NCAA Football Teams Made More Money Than Many NFL Teams in 2015 [INFOGRAPHIC]

written on August 18, 2016 By


College sports is big business–that should come as no surprise to anyone. With all of the sponsorship, TV deals, and merchandise sales, many of the nation’s biggest schools earn tens of millions of dollars each year. But just how much is being earned? And how much of that is going back into the school’s coffers?

We did an analysis of the reported football income and profits from the 2014-2015 football season and found some pretty staggering facts about just how much is being earned on the business of college ball.

Some key findings:

  • The top 100 football programs (by earnings) generated nearly $5.6 billion in combined revenue
  • University of Texas (Austin) reported the highest earnings: $121 million
  • UT reported that of that $121 million, $91 million was profit–a 75% margin
  • Almost $1 million in profit was earned per player on the UT roster
  • UT’s $91 million in profit was higher than the 2015 operating income of 25 out of 32 NFL teams
  • 22 NCAA teams reported profits higher than the operating income of the lowest-earning NFL team, the Atlanta Falcons

University of Texas Earnings

Raking in the most money of any NCAA team, the Texas Longhorns football team earned a staggering $121 million in revenue and $91 million in profit for the 2014-15 season.

Not only did that put them nearly $25 million ahead of the second-best NCAA team (University of Alabama, by earnings), but it also put them ahead of nearly every NFL team when comparing the profits earned by Texas versus the operating income of the professional teams. (Note: These are not perfect comparisons, but were the closest figures we could find publicly available for all teams.) Only 7 professional teams had a higher operating income than UT’s football profits.

Given UT’s 99-man football team roster, they made almost $1,000,000 in profit for every player on the team. ($924,925.58 per player, to be exact.)

NCAA vs NFL earnings

The Atlanta Falcons had the lowest operating income of all NFL teams in the 2015 season. They reported earnings of $25.4 million. All told, 22 NCAA football programs posted profits in excess of what the Falcons brought in.

Full NCAA Football Revenue Data

Rank Team Revenue (2014-15)
1 The University of Texas at Austin $121,382,436
2 The University of Alabama $97,023,963
3 The University of Tennessee-Knoxville $94,377,857
4 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor $88,251,525
5 Auburn University $86,742,256
6 University of Georgia $86,719,115
7 Louisiana State University and Agricultural – Mechanical College $86,312,831
8 University of Notre Dame $86,125,989
9 Ohio State University-Main Campus $83,547,428
10 University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus $78,737,409
11 University of Florida $74,720,732
12 Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus $71,305,219
13 Florida State University $70,321,194
14 University of Washington-Seattle Campus $66,941,640
15 University of Arkansas $66,179,978
16 Texas A – M University-College Station $62,199,166
17 University of Oregon $60,956,894
18 University of Nebraska-Lincoln $60,621,628
19 University of South Carolina-Columbia $59,768,622
20 Michigan State University $59,227,831
21 University of Mississippi $53,399,653
22 University of Iowa $52,354,781
23 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University $50,387,116
24 Arizona State University-Tempe $49,016,140
25 University of Southern California $45,886,944
26 University of Wisconsin-Madison $44,797,138
27 University of California-Los Angeles $44,727,001
28 Clemson University $43,959,747
29 Oklahoma State University-Main Campus $43,778,793
30 University of California-Berkeley $43,651,316
31 University of Utah $42,931,079
32 Syracuse University $41,877,234
33 Texas Christian University $41,259,536
34 Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus $41,124,340
35 North Carolina State University at Raleigh $39,999,142
36 Texas Tech University $39,266,665
37 University of Miami $38,985,460
38 University of Missouri-Columbia $37,892,973
39 Stanford University $37,519,312
40 University of Louisville $36,383,759
41 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill $36,050,976
42 University of Minnesota-Twin Cities $35,772,983
43 Baylor University $35,575,376
44 University of Kentucky $35,495,890
45 Kansas State University $34,725,916
46 University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus $34,089,376
47 Iowa State University $33,074,046
48 Duke University $32,407,399
49 Washington State University $32,004,916
50 Northwestern University $31,664,655
51 Mississippi State University $31,308,423
52 Oregon State University $30,916,950
53 University of Maryland-College Park $30,891,641
54 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign $30,819,615
55 University of Colorado Boulder $28,313,259
56 Indiana University-Bloomington $27,508,477
57 Vanderbilt University $27,409,392
58 Boston College $27,232,643
59 Rutgers University-New Brunswick $26,903,695
60 University of Kansas $25,986,541
61 University of Virginia-Main Campus $24,551,003
62 University of Central Florida $23,626,498
63 University of Arizona $23,115,960
64 West Virginia University $22,510,492
65 Wake Forest University $20,797,837
66 Boise State University $20,206,989
67 Brigham Young University-Provo $19,902,453
68 Purdue University-Main Campus $17,073,335
69 Southern Methodist University $16,448,366
70 University of Tulsa $15,108,680
71 Temple University $14,247,503
72 University of Cincinnati-Main Campus $13,821,277
73 California State University-Fresno $13,552,228
74 University of Memphis $13,376,999
75 Rice University $13,010,450
76 Colorado State University-Fort Collins $13,002,269
77 San Diego State University $12,459,848
78 East Carolina University $12,299,240
79 University of Houston $11,306,212
80 University of Wyoming $11,008,232
81 University of Hawaii at Manoa $10,716,179
82 University of South Florida-Main Campus $10,694,740
83 The University of Texas at El Paso $10,400,483
84 College of William and Mary $9,910,938
85 Liberty University $9,855,128
86 Florida International University $9,157,416
87 Middle Tennessee State University $9,054,880
88 Marshall University $9,038,549
89 Tulane University of Louisiana $8,980,759
90 University of Nevada-Las Vegas $8,954,365
91 The University of Montana $8,813,683
92 Old Dominion University $8,709,737
93 The University of Texas at San Antonio $8,564,222
94 University of South Alabama $8,548,788
95 University of North Texas $8,348,300
96 University of Connecticut $8,308,332
97 Northern Illinois University $8,268,043
98 University of Nevada-Reno $8,252,434
99 James Madison University $8,239,316
100 Miami University-Oxford $8,172,656

