They say everything’s bigger in Texas, and college football is no exception. Forbes recently ranked the most valuable college football teams in the country, and The University of Texas at Austin’s Longhorns took the top spot. Despite a lackluster season, the ‘Horns still managed to take in $34 million in ticket sales for home games and an additional $31 million in football-related contributions. And according to the Forbes report, the team is worth an estimated $131 million.
The Longhorns’ value is down 6% since last year, but that is largely due to an increase in expenses. College football legend Mack Brown retired as the team’s coach last year, and the school spent a pretty penny to replace him with former Louisville Cardinals coach Charlie Strong. In addition to buying out Strong’s contract with the Cardinals, they also had to pay severance to Brown’s former staff.
Despite these increased expenses and the resulting drop in the team’s value, the Longhorns are still worth 7% more than any other college football team. Taking second place in the Forbes list is the University of Notre Dame, which is valued at $122 million this year, up from $117 million last year. Rounding out the top five are Michigan State University with a value of $117 million, The University of Alabama with a value of $107 million, and Louisiana State University with a value of $103 million.
Since college football teams can’t actually be bought and sold the way professional teams can, Forbes based their estimates on the value each team generates for their athletic departments, their universities, their conferences, and their local economies. Money that goes toward academic programming is given the most weight.
Got football on the brain now? Check out our list of Colleges with Strength in Football: Division I.