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Forbes ranks Bama and Auburn among college football’s most valuable teams

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Alabama and Auburn, two of the country’s most successful football programs on the field, are also ranked among the most valuable off the field.

Forbes Magazine’s yearly list of the most valuable college football programs was released yesterday. Alabama is ranked third, and Auburn came in at number eleven.

“Alabama has risen from sixth to third this year, with the Crimson Tide’s value up 15% to $110 million,” wrote Forbes’ Chris Smith. “It’s the first time an SEC team has cracked the top three since Georgia held the No. 3 spot in 2007. Alabama’s rise stems not only from the financial rewards of dominating on the field, where the Crimson Tide have won three of the last four BCS National Championships, but also the one-time payout it received for playing Michigan in a season-opening showdown at the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium last year.”

Alabama’s football program raked in $89 million in revenue and $47 million in profit during a twelve month period between 2012 and 2013. Alabama also spent more money on their football program than any other school in the country.

Second to Alabama in the spending category was cross-state rival Auburn. Forbes valued Auburn’s program at $77 million, with $75 million in revenue and $39 million in profit.

When valuing a school’s football program, Forbes said they also considered each team’s value to its overall athletic department and its contributions to academic endeavors, it’s conference and its school’s local economy.

SEC schools led the way in giving back in those areas, and Alabama and Auburn were no exception. Both programs contributed significant chunks of money to other programs at their universities.

“Last year, Auburn’s athletic department contributed $1.5 million to constructing a new, $10 million practice facility for the school’s marching band,” Forbes pointed out. “Alabama (provided) nearly $6.5 million to the university to help pay for scholarships, faculty support and the school’s Acts of Kindness fund.”

Topping this year’s Forbes list of the most valuable football programs were Texas ($139 million) and Notre Dame ($117 million), two schools with unmatched national fanbases and storied traditions.

On a related note, Forbes also named Nick Saban college football’s most powerful coach and listed the Crimson Tide’s game against Texas A&M as the most expensive college football game of 2013.

You can check out Forbe’s entire series on the business of college football by visiting forbes.com/college-football.


Follow Cliff on Twitter @Cliff_Sims