Big 12 has six of top 21 national schools in total revenue

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

I'm always curious about where the Big 12 ranks with other FBS schools in all kinds of rankings. Total revenue provides an interesting glimpse of the conference in comparison with others.

The Orlando Sentinel had a chart earlier this week where it ranked all of the FBS schools in that statistic. It's a telling number because it quantifies what the schools took in during the 2007-08 season -- the most recent year where numbers are available. The revenues include both generated revenue from areas such as ticket sales and sponsorships and also allocated revenue that includes tuition waivers, direct institutional support and money from student fees.

The figures are compiled by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Postsecondary Education. All schools but the U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Military Academy were required to report their overall numbers to the Department of Education.

The numbers for the Big 12 were telling. It's no surprise that Texas ranks as No. 1 in the country with revenues of more than $120 million. But the rest of the figures are intriguing because of the wide variance in terms of the Big 12's order.

The top-ranked school are those that typically are the most successful in drawing fans. But there are some interesting rankings among the top 10 schools and the Big 12's rankings.

Here's a listing of the top 10 schools nationally.

  • 1. Texas: $120,288,370

  • 2. Ohio State: $117,953,712

  • 3. Florida: $106,030,895

  • 4. Michigan: $99,027,105

  • 5. Wisconsin: $93,452,334

  • 6. Penn State: $91,570,233

  • 7. Auburn: $89,305,326

  • 8. Alabama: $88,869,810

  • 9. Tennessee: $88,719,798

  • 10. Oklahoma State: $88,554,438

And here's a list of the rest of the Big 12 schools and their national rankings, according to the Sentinel's chart.

  • 11. Kansas: $86,009,257

  • 17. Oklahoma: $77,098,009

  • 20. Nebraska: $75,492,884

  • 21. Texas A&M: $74,781,640

  • 43. Colorado: $52,631,896

  • 46. Missouri: $49,113,786

  • 47. Kansas State: $48,160,113

  • 56. Baylor: $44,151,763

  • 58. Texas Tech: $42,844,855

  • 63. Iowa State: $38,642,013

It's interesting to note that schools from the Big 12, Big Ten and Southeastern Conference accounted for the top 13 slots before Notre Dame cracked the list at No. 14. The first other conference represented was the Pac-10's Stanford at No. 18.

Among schools in the top 20 nationally, here's the conference breakdown:

Big Ten and SEC, six apiece; Big 12, five; Pac-10, two; independents, one.

Among top-40 schools, the Big Ten had 10 and the SEC had nine to lead the list. The Big 12, Pac-10 and ACC accounted for six schools apiece, followed by two for the Big East and an independent.

TCU (57th) was the highest-ranked team from outside a BCS conference.

You can bend these numbers in any manner you want, but these are the kind of figures that Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe will be taking to potential television partners as he bids to create a television network. It gives an idea of how the Big 12 schools compare with other BCS-level competitors in the other conferences in terms of revenue.

As the figures indicate, the athletic departments with the highest revenue typically are from schools that fill 80,000- to 100,000-seat football stadiums on autumn Saturdays and come from conferences that receive an automatic Bowl Championship Series bid.