How much is your Big Ten football team worth? A lot!

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

How much is your Big Ten football team worth? Thanks to a recent study by Ryan Brewer, an assistant professor of finance at Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus, we have an idea. Let’s state the obvious: every Big Ten program is worth a lot. But, Michigan ($688.5 million) and Ohio State ($674.8) lead the Big Ten and only trail Texas ($875) and Notre Dame ($811.5).

Editor’s note: In the first version of this story, we incorrectly used last year’s study and numbers. The error has been fixed.

[ MORE: View the total value of top college football teams ]

According to this Wall Street Journal story, Brewer calculated the intrinsic valuations for 115 of the teams in the top-tier Football Bowl Subdivision to reach his final figures. He also looked at each program’s revenues and expenses and made cash-flow adjustments, risk assessments and growth projections for each school.

[ MORE: Dienhart: Why each B1G team should feel good about 2014 ]

Here’s a look at Big Ten teams in top 50
No. 3 Michigan – $688.5M
No. 4 Ohio State – $674.8
No. 11 Iowa – $479.1
No. 12 Nebraska – $432.5
No. 13 Wisconsin – $406.4
No. 14 Penn State – $377.6
No. 29 Michigan State – $212.9
No. 36 Minnesota -$179.7
No. 40 Northwestern – $154.5
No. 46 Indiana – $125.8
No. 48 Purdue – $114

Not too many surprises here, right? The only two things that kind of jump out at me: 1. Iowa ahead of Nebraska, albeit by only one spot; 2. Michigan State, the Big Ten and Rose Bowl champ, coming in at No. 29.


Forbes also did a study, its in late December, and Texas topped that list, too. The Big Ten teams listed: Michigan (No. 5); Ohio State (No. 9); Nebraska (No. 10); Penn State (No. 15); Wisconsin (No. 16); Iowa and Michigan State (runners up).

About Brent Yarina senior editor Brent Yarina covers football and men’s basketball for He writes the popular uniform feature “Clothes Call,” which also focuses on the latest cosmetic changes across Big Ten arenas and stadiums. Read all of his work here. You can subscribe to Yarina’s RSS feed and follow him on Twitter @BTNBrentYarina.


Your Opinion?
Show Comments (23 Comments)
SteepPowder on 1/8/2014 @ 4:12pm EDT Said:

Well done, Delany, in adding two schools to the bottom of the list.

bob jones on 1/8/2014 @ 4:19pm EDT Said:

Iowa over Nebraska is very strange. Huskers have a bigger stadium capacity by about 20,000 and have sold out every home game for 52 years, they have better facilities, they are a top five team in all time wins, have 5 national titles and 3 Heisman trophy winners, compared to 1 and 1 for Iowa and have more wins than any other school for the last 50 years, and Nebraska is an historic name in college football history, Iowa is not. Doesn’t add up.

Kurt on 1/8/2014 @ 4:25pm EDT Said:

It’s not about the past Bob! It is current value.

Mark on 1/8/2014 @ 4:46pm EDT Said:

Yea Iowa in front of Nebraska, Wisky, and Penn State doesn’t make much sense!

Jonathon on 1/8/2014 @ 4:47pm EDT Said:

Iowa over Nebraska, Penn State and Wisconsin? Really?

Harry on 1/8/2014 @ 4:52pm EDT Said:

@Bob Jones they explained how they came up with the numbers in the article. Past success is not a direct factor.

Rachel on 1/8/2014 @ 4:53pm EDT Said:

Bob, it adds up perfectly. Your national titles from two decades ago don’t do anything right now. Iowa continually packs the stadium and brings money into Iowa City every football and basketball weekend. You have zero cache when it comes to b-ball so we have a whole other sport to generate more revenue in. We also do a lot of things efficiently, which I’m guessing Nebraska does not.

Rachel on 1/8/2014 @ 4:54pm EDT Said:

I just realized they are weighing only football here so my previous comment about basketball is moot. But we do so many things efficiently in Iowa and it’s NO surprise to me that we are so far ahead of all those schools.

Rachel on 1/8/2014 @ 4:57pm EDT Said:

I also just noticed – and so should the B1G Network – that this study is over a year old? If you click on the link to the WSJ article, it references the title game between ND and Bama as “last night”. This is not current!

