Monday, April 9, 2007

Trying to Emulate Florida

Make that three straight titles for Florida in the sports that "count". What Florida has done (and Ohio State as well) has never been done and probably won't be done again for a long time.

The University of Florida is a football school and a very good one at that. They have every advantage you can think when it comes to football - great, in state talent, big stadium, big conference, good coaches, and lots of money pouring in from boosters.

But with back to back national titles in basketball, the Gator Nation has more to look forward after January than just Spring Practice. So how do the Gators do it? Well, to succeed in college sports today you have to have football as your main source of revenue. The money generated from football allows schools like Florida to recruit nationwide in basketball, improve their facilities, and go after and keep top coaches. If you are a dominant basketball program (i.e. Kentucky, Duke) you cannot generate enough revenue to build a dominant football program.

There are short list of schools that could repeat what Florida has accomplished. Here they are:
1. Ohio State (duh, they almost did)
2. Texas
3. Michigan (sleeping giant in basketball if they could keep the Detroit kids at home - see Fab 5)
2005 Schools Athletic Revenue/Expenses

Top 5 Revenue Schools (2005)
1. Ohio State - Football School - Made National Title in Basketball
2. Texas - Football School - Made 2nd Round, best player in the country
3. Michigan - Football School - sleeping giant in basketball
4. Florida - Football School - back to back basketball national titles
5. Wisconsin - Football School - 2 seed, fell in second round

Lets take a look at the top basketball schools in the country and compare their revenue rankings.
1. Duke - 37th
2. Kentucky - 19th
3. UCLA - 32nd
4. Kansas - 22nd
5. North Carolina - 23rd

Compare that to the top football schools
1. Florida - 3rd
2. USC - 15th
3. Texas - 2nd
4. Ohio State - 1st
5. LSU - 13th
6. Michigan - 3rd
7. Notre Dame - 17th
8. Tennessee - 6th

But wait... what about profit? Isn't it all about profit?
Top 5 Profit Schools are all football schools
1. Georgia - $23.8M
2. Michigan - $17.0M
3. Wisconsin - $15.7M
4. Texas - $15.2M
5. Alabama - $12.5M

The following schools could do it, but it would it would take a star alignment type thing:
1. UCLA - primarily basketball, but So Cal puts out a lot of football players
2. LSU - last time I check they were the only school in Louisiana worth anything in sports

3. Wisconsin - I have no clue how the Badgers are so good, but they are every year
4. Georgia - the state of Georgia gets overrun by other schools recruiters in every sport
5. Florida State - Sam Cassell isn't walking through the door, but Jenn Sterger's do every fall.
6. Tennessee - women's basketball is big
7. North Carolina - Tar Heel state produces its fair share of football talent as well

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