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Monday, February 18, 2013
UT isn't getting enough bang for its buck

By Sean Adams

AUSTIN, Texas -- In an effort to stay away from the accounting versus accountability discussion, I still have to start with Forbes Magazine naming the University of Texas the most valuable program in college football. The magazine noted that the Longhorns' value was up $4 million over last year to $133 million.

While it might be worth comparing Texas to Kansas State -- Forbes named K-State as the best school for the money spent -- the two schools do things so differently that it will never be apples to apples. In other words Kansas State gets the most bang for its buck.

We have been told by everyone with a microphone that the University of Texas is the "Joneses." If you follow the money that statement seems to be true. Texas is the most valuable property in college sports. Texas is the first football program to go over $100 million in revenue. The football programs profit sits at $78 million. Texas football profits more than every Division I program except for eight schools. The Longhorns profit more money than Notre Dame, LSU, Florida, Oklahoma, Oregon and USC bring in for revenue.

It is safe to say that from a financial perspective, the Longhorns are the kings of college football.

None of that can be written without bringing up the murky issue of how that money is spent and whether Texas is truly getting its return on investment. Why have the Longhorns continued to struggle on the field?

Alabama has won three of the last four national championships. Where does it fit on this list compiled by Forbes? Even though its ranking is No. 6, Alabama is far behind Texas in everything associated with money. The Crimson Tide are 71 percent of Texas in value, 79 percent in revenue and 58 percent in profit.

Obviously football programs need to make money and Texas and Alabama do a great job of doing it. But when I compare history, experience, depth of knowledge and the ability and autonomy to focus on football, Alabama is sowing more and reaping more than Texas.

With the recent changes that have taken place with the NCAA rules in regards to staff numbers and the support staff availability, it appears Alabama is taking advantage. The Crimson Tide are adding to their support staff -- recently hiring former Baylor coach Kevin Steele as director of player personnel -- and preparing for the new NCAA rules, which will begin in August. (A recap of the new rules can be found here.)

The Longhorns, however, haven't added anyone and aren't expected to. While Texas is making a ton of money off the field, it might be wise to spend some and invest in the football side of support for the Longhorns.

While it is never wise to compare results according to spend or Kansas State might be the best football program in America, I think it is wise to compare inputs and outputs between the school that is best at making money and the school that is best at winning championships.

Texas might need to "best practice," compare and contrast and loosen the purse strings that might get the support on campus that will help lead to winning.