Special Report

Most Valuable College Football Teams

College football is an amateur sport, but it is also a big business. Athletic departments across the country raked in billions of dollars in revenue over the past few years. That money comes from TV broadcasting rights, ticket sales, brand sponsorships, and contributions to the school’s athletics program from alumni donors. But this money is not distributed evenly among all schools. 

College football programs are very much divided into the haves and have-nots. There are 129 teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision, or FBS, formerly known as Division 1. Yet just a handful of teams get the lion’s share of the money college football generates.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed a recent Forbes article to determine the most valuable college football teams in the country.

The teams with the highest revenues are the traditionally dominant programs of college football. With the exception of the independent Notre Dame, each of the 25 most valuable programs plays in the so-called Power 5 conferences. The Southeastern Conference, the most successful conference of the 21st century, leads the way with 10 of the 25 most valuable teams. That is followed by the Big Ten with seven teams, the Pac-12 with three, and the ACC and Big 12 with two apiece.

The most valuable teams have set themselves apart as the most successful programs in the history of college football, racking up dozens of national championships and sending hundreds of players to the NFL. These are the colleges that produce the best NFL players.

Critics of the National Collegiate Athletic Association point out that these schools are raking in tens of millions of dollars, while the athletes who actually play the game are forbidden from earning a penny from their status as athletes. Some states want to change that. The legislatures of California and New York are considering laws that would allow student athletes to profit from their likeness and mandate that athletic departments give some of their profits to student athletes.

These 25 football programs are fairly evenly dispersed across the country, representing 20 different states. Though states such as Texas and Florida get a lot of attention for producing talented football players, there are terrific football players to be found all across the nation. These are the best football players to come from every state.

Click here to see the most valuable college football teams

24/7 Wall St. reviewed a recent Forbes article to determine the most valuable college football teams in the country. Average profits and revenues for the past three years were provided by Forbes. The program’s all-time record came from statistics site Sports Reference. In years past, multiple different teams would often claim to be national champions in the same season, often being recognized as such by outlets like the Associated Press and Football Writers Association of America. The total number of national championships claimed was provided by the NCAA.

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