech $6.71
8 Miami $6.18
9 Virginia $2.99
10 Maryland $2.26
11 Wake Forest -$3.07
12 Duke -$6.72

Big East
Source: U.S. Department of Education's Equity in Athletics report for the 2008-09 school year. All dollar figures in millions of dollars.

Rank

University

Revenue
1 West Virginia $13.05
2 Louisville $7.43
3 Pittsburgh $5.57
4 South Florida $3.79
5 Cincinnati $0.94
6 Rutgers $0
7 UConn -$0.27
8 Syracuse -$0.84

Contact FanHouse senior writer Brett McMurphy at brettmcmurphy@gmail.com or please follow on Twitter @BrettmcmurphY

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