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NCAAF: Texas Longhorns Nation’s Most Valubale Football Program

College Football has become a huge generator of cash for schools across the United States. The media has given the sport the exposure it needed to become a huge business. Conferences around the country are negotiating television contracts, which is the biggest driver behind the many realignments in conferences that are currently taking place.

The Big 12 signed a 13-year deal with Fox and ESPN for $2.6 billion and that helped the conference attract new members like West Virginia and TCU. The former paying close to $20 million to have the right to join as quickly as the conference would allow.

Schools like Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Louisville jumped at the chance to move to the ACC after it signed a new television deal worth over $3.6 billion through the year 2027. Even though the deals for television are reshaping college football’s landscape, the financial success of a football program at a university still is determined on how much it earns individually.

The most valuable college football program is the University of Texas. The Longhorns are worth $133 million, which is up from last year’s $129 million. During 2011, the team generated over $104 million, which was the first time any football team at the collegiate level had revenues of more than $100 million.

Distributions made by the Big 12 increased to about $19 million, but 40% of the income made by Texas was exclusively from its ticket sales that were $32.4 million and its sponsorships that totaled $8 million.

It is impressive how football games on college campuses around the country generate such money for the school and local economy. One home game might inject between $5 million and $10 million into the local economy. At Texas, each home game attracts close to 40,000 visitors to the metropolitan area of Austin. It is estimated that those fans spend in excess of $10 million at each of the games.

More proof that home games are so important is the University of Nebraska. They paid Southern Mississippi over $2 million to change their home game from Mississippi, to Lincoln, Nebraska in 2013.With the change, Nebraska will now have 8 home games next season and that will add 14% to their revenue generated at home games and up to about $8 million more spent by visitors to the Lincoln area.

The 20 top valued teams in the U.S. at the university level are worth $86 million on average, with an average team revenue of more than $65 million. The Southeastern Conference has seven schools in the top ten in value. LSU leads the conference and is ranked the fourth most valuable team overall. The team that slid the most in value was not surprisingly Penn State. The Nittany Lions were caught up in the John Sandusky scandal and severance packages had to be paid out driving up the expenses of the team. Penn State fell from no. 3 in 2011 to no. 13.

Two teams, Iowa and Texas A&M, which were ranked in the top 20 most valued last season dropped out this season. However, due to the Heisman Trophy win by freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel, the Aggies should return quickly to the top 20 most valuable teams in the nation.

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