Nov. 20, 2007

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – ranks the University of Notre Dame’s football program as the most valuable in college football, according to its second annual survey released today.

The Forbes rankings are based on what the football programs contribute to beneficiaries: their university (the value of contributions from football to the institution for academic purposes, including scholarship payments for football players); athletic department (the net profit generated by the football program ultimately retained by the department); conference (the distribution of bowl game revenue); and local communities with a vested interest in the team (incremental spending in the county during home-game weekends). The system weighs those four elements in declining order.

Here’s what said about Notre Dame, “The University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish, worth $101 million, is the most valuable team in college football. Unlike the other programs on our list, Notre Dame’s athletic department operates under the umbrella of the university and is not run as its own distinct entity. As a result, a much higher share of profits are retained by university for academic use. The football team’s contribution to academics totaled $21.1 million for the 2006-2007 season–that’s as much as the next five most valuable teams contributed to their respective schools combined. Operating independent of the conference system allows Notre Dame to keep the entire $9 million in annual television revenue it gets from NBC, owned by General Electric.” also indicated the schools with the largest amount of incremental spending in the county on a per-game basis are Notre Dame and Texas, with $9.4 million each.

Here are the rankings (value and profit listed in millions of dollars):

School         Value   Profit  Comment1. Notre Dame  $101    $45.8   Football contributed $21.1 M (million) to academic programs2. Texas       $92     $46.2   Earns $12 M annually from premium seating, with more to come3. Georgia     $90     $43.5   $60.3 M in football revenue last year was highest in SEC4. Michigan    $85     $36.2   Next year brings 83 luxury suites and 3,200 club seats at $226 M cost5. Florida     $84     $38.2   Revenue last year increased $11 M to $58.9 M in title season6. LSU         $76     $31.7   Addition of eighth home game added 11% to value in one year7. Tennessee   $74     $17.3*  Four renovations in 10 years have added 10,000 seats and 78 suites* Football program also contributed $16.2 M in donations to Volunteer Athletic & Scholarship Fund via ticket reservation fees8. Auburn      $73     $33.9   Home games produce $50 M in incremental spending in Lee County9. Alabama     $72     $31.8   Saban's $4 M salary is highest in college football history10. Ohio State $71     $26.6   Bucks led Big Ten in revenue at $59.1 M, also led expenses at $32.5 M11. Oklahoma   $70     $18.5   2004 renovation added 27 suites and 2,500 club seats12. S. Carolina$69     $28.9   Value increased 22% last year, best of top 20 teams13. Penn State $69     $29.4   Second-largest stadium in country sells out every game14. USC        $53     $13     Most valuable Pac-10 program saw value go up 7% in last year15. Arkansas   $53     $19.3   Incremental spending in county: $7.3 M per home game16. Texas A&M  $50     $20.5   Projecting $9.5 M in broadcast revenue next season17. Washington $50     $19.9   AD Todd Turner lobbying for expansion of stadium18. Nebraska   $49     $12.4   ----------19. Mich. St.  $44     $18.3   Plans larger contribution to academics via Big Ten Network revenue20. Wisconsin  $43     $14.3   Fell five spots due to $7.6 M decrease in profits from a year ago

— ND —