Auburn-Florida State BCS Title Game Is Clash Of Financial Giants

Jan 6 2014, 12:06pm CST | by

Auburn-Florida State BCS Title Game Is Clash Of Financial Giants
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

Tonight’s BCS Championship Game will be the last of its kind, with college football moving to a playoff system next year. That alone would make the showdown memorable, but fans may also be treated to one of the best championship games in recent memory.

The Auburn Tigers have been nothing short of explosive this season, and they are coming off a string of three incredible conference victories over Georgia, Alabama and Missouri. Should the Tigers win tonight, claiming their second BCS title in four years, the SEC will have won eight straight national championships.

Florida State poses the biggest threat yet to the SEC’s reign of dominance. Freshman quarterback Jameis Winston has thrown for 3,820 yards and 38 touchdowns en route to a Heisman trophy, and his offense has averaged a staggering 53 points per game. The Seminoles defense has meanwhile allowed more than two touchdowns in a game just twice this season.

And while the two teams are clearly dominant on the field, they are both financial juggernauts off of it.

Auburn, like most top SEC teams, has long held a place on our annual list of college football’s most valuable teams. In 2007, the Tigers ranked eighth with a value of $73 million and profit of $34 million. Five years later the team still ranked eighth, but with team value up 16% to $85 million and a profit of $44 million.

In 2013, our most recent ranking, Auburn was down a bit to a value of $77 million, good for No. 11 on the list. The fall was mostly tied to last year’s horrific 3-9 season, a pitiful showing for the team that spent a massive $36 million, second-most in college football. The on-field disaster will also cost Auburn an extra $11 million just to fire head coach Gene Chizik and his staff.

Few teams spend like Auburn. In fact, the Tigers are second behind only Alabama when it comes to football expenses. That’s a big reason why we ranked Auburn among college football’s worst teams for the money. Over the last three seasons the Tigers have spent an average $5 million per victory. That willingness to spend highlights just how lucrative Auburn’s football team can be (the Tigers still earned $39 million last season) and, given this year’s title game trip, the financial outlay has clearly begun to pay off.

Florida State didn’t make our valuations list this year, but the Seminoles – along with Iowa, Michigan State and Clemson – were one of the closest misses, worth a bit over $50 million. A win tonight would do wonders for FSU’s hopes of bridging the gap. As I detailed in November, the combination of a BCS championship and a Heisman winner could seriously boost team revenue – the last six teams to achieve the feat saw revenue increase by an average 17%.

And just because FSU doesn’t crack the top 20 doesn’t mean it’s not raking in some serious cash. Last year Florida State reported a football profit of $20 million, which covered a large share of expenses for the school’s other sports teams while also helping the athletic department contribute $2.6 million back to academic programming on top of athletic scholarships. FSU and Auburn are both big supporters of academics, and the two teams combine to spend over $5 million per year just on football scholarships.

Beyond the financial power at home, Florida State and Auburn are also conduits of wealth for their local communities and conference rivals.

Visitors to Auburn’s home football games inject some $50 million of direct spending into the local economy over the course of a single season, which is among the biggest economic impacts in college football. Florida State may not come close to comparing, but even the not-so-compelling Seminoles home games generate between $1.5 million and $3 million in visitor spending per game. The year’s biggest rivalry game against Miami, which had college football’s 11th-most expensive ticket this season, can more than double that economic impact.

And while Florida State and Auburn’s conference rivals are often seen as hated villains, they too will grow richer on tonight’s showdown. The ACC and SEC will each receive some $24 million for FSU and Auburn’s automatic qualifications to BCS bowl play. The two conferences may have already been guaranteed those payouts, but the success of Florida State and Auburn was key to each conference also sending an at-large team to a BCS bowl, worth another $6.3 million per conference. All told, each ACC and SEC conference member will enjoy a $2 million payout thanks in large part to the success of tonight’s two competitors.

Follow @ChrisSmith813

Source: Forbes Business


Don't miss ...


<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.


blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Japanese government concerned by yen's rapid fall against dollar
Tokyo, Nov 21 (IANS/EFE) Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso Friday expressed concern over the sharp depreciation of the yen against the dollar this week, and said abrupt movements in the foreign exchange market were not beneficial to the Japanese economy.
WHO declares DRC Ebola-free
Geneva, Nov 21 (IANS) The World Health Organisation (WHO) Friday declared the end of the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Ultra rich population getting richer: Study
Washington, Nov 21 (IANS) Only 0.004 percent of the world's high networth adult population controls almost 13 percent of the world's total wealth, according to a new study.
Morocco, US organisation sign MoU on 'Enterprise City' project
Marrakech, Nov 21 (IANS) The Moroccan government and US institution Babson Global have signed a memorandum of understanding to conduct a feasibility study for the establishment of an "Enterprise City", a city dedicated to business, in the North African country.

Latest from the Network

Chinese court upholds life sentence against Uyghur activist
Beijing, Nov 21 (IANS/EFE) A court in western China has upheld the conviction and life sentence handed down against Uyghur activist Ilham Tohti, who appealed the sentence when it was first passed in September, one of...
Read more on Politics Balla
Matt Smith to star in Patient Zero
Matt Smith has been cast in 'Patient Zero'. The former 'Doctor Who' star has signed on to appear in the infection film which will see him have to cope with the aftermath of a worldwide viral pandemic across the Earth....
Read more on Movie Balla
Mick Jagger praises 'amazing' Chadwick Boseman
Sir Mick Jagger claims Chadwick Boseman is ''amazing'' as James Brown in the singer's biopic 'Get On Up'. The 71-year-old Rolling Stones rocker co-produced the movie and praised the young actor for his portrayal of the...
Read more on Movie Balla
South African president calls for end to racism in sports
Johannesburg, Nov 21 (IANS) South African President Jacob Zuma Friday called for global efforts to end racism in sports. South Africa adds its voice to the billions of others throughout the world who are determined to...
Read more on Sport Balla
Sheamus wants reality show for WWE Superstars
Sheamus wants to appear in a reality TV show about the WWE Superstars. The 36-year-old star believes the success of E! series 'Total Divas', which follows the lives of the female competitors in the company, has shown...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
Bill Murray: Actors are heroes
Bill Murray thinks actors are heroes. The 'Ghostbusters' star - who recently had an entire day dedicated to him at Toronto Film Festival - claims people admire actors so much because they get to escape reality by...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
Robin Williams' son: We're doing OK
Robin Williams' son says the late star's family are still adapting ''to the new normal'' following his father's death. The Hollywood actor died from asphyxia due to hanging at his home in August aged 63 and his eldest...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
Jennifer Lopez exfoliates with diamonds
Jennifer Lopez exfoliates her legs with diamonds. The 'On the Floor' hitmaker reportedly swears by a $250 Australian-made body scrub that is made with ''diamond powder'' to keep cellulite at bay. A source close to the...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
Indian golfers Atwal, Rashid tied 15th in Manila Masters
Manila, Nov 21 (IANS) Indian golfers Arjun Atwal and Rashid Khan shared the 15th position after the second round of the $1 million Manila Masters at the par-72 Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club here Friday....
Read more on Sport Balla
Sarjubala, Saweety enter women's World boxing semis
Jeju (South Korea), Nov 21 (IANS) Indian boxers Shamjetsabam Sarjubala and Saweety reached the semi-finals of the Women's World Championships here Friday. Sarjubala started the proceedings with a dominating 3:0 win...
Read more on Sport Balla