    Brent Yarina, Senior Editor on 1/8/2014 @ 5:52pm EDT Said:

    Sorry, Big Ten fans. I had incorrectly used the 2013 study in this post. The post has been updated with 2014 figures. Thank you.

Nathan on 1/8/2014 @ 5:00pm EDT Said:

@Rachel – You do realize this is strictly concerning B1G football teams, right? Besides, I’d contend that Nebraska runs their program more efficiently than Iowa does.

Drew Wyse on 1/8/2014 @ 5:03pm EDT Said:

This WSJ article was published over a year ago, 1/7/13. Is there any update regarding current team valuations?

Jay Langdon on 1/8/2014 @ 5:07pm EDT Said:

@ Rachel this is about football it doesn’t have anything to do with basketball

Chris on 1/8/2014 @ 5:54pm EDT Said:

This is wrong and probably the reason it was taken off of facebook. Iowa isn’t even in the top 20 for valuation of its football program.

James on 1/8/2014 @ 6:06pm EDT Said:

Oh look a Nebraska fan bringing up championships from 20 years ago to argue a point today, look at my surprised face. That fanbase is just the worst.

“Oh look it’s going to rain in omaha today!”


    bob jones on 1/8/2014 @ 10:10pm EDT Said:

    Success over a long period of time determines a programs standing. Nebraska has slipped a bit in recent years, like all top programs have done, [Ala, Okla, ND, USC, Texas, FSU, Mich], but even at that they are one of only 3 teams to win at least 9 games for the last 6 years, it’s below Nebraska’s championship standards, but still better than all but 2 programs over that period. Selling out every home game for 52 years is an incredible feat, as is leading the NCAA in all time Academic All-Americans. Nebraska has won more games than any other program over the last 50 or so years and ranks in the top 5 in all time wins, Iowa is somewhere around 40th or 45th in total wins. Iowa has a very commendable record of 1 National title, 1 Heisman winner and 2 Outland winners, although not anywhere near Nebraska’s total of 5 National Champions, 3 Heisman Trophy winners and 9 Outland Trophy winners. Throw in facilities as good as any in the country and Nebraska still ranks as one of the best, if not the best football program of all time. Just absolute nonsense to rate Iowa’s program more valuable than Nebraska’s, it is not comparable by any stretch of the imagination in any area, not in history, tradition, championships, total wins, attendance, sell out streaks, bowl games, All-Americans, Heismans and Outlands. And if we want to talk recent history, Nebraska, while struggling a bit under Pelini the last 6 years, still has 10 more wins over that time period than Iowa. Spin it any way you want, but ranking Iowa’s football program over Nebraska’s program now, 10 years ago, 30 years ago or 100 years ago is pure nonsense. One interesting tidbit to leave on, The Four Horsemen of Notre Dame only lost 2 games in their entire careers, guess who they lost to? You got it, Nebraska.

MSU#1-Rose Bowl Win, B1G Champs! 13-1! 42 wins in 4 years! on 1/8/2014 @ 7:22pm EDT Said:

Go Green!

huskerdude on 1/8/2014 @ 8:20pm EDT Said:

James, u must still be upset of a husker win over your team 20 years ago… its ok

Erik on 1/8/2014 @ 10:40pm EDT Said:

You Do Realize That Nebraska is only receiving a very small amount of tv money until 2017 right?

I figured you would know considering you work for BTN and should be knowledgeable on the subject.

Kyle on 1/8/2014 @ 11:27pm EDT Said:

Iowegies claiming they run their program more efficiently than Neb, PSU and Wisc, ha! And they are complaining about Neb fans pointing out the facts of why these rankings don’t make sense, no surprise.

Todd Taylor on 1/9/2014 @ 9:36am EDT Said:

Perhaps apparel sales are in this? I’m here in Chicago, a “neutral” site compared to most being discussed here. I’ve NEVER in my life seen a Nebraska jersey, however, I’ve seen Iowa, and not just here. Just a thought.

Mike Kleinj on 1/9/2014 @ 5:51pm EDT Said:

What happened to the Illini?

Ryan on 1/10/2014 @ 11:58am EDT Said:

They are also ahead of Nebraska! HA HA