Texas Athletic Department Ranks No. 1 in Revenue for 2012-13

Brian LeighFeatured ColumnistJune 5, 2014

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Mack Brown's final season at Texas saw a few historic lows, chief among them the beating the Longhorns took at BYU in September. But Brown still went out on top in one way, helping the Texas athletic department continue its reign as the most profitable in the country.

According to the annual report at USA TodayUT once again checked in with the nation's highest athletic revenue in 2012-13, reporting an earning of $165.7 million—almost $2.4 million more than last year.

Here is the entire Top 10:

Athletic Departments w/ Top Total Revenue (2012-13)
Total Revenue
1. Texas$165,691,486
2. Wisconsin$149,141,405
3. Alabama$143,776,550
4. Michigan$143,514,125
5. Ohio State$139,639,307
6. Florida$130,011,244
7. Oklahoma$123,805,661
8. LSU$117,457,398
9. Oregon$115,241,070
10. Tennessee$111,579,779
USA Today

Texas is a predictable name at the top of the list.

Wisconsin right below it is not.

The Badgers had a huge fiscal year in 2012-13, raking in $149.1 million in total revenue. In 2011-12, they reported a revenue of $103.8 million.

So why the massive increase this past year? Fundraising. Wisconsin did a remarkable job getting donations from their fans this past season, upping their "contributions"—as USA Today defines it—from $19.7 million in 2011-12 to $58.9 million in 2012-13.

Writes Tom Mulhern of the Wisconsin State Journal:

That speaks highly of the job UW folks are doing raising money, as well as the generosity of the Badgers' fan base. It would also seem to cushion UW from any possible short-term decline in ticket sales.

...While most athletic departments grapple with ways to keep fans coming through the turnstiles — rather than staying home and watching high-definition televisions from the couch — the Badgers should be comforted in their ability to raise money from a variety of sources.

Texas, Michigan, Florida and Tennessee all made the Top 10 in revenue despite going 22-26 on the football field in 2013.  The No. 11 team, Iowa, is just one year removed from a 4-8 season of its own.

What do you think? Does money still equal success?