BOZICH | Ranking Louisville, Kentucky, Indiana & WKU by $$$
Another way to keep score: USA Today ranked college athletic departments by revenue generated. Where did Louisville, Kentucky, Indiana and WKU rank?
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – They never run out of ways to keep score in college sports.
Players sent to the pros.
(Fill in the blank with your favorite category.)
Just don’t forget this one: Which college programs are generating the most revenue?
The winner isn't Clemson (football), North Carolina (basketball) or Florida (baseball), the schools that won the three major men's titles during the 2016-17 school year. (Full disclosure. The initial version of this story had Alabama listed as the football national championship, final confirmation of how intimidating Nick Saban can be. My default position is to always make Bama Number One. Thanks to Chris Easterling, who caught the error.)
The winner is Texas A&M -- at least according to the data collected by USA Today (link) for the 2016-16 school year. (The paper ranked 250 schools. Most private institutions were not included because the information is not available through open records requests.)
In return for the $194,388,450 that the Aggies generated last season, A&M received a fourth-place finish in the West Division of the Southeastern Conference in football, a ninth-place finish (tied with Tennessee) in men's basketball and a short trip to the College World Series.
The rest of the top five is predictable -- if you base your predictions on the size of an institution's football stadium.
2. Texas; 3. Ohio State; 4. Alabama; 5. Michigan.
OK, I'm nearly 200 words into this piece so it's time to get to the information that matters:
Where do Louisville, Kentucky, Indiana and Western Kentucky rank?
There are two ways to measure that: How the Cardinals, Wildcats, Hoosiers and Hilltoppers rank overall as well as how they rank in their conferences?
Kentucky is tops overall while Louisville ranks better within its league. Indiana has work to do. So does WKU.
For Kentucky, overall revenue was more than $132 million during the 2015-16 school year. That ranked 13th overall but only seventh in the SEC.
Louisville finished 21st nationally but second (to Florida State) in the ACC, with revenue of more than $112 million. That’s correct. Louisville generated more money than Clemson (27th), Virginia (28th) and North Carolina (33rd).
Indiana landed 32nd nationally and 10th in the Big Ten at more than $95 million. Athletic director Fred Glass has work to do to fill another 8,000-10,000 seats at Memorial Stadium. Home games with Ohio State and Michigan this season should help the bottom-line, if not the won-loss record.
Western Kentucky cracked the top 100, at more than $29 million in athletic revenue. The Hilltoppers ranked 97th nationally and ninth in Conference USA. Surprisingly (at least to me), C-USA was led by Old Dominion at more than $44 million.
Which school ranked last on the 230-school list?
Alabama A&M, which has to make everything work on less than many FBS head football coaches are paid -- $2.6 million.
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