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College Football’s 25 Most Valuable Teams

·8 min read
Joseph Calomeni/Marinmedia Org/CSM
Joseph Calomeni/Marinmedia Org/CSM

The College Football Playoff title game was on Jan. 10, when Georgia beat Alabama in the culmination of a season filled with plenty of action and more than a few surprises. College football, however, isn't only exciting -- it's also big business.

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Some teams rake in the big bucks through lucrative media contracts, and others rely on massive fan bases. And then some of the teams earn their money the old-fashioned way -- by winning on the field. Keep reading to find out just how much these college teams are worth.

Orlando Ramirez/AP
Orlando Ramirez/AP

25. University of Iowa

  • 2019-2020 football revenue: $43,491,626

  • Conference: Big Ten

The Iowa Hawkeyes won the Big Ten East division before losing to Michigan in the Big Ten Conference title game. The Hawkeyes lost 20-17 to Kentucky in the Citrus Bowl but finished 10-4, the seventh season with 10 or more wins under Ferentz.

Justin Cooper/CSM/Shutterstock
Justin Cooper/CSM/Shutterstock

24. University of North Carolina

  • 2019-2020 football revenue: $43,654,962

  • Conference: ACC

The Tar Heels began the season ranked in the top 10 but struggled and were unranked after a 2-2 start. North Carolina finished 6-7 after losing 38-21 to South Carolina in the Duke's Mayo Bowl.

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Jamie Lamor Thompson / Shutterstock.com
Jamie Lamor Thompson / Shutterstock.com

23. Clemson University

  • 2019-2020 football revenue: $43,797,610

  • Conference: ACC

The 2021 season was a letdown for Clemson. For the first time since 2014, the Tigers failed to appear in the ACC Championship Game or College Football Playoff. Clemson finished 10-3, beat Iowa State 20-13  in the Cheez-It Bowl.

Thurman James/CSM
Thurman James/CSM

22. Ohio State University

  • 2019-2020 football revenue: $43,835,452

  • Conference: Big Ten

Ohio State finished 11-2 last season but missed the College Football Playoff for the first time since 2018. The Buckeyes also failed to reach the Big Ten title game for the first time since 2016, but did beat Utah 48-45 in the Rose Bowl.

Sean Rayford/AP
Sean Rayford/AP

21. University of South Carolina

  • 2019-2020 football revenue: $43,854,572

  • Conference: SEC

South Carolina struggled to a 7-6 record in the first season under coach Shane Beamer but capped the year on a strong note, beating North Carolina 38-21 in the Duke's Mayo Bowl. (And yes, Beamer did eat Duke's Mayo straight from the jar after the win.)

WxGopher / Wikimedia Commons Public Domain
WxGopher / Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

20. University of Minnesota

  • 2019-2020 football revenue: $45,125,727

  • Conference: Big Ten

The Golden Gophers went 9-4 last season, putting up a fight against No. 4 Ohio State before falling 41-35, then later upsetting No. 14 Wisconsin 23-13. Minnesota beat West Virginia 18-6 to win the Guaranteed Rate Bowl.

Christopher Trim/CSM
Christopher Trim/CSM

19. University of Washington

  • 2019-2020 football revenue: $45,516,356

  • Conference: Pac-12

The Huskies' season was a disaster, as expectations of contending for a Pac-12 North title quickly dissolving to a 4-8 record. Coach Jimmy Lake was fired during the season, and Washington is hoping for a rebirth under new coach Kalen DeBoer.

Brad Tollefson/AP/Shutterstock
Brad Tollefson/AP/Shutterstock

18. Iowa State University

  • 2019-2020 football revenue: $46,794,639

  • Conference: Big 12

Iowa State started the season ranked No. 7 in the AP preseason poll but struggled to a 7-6 record. The Cyclones finished fourth in the Big 12 and lost 20-13 to Clemson in the Cheez-It Bowl.

Ron Jenkins/AP
Ron Jenkins/AP

17. Penn State University

  • 2019-2020 football revenue: $47,204,178

  • Conference: Big Ten

Penn State surged to a 5-0 start to the season, but after quarterback Sean Clifford suffered an injury in a 23-20 loss to No. 3 Iowa, the Nittany Lions never recovered. Penn State stumbled to a 7-6 season, losing to Arkansas 24-10 in the Outback Bowl.

Doug Benc/AP
Doug Benc/AP

16. University of Oregon

  • 2019-2020 football revenue: $48,123,584

  • Conference: Pac-12

Oregon started strong, earning an impressive road victory at Ohio State, but stumbled in an upset loss to Stanford and couldn't beat Utah, losing once in the regular season and again in the Pac-12 title game. The Ducks finished 10-4, losing 47-32 to Oklahoma in the Alamo Bowl.

Mark J Terrill/AP
Mark J Terrill/AP

15. University of Wisconsin

  • 2019-2020 football revenue: $48,559,349

  • Conference: Big Ten

Wisconsin failed in its original goal of winning the Big Ten West, finishing third behind Iowa and Minnesota, but the Badgers did ride a 7-game win streak to finish the season 9-4. They beat Arizona State 20-13 in the Las Vegas Bowl.

Rogelio V Solis/AP
Rogelio V Solis/AP

14. University of Mississippi

  • 2019-2020 football revenue: $49,111,536

  • Conference: SEC

Ole Miss rebounded from a 5-5 season to finish at 10-3, the first time in program history the Rebels have reached 10 wins. Mississippi came up short in the Sugar Bowl, losing 21-7 to Baylor.

