How do you measure success in college football? Is it national championship rings? What about great coaches? Do unique traditions or historic stadiums matter? All of those are definitely factors, but nothing speaks louder than money.
For a second-straight year, Forbes named the Texas A&M Aggies as college football’s most valuable program. It took down the Texas Longhorns last season, and the title doesn’t seem like it will be leaving College Station anytime soon.
That’s not to say the Longhorns aren’t valuable. In fact, they sit at No. 2 on the list of NCAA college football teams again with the Michigan Wolverines, Alabama Crimson Tide and Ohio State Buckeyes rounding out the top five. The Clemson Tigers, the reigning College Football Playoff national champions, have entered the list at No. 25.
According to Forbes, the Texas A&M of the SEC and Texas of the Big 12 both have a three-year average of revenue of $147 million, with the Aggies edging out the Longhorns with $94 million average profit compared to $92 million.
In all, there are 10 SEC programs to make the new list in 2019.
Forbes’ College Football Most Valuable Programs in 2019
1. Texas A&M Aggies (SEC)
2. Texas Longhorns (Big 12)
3. Michigan Wolverines (Big Ten)
4. Alabama Crimson Tide (SEC)
5. Ohio State Buckeyes (Big Ten)
6. Oklahoma Sooners (Big 12)
7. Georgia Bulldogs (SEC)
8. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Independent)
9. Florida Gators (SEC)
10. Auburn Tigers (SEC)
11. LSU Tigers (SEC)
12. Tennessee Volunteers (SEC)
13. Penn State Nittany Lions (Big Ten)
14. Oregon Ducks (Pac-12)
15. Florida State Seminoles (ACC)
T-16. South Carolina Gamecocks (SEC)
T-16. Arkansas Razorbacks (SEC)
18. USC Trojans (Pac-12)
19. Washington Huskies (Pac-12)
20. Nebraska Cornhuskers (Big Ten)
21. Iowa Hawkeyes (Big Ten)
22. Michigan State Spartans (Big Ten)
23. Wisconsin (Big Ten)
24. Ole Miss (SEC)
25. Clemson (ACC)
2018 Most Valuable College Football Programs
Using revenue and profit averages for three years (2014, 2015, 2016), the Aggies averaged $148 million in revenue and $107 million in profit, while the Longhorns were a distant second with $133 million in revenue and $87 million in profit.
That’s an insane amount of money, and those are just two schools on the Top 25 list.
The Michigan Wolverines, Alabama Crimson Tide, and Ohio State Buckeyes round out the Top 5 with the Oklahoma Sooners, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Auburn Tigers, LSU Tigers and Florida Gators following on the prestigious Forbes list.
In the Top 15 of 2018, 11 schools banked over $100 million in revenue and had at least $60 million in profit.
What’s crazy is the conference breakdown. The SEC has 10 schools on the list, The Big Ten has seven, the Big 12 and Pac-12 have three each, the ACC has just one in Florida State, and Notre Dame is Independent.
The surge in contributions, starting in 2014, helped Texas A&M make the jump, especially with the $485 million renovation to Kyle Field, according to Forbes.
There is no shortage in money in college football and athletics departments these days, and now Texas A&M can hold the top spot and claim of Most Valuable Team with head coach Jimbo Fisher’s tenure officially underway.