There's money, and then there's NCAA money

Matt TarrContributor IJuly 29, 2009

Sure, you know how your favorite school stacks up in the conference standings or top 25 poll, but do you know how they’re faring in the financial department? Wednesday’s Orlando Sentinel featured a breakdown of Football Bowl Subdivision schools ranked by total revenue each university took in during the 2007-08 reporting year. Revenue for each school came from “generated revenue” (ticket sales, corporate packages, etc.) and “allocated revenue” (resources direct from the university’s coffers).

UT officials not chapped by results

UT officials not chapped by results

Some interesting highlights from the list:

- The top 10 was populated by the usual suspects (Texas, Ohio State, Florida, etc.). The one mild surprise was Oklahoma State, until you take in to account the Pickens Factor (Okie State alum/oil tycoon Boone Pickens donated a whopping $165 million to the university’s athletics program back in 2006; the numbers from the 2007-08 list would undoubtedly be factored in somehow).

- Texas edged Ohio State for the top spot overall on the list, stuffing $120 million into its department mattresses. UT’s stockpile for 2007-08 was just $17 million less than the gross domestic product of the nation of Kiribati.

- Texas A&M, on the other hand, continues to prove that big enrollment doesn’t necessarily equal big bank account numbers. The Aggies, who collected $75 million in revenue, were 21st overall and sixth in the Big 12 conference.

- Word of warning: If you’re looking for a non-BCS school, you’ll be skimming for awhile. TCU was the top non-BCS earner on the list at No. 57.

- The Horned Frogs did, however, rank higher than both Mississippi schools from the Southeastern Conference. Hell, one of the service academies (Air Force) even finished ahead of Mississippi State. When you consider the fact that if you combined the totals for Ole Miss and MSU they would still rank ninth in the SEC, one has to wonder how realistic it is for the nation’s most powerful conference to have two schools from the state in 2009 and beyond. We’re not hatin’ on Mississippi here, but there’s a financial reality here that’s becoming too significant to ignore.

Regardless, the list is a fascinating read. And it figures to be even more fascinating next year when the recession-adjusted numbers are released.

Your mission remains clear, ADs – keep your feet on the ground, keep reaching for the stars, and keep asking those fat cats for more checks.

- How much revenue did your school take in? (Orlando Sentinel)