Who Are the Most Valuable College Football Teams?
College football is changing before our eyes and will likely never be the same. The product in the field will still be entertaining and eye-catching on TVs, but 10 years from now it will look and feel very different.
The realignment of the conference has changed the face of college football over the past 30 years. From the dissolution of the Southwest and Big 8 conferences, to the expansion and contraction of the Big East, to the realignment that found four of the Big 12 programs new homes a decade ago, to what we saw last year have seen the move to large conferences as powerful programs.
Oklahoma and Texas’ commitment to the SEC and USC and UCLA’s promise to the Big Ten were the final straw that broke the backbone of the storied college football we love.
As the sands change in college football, profitability and value are just as important as results on the field.
With the conference’s realignment just beginning, let’s take a look back at the 2019 Forbes list of the 25 Most Valuable College Football Programs. It was the last time the list was updated, but it is telling.
The redesigned SEC with Texas and Oklahoma features 12 of the top 25 programs on the list. The only conference schools not listed are Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Missouri, and Mississippi State. The redesigned Big Ten has eight of the top 25. Oregon, Notre Dame, Clemson, Washington and Florida State make up the rest of the list, and each has been mooted for a possible move to the SEC or Big Ten.
The ACC would be in good shape were it not for its media rights agreement, which runs until 2036. With future media rights deals for the Big Ten and the SEC estimated to be in excess of $1 billion, the ACC is financially lagging behind.
This reality could create a situation that will lead to more moves for college football’s most valuable programs in the near future.
Ole Miss Rebels
Michigan State Spartans
South Carolina gamecocks
Florida State Seminoles
Penn State Nittany Lions
Notre Dame fights the Irish
Ohio state horse chestnuts
Alabama Crimson Tide
Texas A&M Aggies