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Business professor reveals list of college football financial winners, losers

Indiana University finance professor Ryan Brewer recently completed and released a 242-page study to the Indianapolis Business Journal that places valuations on college football programs as if they were businesses for sale. The study took more than two years to complete.

IBJ sports reporter Anthony Schoettle has the story on his blog, The Score. For the piece, which can be found here, Brewer valued the college football franchises the way a Wall Street analyst would value a business operation, based on cash flow history, expenditures and myriad other factors.

It is worth noting that only public schools are included on the list. So there are no valuations included for Notre Dame, Southern Cal or Miami of Florida. But based on a 2008 study he completed on Notre Dame, Brewer thinks the Irish could be at the head of the list.

Texas took top honors, but the Southeastern Conference had six teams in the top 10 of Brewer’s rankings. The Big Ten, meanwhile, had six schools in the top 15. Here’s a rundown of the top five, with total value:

1. Texas ($848.3 million)
2. Georgia ($483.6 million)
3. Penn State ($446.9 million)
4. Florida ($421.8 million)
5. LSU ($397.4 million)

Though the premier programs filling out the top five aren’t all that surprising, consider: No. 11 South Carolina is worth more than No. 12 Ohio State ($316 million to $292 million). Ball State, Central Michigan, Miami (OH) and UConn are among those schools who simply break even, and Houston (-$4.3 million), UNLV (-$13.1 million) and Northern Illinois (-$32.3 million) are among the eight schools in the red.

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