Sports

Washington Is No. 1 In Pac-12

It often has been said that college football has little to do with college and really is just big business. Now somebody has quantified that.

Ryan Brewer, a finance professor at Indiana University, has looked at each college football program and placed a value on it — as if it were a company up for sale. Interesting stuff.

Writes reporter Anthony Schoettle: “Brewer valued the college football franchises the way a Wall Street analyst would value a business operation, based on cash flow history and myriad other factors.”

Some observations:

— First of all, this doesn’t include private schools such as Notre Dame and Southern California, because financial information isn’t readily available. USC wouldn’t rank as high as you might think because it doesn’t own its stadium, Los Angeles Coliseum.

— Texas is No. 1 with a value of $848 million. That’s a whopping 75 percent more than No. 2 Georgia — 75 percent?!? That’s what having your own network will do for you.

— Aside from Texas and No. 9 Oklahoma, the top 17 are all from the SEC or the Big Ten. Well, that’s if you include No. 14 Texas A&M, which soon will be in the SEC. Teams from the Southeastern Conference rank Nos. 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 17, 20, 23, and 48. Poor woebegone Mississippi State is at No. 48. Vanderbilt isn’t ranked.

— Washington stands 22nd overall with a value of $136.2 million, the highest among Pac-12 schools. Oregon is No. 30, Oregon State No. 37, and Washington State No. 50. WSU is last among Pac-12 schools, with USC and Stanford not being included in the listings.

— Ohio State is ranked 12th. Clearly this guy underestimates the value of The Best Damn Band In The Land.

— Of the 100 schools listed, 21 of them have a value of $0 and eight have negative value. The schools with $0 lack sufficient cash flow to warrant a positive valuation. The negative valuations result from a program sucking funds from the general university to subsidize its operations.

— Of the 100 schools listed, Northern Illinois is last at minus-$32.3 million.