According to Brewer’s research, the SEC is far and away the most valuable conference, headlines by the 3rd most valuable program in the country, Florida Gators, at $599.7 million.
Here is the value of each conference for the 2012 season:
1. SEC $4.352 billion ($310.8 million/school)
2. B1G 10 $3.578 billion ($298.2 million/school)
3. Big XII $2.395 billion ($239.5 million/school)
4. Pac 12 $1.896 billion ($158.0 million/school)
5. ACC $1.536 billion* ($139.6 million/school)*
6. Big East $589.3 million ($73.7 million/school)
* Study did not factor in Wake Forest since no information was publicly available
Notre Dame was valued at $597.4 million as the 4th most valuable school while fellow independent BYU checked in at a value of $136.1 million for 43rd place amongst BCS level schools.
One thing that is clear from the valuations is that, as a whole, the SEC is much more valuable than any other conference in the country. The majority of their teams are highly valued, even terrible performers like Kentucky ($202.7 million) are worth so much.
Other conferences, like the Big XII, are buoyed by one or two top programs that make their conference valuable. Texas, for example, is the most valuable program in all of college football at $761.9 million, accounting for 31.8% of the Big XII’s value.
Texas is worth so much that they are worth $69.8 million more than TCU, Louisville, Washington State, Baylor, Rutgers, Duke, Pittsburgh, Vanderbilt, Missouri, Cincinnati, and Temple combined.
The huge disparity amongst even college football’s elite shows that the conference a university belongs to can be the difference between being a lesser valued program like Pitt ($59.6 million) or a higher valued school like WVU.
In the Mountaineers case, the move to the Big XII has paid off and will only continue to pay off. So long as the Longhorns and Sooners allow the rest of the Big XII to enjoy their patronage.