It remains to be seen how high the No. 19 Michigan Wolverines will move up the rankings.
But when it comes to making money, the football team brings in more dough than just about any other in the nation.
According to Forbes list of Most Valuable College Football Teams, Michigan is ranked No. 3, trailing only No. 2 Texas and No. 1 Texas A&M.
The criteria Forbes used was fairly straightforward:
- The data comes from 2014, 2015, and 2016
- “Relied on annual filings made by each school’s athletic department to the NCAA and the Department of Education”
- “Revenues and expenses allocated to football were also adjusted to account for differences in accounting practices among athletic departments”
The Michigan football team brought in $127 million worth of revenue, with a net profit of $75 million. U-M narrowly beat out both Alabama and Ohio State, who ranked 4th and 5th respectively. OSU’s revenue was $120 million.
Five other Big Ten teams made the list, including Penn State (No. 14), Nebraska (No. 20), Michigan State (No. 22), Iowa (No. 23), and Wisconsin (No. 24).
In recent years the football program has built new facilities and paid their coaches top dollar. From this report, it sounds like they can easily afford to do those things.
Michigan is a well-beloved university (well-hated too depending on who you’re talking to), and along with it they generate a lot of merchandise sales. They also have the biggest stadium in college football, where over 110,000 cheer them on each week. Just a couple reasons Michigan has such a huge revenue stream.
Michigan’s revenue numbers will only go up in years to come due to inflation and more money being thrown their way via Big Ten Conference television deals with the likes of the Big Ten Network, ESPN, and FOX Sports. Michigan will receive $52.1 million for the 2019 fiscal year via Big Ten TV revenue distribution.