Friday, December 27, 2013

Longhorns are still college football's most valuable team: Report

Texas may be south of the Top-25 when it comes to the college football pollsters, but for the fifth straight year, the 8-and-4 Longhorns are still number one with the accountants.

The Longhorns football team is now worth $139 million, almost 20% more than any other team in the country, according to Forbes Magazine.

Texas has been college football’s most valuable team since 2009, when it took over the top-spot from  Notre Dame with a value of $119 million. The team’s unprecedented value is built on the back of the nation’s most dedicated fan base, which has helped Texas lead all schools in merchandise sales, secure the most lucrative school-specific TV deal and become the only college football team in history to cross $100 million in revenue, which the Longhorns have done for the last two seasons.

College football’s second-most valuable team in 2013 is Notre Dame, which rebounded to $117 million after suffering a down year. The 14% surge in value is mostly tied to the Fighting Irish “hosting” an additional home game (which was played in Chicago’s Soldier Field), providing support to academic programming that’s unmatched by any team in college football and qualifying for the BCS National Championship, which netted the school a unique $6.2 million payout.

Alabama has risen from sixth to third this year, with the Crimson Tide’s value up 15% to $110 million. It’s the first time an SEC team has cracked the top three since Georgia held the No. 3 spot in 2007. Alabama’s rise stems not only from the financial rewards of dominating on the field, where the Crimson Tide have won three of the last four BCS National Championships, but also the one-time payout it received for playing Michigan in a season-opening game at AT&T Stadium last year.

To determine college football’s most valuable teams, Forbes considers each team’s value to its athletic department, its university’s academic endeavors, its conference and its school’s local economy. Athletic value consists of football profit that is directed toward supporting non-revenue sports, like softball or gymnastics, while a team’s value to academics consists of money that supports football scholarships or other non-athletic programming, like faculty support, non-athletic scholarships or a library fund. Conference value consists of revenue generated for other conference teams by participating in a bowl game, and a team’s value to its local community consists of the direct spending injected by fans visiting the area on days of the team’s home games.

The Longhorns are still number two in Lone Star State football though. The Dallas Cowboys dwarf their college rivals with a value of an estimated $2.3 billion.

Following Texas, Notre Dame and Alabama, says Forbes, are LSU, Michigan, Florida, Oklahoma, Georgia, Ohio State and Nebraska.

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