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Headlines: BC Athletics Ranks 32nd In 2007-2008 Revenues

Brian: Curious as to how BC Athletics revenues compared to other F.B.S. athletic programs in 2007-2008? The Orlando Sentinel's College Gridiron 365 blog has your answer:

Rank School Total Revenue Conference
1st Texas $120,288,370 Big 12
2nd Ohio State $117,953,712 Big Ten
3rd Florida $106,030,895 SEC
4th Michigan $99,027,105 Big Ten
5th Wisconsin $93,452,334 Big Ten
6th Penn State $91,570,233 Big Ten
7th Auburn $89,305,326 SEC
8th Alabama $88,869,810 SEC
9th Tennessee $88,719,798 SEC
10th Oklahoma State $88,554,438 Big 12
11th Kansas $86,009,257 Big 12
12th Louisiana State $84,183,362 SEC
13th Georgia $84,020,180 SEC
14th Notre Dame $83,352,439 Independent
15th Iowa $81,148,310 Big Ten
16th Michigan State $77,738,746 Big Ten
17th Oklahoma $77,098,009 Big 12
18th Stanford $76,661,466 Pac-10
19th USC $76,409,919 Pac-10
20th Nebraska $75,492,884 Big 12
21st Texas A&M $74,781,640 Big 12
22nd Kentucky $71,186,184 SEC
23rd Duke $67,820,335 ACC
24th South Carolina $66,545,953 SEC
25th UCLA $66,088,264 Pac-10
26th Virginia $65,400,485 ACC
27th Arkansas $64,197,470 SEC
28th California $63,884,710 Pac-10
29th Minnesota $63,782,454 Big Ten
30th Purdue $62,093,614 Big Ten
31st North Carolina $61,263,269 ACC
32nd Boston College $61,203,340 ACC


Towards the end of the post, I found this quote interesting:
"As the figures indicate, the athletic departments with the highest revenue typically are from schools that fill 80,000- to 100,000-seat football stadiums on autumn Saturdays and come from conferences that receive an automatic Bowl Championship Series bid."
While the is statement about the 80,000 to 100,000-seat football stadiums is largely true - the four athletic programs with 100,000+ capacity football stadiums ranked 4th (Michigan), 6th (Penn State), 2nd (Ohio State) and 9th (Tennessee), respectively - it certainly seems strange to see BC hovering around the top 25% of this list.

Indeed, of the top 32 earners, only Duke's Wallace Wade Stadium - with a capacity of 33,941 - is smaller than BC's Alumni Stadium (although something tells me Duke is able to make up for its football stadium's capacity shortfall with the financial success of their men's basketball program). The average stadium capacity for the 31 programs that made more money than BC is 78,821.

Here is how the twelve ACC athletics departments stacked up to one another in the rankings:

Rank School Total Revenue Conference
23rd Duke $67,820,335 ACC
26th Virginia $65,400,485 ACC
31st North Carolina $61,263,269 ACC
32nd Boston College $61,203,340 ACC
34th Clemson $59,126,212 ACC
37th Virginia Tech $56,029,172 ACC
41st Maryland $54,171,741 ACC
49th Georgia Tech $47,126,247 ACC
51st Miami (Fla.) $46,849,990 ACC
53rd Florida State $45,414,953 ACC
55th North Carolina State $44,553,795 ACC
60th Wake Forest $39,961,624 ACC

If the numbers for programs like Miami (Fla.) or Florida State seem low, this is likely because of the small number of varsity sports sponsored by these schools (Miami sponsors 15, the lowest number in the ACC, and Florida State sponsors 17, the second lowest). However, the number of sponsored varsity sports doesn't tell the whole story either. Take a look at Virginia at 2nd in the ACC with $65 million in revenues compared to NC State at 11th in the ACC with $44 million in revenues. Both programs sponsor 25 varsity sports. If you look at revenue per varsity sport sponsored, though, these numbers tell a very different story.

Still, in the ACC, only Duke, Virginia and UNC took in more athletics revenue than Boston College did last year. So for those BC haters out there that say that the move from the Big East to the ACC was a financial failure, don't bust balls. (The first Big East program on the list is Connecticut at No. 39).

If you take one thing away from this list though, it does accurately shows you just how uneven the financial playing field is in college athletics. For example, note the 6 SEC programs in the top 13. Clearly, there will be a separation between the "haves" (the BCS conferences and Notre Dame) and the "have-nots," but it's almost scary to see how wide the divide is in college athletics.

Here's how the conferences stack up to one another:

Conference Avg. Revenue Highest Lowest
Big Ten $76,419,044 Ohio State (2) Northwestern (59)
SEC $71,149,219 Florida (3) Mississippi St. (75)
Big XII $66,480,752 Texas (1) Iowa St. (63)
Pac-10 $58,767,200 Stanford (18) Washington St. (62)
ACC $54,076,764 Duke (23) Wake Forest (60)
Big East $45,553,455 Connecticut (39) Cincinnati (67)
Mountain West $30,755,578 TCU (57) Colorado St. (88)
C-USA $25,706,808 Memphis (68) Southern Miss (111)
WAC $20,452,529 Hawaii (70) La. Tech (115)
MAC $19,997,769 Temple (79) Ball State (107)
Sun Belt $13,807,386 FIU (95) La.-Monroe (118)