The LSU Tigers are ranked as the nation’s fifth most-valuable college football program in a report out of Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus. The analysis, by Ryan Brewer, an associate professor of finance, broke down each team’s available revenue and expenses from 2016. He found that if the Tigers were for sale, they’d be worth about $911 million dollars.
"We look at the endowment of the university, the size, student enrollment, growth populations of the state, size of the stadium, historical attendance records," said Brewer.
The report shows the SEC as a whole put five teams in the top 10, which would make it the most valuable conference averaging $523 million per team. Brewer says he also took into account the risk of fans switching to another team, so it’s not really surprising that the SEC ranked so high.
"Football is a religion down there," said Brewer. "A lot of the schools down there have a tremendous fan base with a long standing history. It's like a cultural deal. It's what you do on Saturdays in the Fall."
Brewer says, unlike the NFL, college football ratings have not seen declines over the last year; and they are actually near all-time highs. Though he looked at these numbers from last year, he doesn’t predict LSU’s football program being any less valuable if they have a losing season in 2017. He says when a fan base is mad, it’s good because it means they care.
"LSU football is a big deal, and they have been a big deal for decades," said Brewer. "They generate a lot of cash. Last year they had over $60 million dollars for the University to do with what it wants. That's enormous. There's only a few teams who generated more."