Report: Michigan ranked second in football profits last season

By Zach Helfand, Daily Sports Editor
Published December 15, 2012

Michigan can hold at least one bit of supremacy over the Southeastern Conference: money.

A report by named Michigan the second-most profitable college football team in 2011-12. According to the report, Michigan generated $85.2 million in revenue and turned a $61.6 million profit. Those two figures ranked behind only Texas, which profited $77.9 million and generated $103.8 million in revenue.

On Nov. 18, Dave Brandon told Armen Keteyian in a 60 Minutes report that the football team’s revenue accounts for about 75 percent of the Athletic Department’s $133 budget. That figure would account for just less than $100 million.

The Wolverines’ bottom line was buoyed by the success of Michigan coach Brady Hoke’s first year and events such as the Under the Lights game against Notre Dame. Those and other factors combined to give Michigan a $14.8 million bump in profits from the previous year, and the Wolverines jumped Penn State for the No. 2 most profitable football program.

The program also spent more in 2011-12 than the previous year. Expenses totaled $23.6 million, an increase of about $3.8 million from 2010-11.

Nebraska (tenth in profits) was the only other Big Ten team in the top 10, and Notre Dame ranked eighth. Though the SEC does not boast the most profitable college football program, it still put more teams in the top 10 — six — than any other conference.