In the take this for what it’s worth department, Forbes’ rankings of college football’s most valuable programs has seen Georgia’s stock fall from sixth in 2015 to sixteenth in 2018, behind eight other SEC schools.
The methodology has changed (“This is the first time Forbes has ranked college football teams since 2015, and this year we’ve taken a different approach to the endeavor. Our list of college football’s most valuable teams ranks the nation’s top programs by average annual revenue, rounded to the nearest million.”), so how much of that drop is apples to apples is somewhat hard to determine.
The current numbers are based on a three-year rolling average, in this case from 2014 through 2016. Based on what’s gone down in the last year, it’s safe to presume Greg McGarity’s on that particular mother. I expect a big jump for Georgia when Forbes revisits the list in 2021.
While I’m here, check out the big boys’ overall financial picture:
But when it comes to college football’s elite class, it’s hard to believe any arguments that there isn’t enough money to go around. From 2014 to 2016, the 23 teams at public schools on our list combined to spend an average $239 million per year on salaries and severance for football coaches, but just $90 million per year on student aid for football players. In the 2016-17 fiscal year alone, those teams’ athletic departments spent a combined $800 million on capital expenditures and $250 million on debt service for athletic facilities. That year, those same athletics programs combined to transfer just $65 million back to their universities to support academic programming.