BYU football ranked in the top 50 most valuable football programs

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The Jacksonville Jaguars sold for $760 million in 2011, an impressive amount. The BYU Cougars wouldn’t sell for quite that much, but the results aren’t bad.

A professor calculated the value for 115 college football teams, and BYU ranked 43rd at $136.1 million. This is higher than the University of Utah, the University of Mississippi and Boston College.

The number one listed team was the Texas Longhorns at $761.7 million, which was followed by the Michigan Wolverines in a close second at $731.9 million. Alabama, which won more than a dozen bowl games and three of the past four BCS championships, still only ranked eighth at $476 million. And Notre Dame, the BCS Championship game runner-up, ranked fourth at $597.4 million. All of this is according to research by Ryan Brewer, an assistant professor of finance at Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus.

“It is an honor that we are considered as one of the major football programs in the nation,” Associate Athletic Director Duff Tittle said. “The value doesn’t surprise me though; we have an amazing tradition and a deep history. We are one of the most respected programs in the country.”

Brewer, who has a Ph.D. in financial economics specializing in intrinsic valuation, analyzed each program’s revenues and expenses and created growth projections for each team including TV contracts, sponsorship and stadium size. He considered how close these college teams were to professional teams and how important these programs were to the surrounding areas.

“If anything, he underestimated our program,” Taylor Nadauld, BYU assistant professor of finance, said. “I would pay closer attention to the discount rate. Other teams were given a bonus because of their conference, while we weren’t.”

Since last year, BYU increased in ranking from 52nd to 43rd or from $100 million to $136.1 million. A nationwide fan base and BYUtv, a growing nationwide television station, helps BYU’s tradition to be known throughout the country.

“Just like Coach Mendenhall said, ‘Tradition, Spirit and Honor,’ that is what makes us different,” Dallan Moody, associate athletic director over finances, said.

BYU has won a national championship, played in 31 bowl games and won more than a dozen of them. The university has also had three Heisman candidates, including Jim McMahon, hall of fame quarterback Steve Young and Heisman trophy winner Ty Detmer. No doubt, BYU’s history, tradition and fans create a program that will forever be remembered as one of great value. 

Complete results are available online from The Wall Street Journal.

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