The Vols had the greatest surge in value of any other team on the list, going up 49%, but Forbes calls much of that “illusory,” citing Tennessee’s adjustment in “how its allocates football revenue and expenses in its financial reports.” Tennessee took the biggest tumble last year, falling from No. 9 to No. 20, due in large part to the substantial financial strain of the buyouts for former coach Derek Dooley and his staff.
Forbes uses four primary components to determine the value of college football teams: how much money programs return to the academic side of the University, how much goes to non-revenue sports, how much is earned from playing in bowl games and the local economic impact that home games produce.
Forbes listed a profit of $49 million, revenue of $70 million and a total team value of $94 million for Tennessee. Texas led the nation with a listed value of $131 million with Notre Dame not far behind at $122 million. Alabama is the top-valued SEC team ($107 million), with five of the top 10 teams on the list coming from the SEC.
One other note of interest is that Cincinnati, Butch Jones’ former school that still has many of his players, was named Forbes’ Best College Football Team for the Money, needing just over $1.6 million in spending per win.
Click here for a full list and more information on how Forbes makes its selections.