There are big dollars in college football, and the Southeastern Conference and their universities might set the standard. Forbes has recently released their yearly article of the most valuable teams in college football. This is done based on a point system that ranks the teams on four components. The components include, football income being used for general education purposes (i.e scholarships for athletes and non-athletes), the second component is net profit by the football program that is used by the athletic department, third is the value the university brings to the conference, and the last component is the value the program is to the surrounding communities. There are currently eight Southeastern Conference teams on this list, and if you include the newcomers in 2012 it adds the SEC to have nine of the top twenty.
The LSU Tigers lead the way for the SEC ranking fourth on the list being valued at $96 million dollars. The Tigers who are best in Death Valley brought an estimated $8.5 million to Baton Rouge, LA in their seven home games. Forbes has the Tigers making $47 million in football profit, up 12% in the last two years.
The sixth team on the list is the Alabama Crimson Tide being valued at $93 million dollars. The Tide held the second highest mark in football revenue with $77 million dollars, and they donated $6.5 million to the academic programs last year. They are up 1% in the last two years.
The seventh team goes to the SEC East and the Georgia Bulldogs valued at $90 million dollars. The bulldogs have a football profit of $53 million dollars that is highest in the SEC, and third in the nation. That profit has came with a 7% change in value in the last two years.
The eighth team is the Arkansas Razorbacks who are valued at $89 million dollars. The Hogs have seen rapid growth since the hire of Bobby Petrino and are up 59% since 2009.
The ninth team is also in the west division, the Auburn Tigers, who are valued at $88 million dollars. The Tigers saw growth from playing in the BCS National Title game which helped moved the Tigers up five spots on Forbes list.
The eleventh team is the Florida Gators who are valued at $86 million dollars. The Gators have dropped 1% since 2009, but are holding steady in merchandise sales which are the third highest in the country.
The twelfth team is the Tennessee Volunteers who come in valued at $82 million dollars. The Volunteers are struggling on the field but are growing on the list and are up 6%. They have generated $8 million dollars for the City of Knoxville.
The sixteenth team goes to the South Carolina Gamecocks who come in valued at $64 million dollars. The Gamecocks have seen a tremendous drop in the last two years, and our down 20% which is mostly due to poor ticket sales recently in Columbia, SC.
One of the newcomers to the league came in at seventeen. The Texas A&M Aggies are valued at $63 million dollars. The Aggies are on the rise with an increase of 19% and should gain more ground in 2012 playing in the SEC.
That gives the SEC a little less than half of the top twenty teams in the NCAA and just proves more to the dominance of the conference in college football. It also is the reason for the ESPN television contracts and the reason for all the expansion talks. College Football has become a big business and the SEC is the standard that the other conferences are trying to achieve.