Texas, Notre Dame, Tennessee Top Forbes' Most Valuable College Football Teams

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistDecember 22, 2015

A Texas longhorn flag is carried across the field during the first half of an NCAA college football game against the Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl  Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
Brandon Wade/Associated Press

It's a good time to be part of the football programs at Texas, Notre Dame and, surprisingly, Tennessee because those three schools are the most valuable college football teams in 2015. 

According to Chris Smith of Forbes, the Longhorns topped the rankings with a total value of $152 million and $92 million in profit; Notre Dame and Tennessee were a distant second and third with values of $127 million and $121 million, respectively. 

Smith also noted that Texas' huge profit for 2015 is almost as much money as Alabama generated in revenue ($97 million), so things are going well for the Longhorns off the field even if the on-field product is coming off back-to-back losing seasons. 

Here are the 10 most valuable college football teams, per Forbes' rankings:

2015 Forbes' College Football Team Values
RankProgramValue
1Texas Longhorns$152 million
2Notre Dame Fighting Irish$127 million
3Tennessee Volunteers$121 million
4LSU Tigers$111 million
5Michigan Wolverines$105 million
6Georgia Bulldogs$102 million
7Ohio State Buckeyes$100 million
8Alabama Crimson Tide$99 million
9Oklahoma Sooners$96 million
10Auburn Tigers$89 million
Source: Forbes.com

As Smith wrote, one reason why Texas is able to have such a huge profit, especially in comparison to a program like Alabama, is because the Crimson Tide spend a lot to keep their status as the preeminent college football power in the country: 

And when it comes to spending what you make, there’s no better example than Alabama (No. 8, $99 million). With $97 million in revenue the team is second only to Texas. But the Crimson Tide also spent $51 million of that on football operations. That’s $11 million more than any other team spent last year — Auburn, second on the spending list, dumped $40 million into football last season — and thus ranks the Tide 10th in profitability.

The spending goes to many different places, such as hiring coaches, building new facilities and renovating old ones to keep them in pristine condition so potential recruits are able to see what an elite college program looks like. 

One thing that all of the top programs have in common is national television deals, whether it's a university-specific channel like ESPN's Longhorn Network, Notre Dame's agreement with NBC or Power Five conferences having deals with networks such as ESPN, CBS, ABC, Fox, et al.

Texas may be enduring a slow rebuild on the field, but the program has at least found a way to remain profitable in the midst of all the chaos. Given the power of that program, as well as the money coming in, don't expect the Longhorns to stay down for long.     

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