Mario Houben/CSM
Mario Houben/CSM

13. University of Florida

  • 2019-2020 football revenue: $51,230,533

  • Conference: SEC

Florida struggled to a decidedly non-Florida season, finishing 6-7 and firing coach Dan Mullen despite almost upsetting then-No. 1 Alabama in a 31-29 loss. Despite the tough season, the Gators did reach the Gasparilla Bowl but lost 29-17 to Central Florida.

Nati Harnik/AP
Nati Harnik/AP

12. University of Nebraska

  • 2019-2020 football revenue: $51,421,857

  • Conference: Big Ten

Despite a 3-9 season, Nebraska gave its fans a very faint glimmer of hope, losing all its games by single digits. The heat is sure to be on coach Scott Frost this season.

Chris O'Meara/AP
Chris O'Meara/AP

11. Auburn University

  • 2019-2020 football revenue: $51,651,237

  • Conference: SEC

Under first-year head coach Bryan Harsin, Auburn struggled to finish 6-7. It was the first time the Tigers had finished under .500 since 2012. Auburn lost 17-13 to Houston in the Birmingham Bowl.

Michael Woods/AP
Michael Woods/AP

10. University of Arkansas

  • 2019-2020 football revenue: $52,049,012

  • Conference: SEC

The Razorbacks had a strong season under second-year coach Sam Pittman, finishing 9-4 despite going 4-4 in the SEC. Arkansas capped its campaign with a 24-10 victory over Penn State in the Outback Bowl.

Wangkun Jia / Shutterstock.com
Wangkun Jia / Shutterstock.com

9. University of Utah

  • 2019-2020 football revenue: $53,093,029

  • Conference: Pac-12

The Utes were one of the biggest surprises in college football last season, overcoming the offseason deaths of two players and a 1-2 start to win the Pac-12 Championship and come up just short in the Rose Bowl, falling 48-45 to Ohio State. Utah finished the season 10-4.

Prentice C James/CSM/Shutterstock
Prentice C James/CSM/Shutterstock

8. Texas A&M

  • 2019-2020 football revenue: $55,792,930

  • Conference: SEC

The Aggies head into the 2022 season on a surge, with a strong recruiting class stoking hope that this could be a championship contender. Texas A&M finished the 2021 season at 8-4 and had to withdraw from the Gator Bowl because of COVID-19 exposures.

Tim Gangloff/CSM/Shutterstock
Tim Gangloff/CSM/Shutterstock

7. University of Tennessee

  • 2019-2020 football revenue: $60,808,468

  • Conference: SEC

The Vols finished 7-6 in their first season under coach Josh Huepel, losing 48-45 in overtime to Purdue in the Music City Bowl.

Romeo Guzman/CSM
Romeo Guzman/CSM

6. University of Alabama

  • 2019-2020 football revenue: $61,400,246

  • Conference: SEC

Can a 13-2 season and a national title game appearance constitute a disappointment? It does if you're Nick Saban and Alabama, where nothing short of a championship is expected. The Crimson Tide fell 41-24 to Georgia in the title game, but the Tide is favored to win it all again this season.

Romeo Guzman/CSM
Romeo Guzman/CSM

5. University of Michigan

  • 2019-2020 football revenue: $72,253,039

  • Conference: Big Ten

The 2021 season was a breakthrough for Michigan and coach Jim Harbaugh, as the Wolverines finally got beat Ohio State for the first time under the coach. Michigan finished 12-2, won the Big Ten and reached the College Football Playoff, falling 34-11 to eventual champion Georgia.

Phelan M Ebenhack/AP
Phelan M Ebenhack/AP

4. University of Notre Dame

  • 2019-2020 football revenue: $83,712,991

  • Conference: Independent

The Fighting Irish head into the 2022 season under new coach Marcus Freeman after Brian Kelly left to take over at LSU. Notre Dame put together a strong season under Kelly, finishing 11-2 and losing 37-35 to Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl.

Jacob Kupferman/CSM
Jacob Kupferman/CSM

3. University of Georgia

  • 2019-2020 football revenue: $85,392,744

  • Conference: SEC

A national championship goes a long way toward bolstering your program's revenue, and the Bulldogs won their first title since 1980 with a 41-24 victory over Alabama.

Austin Gay/AP
Austin Gay/AP

2. University of Texas

  • 2019-2020 football revenue: $97,223,872

  • Conference: Big 12

The Longhorns' first season under coach Steve Sarkisian was a disappointment, as Texas finished 5-7. A 55-48 loss to rival Oklahoma kicked off a six-game losing skid, but Texas is poised for a better 2022 season.

John Amis/AP
John Amis/AP

1. University of Oklahoma

  • 2019-2020 football revenue: $101,119,170

  • Conference: Big 12

Oklahoma's season started with national title hopes, but the Sooners came up short with losses to Baylor and Oklahoma State. Lincoln Riley resigned as coach the day after the regular season ended, and former coach Bob Stoops took over as an interim coach for a 47-35 victory over Oregon in the Alamo Bowl.

More From GOBankingRates

Andrew Lisa contributed to the reporting for this article.

Methodology: For this piece GOBankingRates used the United States Department of Education's "Equity in Athletics Data Analysis" (EADA) dataset to find (1) total football revenues; and (2) conference for all NCAA Division I schools all in FY19-20 data (the most recent available). Only the top 50 schools in terms of factor (1) were included in the final list. All data was collected on and up to date as of August 3, 2022.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: College Football’s 25 Most Valuable Teams