The SEC placed six teams among the top-10 royalty earners in college sports—among those represented by the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC)—but it was once again unable to displace Texas from the No. 1 spot.
Per ESPN's Darren Rovell, the Longhorns led the rankings for the eighth consecutive year. Here is the full top 10:
|1.||University of Texas||Big 12|
|2.||University of Alabama||SEC|
|3.||University of Notre Dame||Big East/Independent|
|4.||University of Michigan||Big Ten|
|5.||University of Kentucky||SEC|
|6.||Louisiana State University||SEC|
|7.||University of Florida||SEC|
|8.||University of Georgia||SEC|
|9.||University of North Carolina||ACC|
|10.||University of Arkansas||SEC|
The CLC represents every major college except Ohio State, Michigan State, USC and Oregon. So while not a "complete" list of the top merchandise sellers in the NCAA, it does provide a pretty thorough picture.
Arkansas broke the top 10 for the first time in school history, despite a disappointing year where its football team went 4-8 and its men's basketball team failed to reach the NCAA Tournament. A lot of that probably concerns the hire of former Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema, who has reinvigorated the Razorbacks fanbase—one cheery singer/songwriter in particular—after last year's sorry campaign.
Other big risers, according to Rovell's piece, included Texas A&M (from No. 19 to No. 12) and Louisville (from No. 32 to No. 25). Perhaps not coincidentally, the Aggies and Cardinals have two of the most brand-recognizable players—Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater—in college sports.
Louisville also had the boon of last year's NCAA Championship in men's basketball.
Penn State, for obvious reasons, suffered the biggest slide. The Nittany Lions dropped from No. 10 to No. 12 last year, immediately after the Sandusky scandal, and seven more sports to No. 19 in 2013. That's a big drop but it's one that was expected—and the fact that PSU still ranks top-20 is a testament to its never-say-die fans.
But Texas was the big winner once again, continuing to dominate merchandise sales despite declining results. The football and men's basketball teams are both worse (record-wise) than they were at the start of UT's eight-year run, but their allure remains the same.
Fans of Ohio State, Michigan State, USC and Oregon—the quartet of teams not included in the results—will surely take issue with crowning Texas "the most profitable." Those are perfectly fair, though incredibly biased, opinions to have.
But that shouldn't dampen the Longhorns' pride.