Finance Prof Tries to Value College Football Teams

By Jason Priestas on January 7, 2013 at 11:35a

Comments Show All Comments

Lee in Altoona's picture

Dumb question: how is TSUN worth that much more than us? Was it the lack of a bowl game?

Riggins's picture

I don't know if they evaluated university endowments or not. If I remember correctly, Michigan has over three times the endowments of Ohio State.  Something in the neighborhood of 7 billion and 2 billion, respectively.

Ramzy Nasrallah's picture

Indiana = (Ohio's BCS team) x 3

bukyze's picture

Related:  Ohio State is worth infinity scUM's.

marvorama's picture

It's striking how low Mizzou and Pitt are on this list.  Maybe equally strange is seeing Northwestern being right behind both FSU and Miami.

AndyVance's picture

I think the key thing to remember is how companies are typically valued, which is the concept it appears the researchers were basing their calculations on: When a firm wants to acquire another company, it bases the target's value on some multiple of earnings or, in some cases, trailing cash flow. Earnings can be figured in various ways depending on how you treat taxes, depreciation, interest, etc., but in the most generic sense you can think of earnings as revenue minus expenses.
With that in mind, and basing this on data gathered by Forbes' contributor Kristi Dosh here, revenue over the past two seasons (2010-2012) was budgeted (keep in mind this is budgetary, not actual, data) at $51.8 and $48.8 million, respectively.
Expenses, meanwhile, were budgeted at $12.6 and $13.0 million, respectively, for earnings of $39.2 and $35.7 million. Using the latter figure, since that's probably the most recent data available, the professors based their values somewhere in the ballpark of 16-17x earnings. Not knowing exactly the methodology used, of course, the multiple could be either higher or lower, but that's not out of the realm of reality in recent M&A transactions, depending on industry.
Using the aforementioned Jacksonville Jaguars sale for $760 million, that deal traded four roughly 23x earnings, which in 2011 were $32.8 million - in other words, at 16x earnings, the Buckeyes are a steal.

Doc's picture

I'm sorry the heading of the graph made me chuckle.  "The value, in millions, of major-conference college-football programs, plus Notre dame and BYU."
I know what it says, but how it reads is funny to me.  Like ND and BYU are throw ins to round out the group.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W