Forbes includes 9 SEC teams among top 20 most valuable programs
Between television rights, alumni donations, sponsorships and ticket sales, college football is huge business. It doesn’t always translate to higher rankings and championships, but many of the top teams in revenue and expenses are also near the top in the polls.
Forbes has released an annual list of the most valuable programs based on average football revenue across the 2015, 2016 and 2017 seasons. Revenues are rounded to the nearest million, and ties in revenue are broken using average annual operating profit.
Texas A&M edged out rival Texas for the top spot as the two teams are tied in average annual football revenue, but the Aggies come out on top thanks to a slightly superior operating profit — $94 million to $92 million, a tiebreaker the publication uses.
The Aggies have $147 million in average football revenue, as “much of the Aggies’ recent earning power has come from a wave of alumni contributions tied to athletic construction projects. In 2017-18, contributions earmarked for football were $46 million, up 34 percent year-over-year. But it’s not just generous alumni. The team also ranks third in revenue from ticket sales ($41 million), and the A&M athletic department is fifth among those on our list in total income from licensing and sponsorship deals ($19 million).
Clemson’s recent championship success has helped the Tigers make their debut on the annual list. The Tigers with average annual football revenue of $77 million, are good for No. 25 in the country.
Here are where the SEC teams rank:
1. Texas A&M $147 million
4. Alabama $134 million
7. Georgia $125 million
9. Florida $117 million
10. Auburn $117 million
11. LSU $114 million
12. Tennessee $113 million
16. (tie) South Carolina $95 million
Arkansas $95 million
24. Ole Miss $84 million