- Aug 11, 2015
The chart shows that academics vs. athletic success is a false dichotomy. Florida rose academically while rising in football and all sports generally. Football has boosted every team on this list academically and in their general fundraising. It raises a school’s profile leading to better everything if handled properly. We also rose in other sports while football was thriving.Ranking all 69 Power 5 schools by college sports value - Sports Illustrated.
Interesting topic and read. Nice to UF still considered a top 10 job.
Gene Smith Shares Importance of USC, UCLA Additions for Ohio State and the College Football Landscape
Desirability Ratings: Measuring Each Power 5 School’s Conference ValueIn the midst of another realignment era, we break down all 69 to determine which would be most coveted if conferences were starting over.
- PAT FORDE
- JUL 14, 2022 11:46 AM EDT
Since the afternoon of June 30, when the college sports landscape abruptly lurched and shifted again beneath our feet, everyone has stewed over what the future will hold. When the realignment tremors subside, how consolidated will the elite level be? How many schools, in how many conferences, will command the highest revenue shares and (at least in theory) the best chance to win national championships?
The only certainty at this point is that the Big Ten and Southeastern Conference are the biggest and richest, pumping up their membership to 16 each in the coming years with the additions of USC and UCLA in the Big Ten and Texas and Oklahoma in the SEC. The question is how serious they are about continuing to get bigger and richer, and which acquisitions might further their power grab. Everyone is weighing options, as the 37 Power 5 schools remaining in the Atlantic Coast, Big 12 and Pac-12 jockey for position.
So this latest existential crisis in college sports seemed like a good inflection point for examining who really brings what to the table among the 69 schools currently in the Power 5, or ticketed to arrive in 2023. If you were to blow up every league and hold a draft to redistribute the balance of power, what does your draft board look like?
Maybe it would look like Sports Illustrated’s Power 5 Desirability Ratings—sure to infuriate, possibly to educate. Regardless, this is an attempt to apply some metrics to the debate. We ranked all 69 schools (see below for full list) against one another in five areas, some of which we know move the needle in terms of adding value to a conference, and some of which get a lot of lip service by leaders.
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- Football ranking: This is a five-year average of the Sagarin ratings from 2017 to ’21, using only the current and future Power 5 schools. Sagarin’s numbers are by no means infallible, but they do rank everyone and have been in popular use for a long time, so they’ll serve the purpose here. The top school: Alabama, to the surprise of no one. The worst: Kansas, also the surprise of no one.
- Academic ranking: This is simply the most recent U.S. News & World Report’s national universities rankings, released in 2021. University presidents like to talk about this metric. So do TV execs, when they’re trying to justify moving UCLA into the same league with Michigan and Northwestern. The top academic school among the Power 5: Stanford. The school at the bottom: West Virginia.
- All-sports ranking: This is the Learfield Directors’ Cup Division I standings for the 2021–22 academic year, which rates performance in 19 sports, with the mandatory sport counters being baseball, men’s and women’s basketball and women’s volleyball. The top overall athletic program: Texas, for the second straight year. The laggard of the Power 5: Cincinnati, which didn’t have much to back up that breakthrough football season.
- Football attendance: This was an average of home-game attendance (via NCAA data) from 2017 to ’21, tossing out ’20 since that season was heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. How big is your stadium? And how many fans do you bring to it for home games? Size matters. The top draw: Michigan in the Big House. Fewest butts in seats: Duke, which last year averaged a sad 15,424 fans per home game.
The overall top pick in a blow-it-up-and-start-over iteration of big-time college athletics would be Ohio State. The Buckeyes check all boxes: football excellence, quality academics, all-sports success and a massive alumni base/fan following that fills the stadium and watches the broadcasts. They narrowly outscore Big Ten counterpart Michigan.
- Broadcast viewership: This was the total number of football games that drew one million or more viewers: from 2017 to ’21, also tossing out ’20 due to the wide disparity in number of games played across the country. Citing media markets can be misleading; Rutgers being in the New York market doesn’t mean the Scarlet Knights are delivering an audience. The number of games watched by a million or more people better illustrates which teams are actually bringing eyeballs to screens. The program with the most games that reached the one million benchmark: Oklahoma. The programs few have tuned in to watch in recent years: Oregon State, Rutgers and Duke.
Sports Illustrated’s Power 5 Desirability Ratings
Overall ranking School Football rank Academics All sports Attendance Viewership Total 1. Ohio State 2 20(t) 4 3 2(t) 31 2. Michigan 16 8 3 1 5(t) 33 3. Notre Dame 6 5 8 16 2(t) 37 4. Texas 12(t) 14 1 7 7(t) 41 5. Georgia 3 19 18 8 5(t) 53 6. Florida 18 11(t) 5 12 12(t) 58 7. Wisconsin 8 17 23 15 12(t) 75 8. Oklahoma 5 52(t) 10 13 1 81 9. USC 30 10 12 23(t) 9 84 10. Alabama 1 55(t) 21 4 4 85
Gators should enjoy every success. It isn’t a zero-sum game.