How much are college QBs worth to schools? Study puts monetary value on signal callers

NCAA Football: Alabama at Texas A&M

Quarterbacks are the face of nearly every team, and if any particular one reaches superstardom under center, they essentially become the face of the program with a powerful brand.

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If college athletes were to be paid, how much would they be paid? How would you determine how valuable a player is to a particular school?

Glad you asked.

FiveThirtyEight.com recently completed a case study breaking down the value of current and past college quarterbacks and how much each is/was worth to their university.

Here’s a look at some past elite quarterbacks’ value:

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Here’s a look at 2013 quarterbacks’ value:

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So, how did the site come up with the numbers? Here are a few blips from the article taken to calculate the numbers for the case study:

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  • “The first step of our analysis used a ‘school-fixed effects’ win-probability model to isolate how each quarterback affected his team’s winning percentage. We controlled for opponent quality, home field advantage and ‘school-fixed effects,’ because a star quarterback at a football powerhouse like the University of Florida will win more games than one at Baylor University, all other things being equal.”
  • “From there, we took the QB’s marginal contributions and extrapolated them over an average season to estimate an expected ‘wins added.’”
  • FiveThirtyEight then calculated the quarterback’s win share and economic value, although the economic value was taxing.

The site concluded the value of one additional win is worth close to three-quarters of a million dollars. The upper echelon of elite quarterbacks – the site called them truly elite – could add as many as four wins and more than $3 million to the school’s annual revenue.

Read the full article and breakdown from the site here.

Photo Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

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