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The 20 most valuable college football programs

College Spun logo College Spun 12/22/2015 Dan Lyons

The Texas Longhorns came in as the most valuable college football program yet again according to Forbes. © Ron Jenkins/Getty Images The Texas Longhorns came in as the most valuable college football program yet again according to Forbes. Every year, Forbes calculates the value of college football’s various programs. For the seventh year in a row, the Texas Longhorns have come out on top, despite another mediocre season. In fact, according to Forbes' Chris Smith, Texas’ value rose 16 percent this year.

Texas’ team value is up 16% this year to $152 million, and that climb to the stratosphere should hardly be a surprise at this point. Last season Texas generated an unprecedented $121 million in revenue; the Longhorns remain the only college football team to ever break the $100 million revenue mark, which they’ve done for four straight years. Even more staggering: The team booked $92 million in profit. Alabama, arguably the most popular team in the nation, only managed revenue of $97 million.

Texas has long been the financial behemoth of college football, followed by Notre Dame. No. 3 this year was a bit of a surprise: the Tennessee Volunteers.

Yet, as we’ll get into below, our valuation methodology relies heavily on team earnings directed toward academics and other athletic programs. And while most SEC teams saw a sizable boost in revenue this year, none were as good as Tennessee at maximizing their bottom line and filling their athletic department’s coffers (only Kentucky, Missouri, Vanderbilt and Mississippi State spent less than the Vols). The Volunteers had a profit margin of 74% of revenue last year, second only to Texas. Just seven other teams in the nation earned more than 60% of revenue.

Here is the full Top 20:

1. Texas – $152 million

2. Notre Dame – $127 million

3. Tennessee – $121 million

4. LSU – $111 million

5. Michigan – $105 million

6. Georgia – $102 million

7. Ohio State – $100 million

8 Alabama – $99 million

9. Oklahoma – $96 million

10. Auburn – $89 million

11. Penn State – $81 million

12. Arkansas – $80 million

13. Washington – $78 million

14. Oregon – $75 million

15. Florida – $72 million

16. Texas A&M – $71 million

17. Florida State – $70 million

18. South Carolina – $69 million

19. Michigan State – $67 million

20. USC – $66 million


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