Full NCAA Football Profit Data

Rank School Profit (2014-15)
1 The University of Texas at Austin $91,567,632
2 The University of Tennessee-Knoxville $69,866,825
3 University of Georgia $60,564,780
4 Louisiana State University and Agricultural – Mechanical College $57,673,168
5 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor $56,370,978
6 University of Notre Dame $54,253,739
7 Ohio State University-Main Campus $50,958,935
8 University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus $48,420,800
9 Auburn University $46,664,904
10 The University of Alabama $45,979,671
11 University of Oregon $40,277,558
12 Florida State University $39,021,426
13 University of Washington-Seattle Campus $37,805,071
14 University of Florida $37,247,529
15 Texas A – M University-College Station $36,528,382
16 Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus $36,158,596
17 University of Arkansas $35,384,656
18 Michigan State University $31,533,464
19 University of Nebraska-Lincoln $31,442,136
20 University of South Carolina-Columbia $28,411,407
21 University of Mississippi $28,235,292
22 University of Iowa $26,872,482
23 Oklahoma State University-Main Campus $24,255,512
24 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University $23,568,241
25 University of Utah $23,377,424
26 North Carolina State University at Raleigh $22,165,934
27 Syracuse University $22,067,934
28 University of California-Berkeley $21,848,446
29 Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus $21,441,395
30 Arizona State University-Tempe $20,932,756
31 Clemson University $19,767,973
32 Texas Tech University $18,310,736
33 University of Wisconsin-Madison $18,153,345
34 University of California-Los Angeles $17,868,209
35 Kansas State University $17,758,806
36 University of Louisville $17,729,229
37 Iowa State University $17,653,463
38 Stanford University $17,606,901
39 University of Kentucky $16,462,047
40 Oregon State University $16,226,236
41 Washington State University $15,366,541
42 University of Southern California $15,311,704
43 University of Maryland-College Park $14,740,252
44 University of Missouri-Columbia $14,574,940
45 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill $14,309,341
46 Mississippi State University $14,094,902
47 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign $12,482,706
48 University of Miami $12,090,804
49 University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus $11,774,800
50 Boise State University $11,367,250
51 University of Colorado Boulder $11,274,066
52 Northwestern University $10,780,397
53 Indiana University-Bloomington $9,497,550
54 Duke University $9,491,465
55 University of Minnesota-Twin Cities $9,480,768
56 Texas Christian University $7,508,323
57 Baylor University $7,141,661
58 Rutgers University-New Brunswick $6,745,502
59 University of Virginia-Main Campus $6,467,620
60 University of Central Florida $5,575,195
61 Boston College $5,378,678
62 Wake Forest University $5,357,133
63 Brigham Young University-Provo $5,268,089
64 University of Kansas $5,192,975
65 West Virginia University $5,142,723
66 The University of Montana $3,659,628
67 Vanderbilt University $3,272,867
68 University of North Texas $3,235,791
69 University of Wyoming $2,947,183
70 University of Arizona $2,693,140
71 The University of Texas at El Paso $2,644,313
72 California State University-Fresno $2,571,881
73 Montana State University $2,064,570
74 Purdue University-Main Campus $1,475,139
75 Murray State University $1,173,804
76 University of Nevada-Reno $1,164,478
77 Marshall University $1,126,483
78 East Carolina University $943,946
79 Valdosta State University $784,898
80 Charleston Southern University $730,073
81 Southern Utah University $695,945
82 Morgan State University $558,062
83 Citadel Military College of South Carolina $534,622
84 Alabama A – M University $509,450
85 Indiana State University $474,361
86 Furman University $435,756
87 Southern University and A – M College $385,160
88 Grambling State University $381,816
89 Gardner-Webb University $358,857
90 Grand Valley State University $344,727
91 University of Nebraska at Kearney $303,225
92 Kutztown University of Pennsylvania $297,487
93 Azusa Pacific University $293,089
94 Houston Baptist University $276,577
95 Miles College $266,118
96 Ohio University-Main Campus $265,584
97 Fort Valley State University $252,659
98 Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania $251,089
99 Colorado State University-Pueblo $218,517
100 Pittsburg State University $216,506

Note: Some schools that appear on the revenue list may not appear on profits and vice-versa based on their reported revenue vs profit.

NCAA football revenue and profits data from national IPEDS database.

NFL operating income data from Forbes.


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About

Tyler Hakes is the Director of Marketing at uCribs. He writes about topics related to college.