Alabama is the best at attaining college football's twin goals: Winning and making money

September 16, 2013 Updated Sep 16, 2013 at 9:26 AM EDT

By G. Scott Thomas - Business First

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Alabama is the best at attaining college football's twin goals: Winning and making money

September 16, 2013 Updated Sep 16, 2013 at 9:26 AM EDT


The University of Alabama is the dominant force in college football today. No doubt about that.

Alabama's Crimson Tide rolled to the national championship the past two seasons, dismantling Louisiana State and Notre Dame in consecutive title games.

And the Tide sits atop this year's preseason polls, inspiring dreams of a third straight championship, something no team has accomplished since the national playoffs debuted in 1992.

This record of excellence is reinforced by a new On Numbers study, which concludes that Alabama's football program is 16 percent better than its closest competitor anywhere across the country, Louisiana State.

On Numbers analyzed three years of statistics for 120 teams at the top level of college football, Division I's Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). The highest scores went to teams that are strongest at the twin missions of big-time college sports -- winning games and making money.

Alabama is the clear leader with a final score of 10.972 points on the On Numbers scale. That's 16 percent ahead of runner-up Louisiana State at 9.424 points.

Rounding out the top five in this year's overall rankings are Ohio State, Oklahoma and Oregon.

Alabama's on-field prowess, of course, is a major reason why it holds first place in the On Numbers rankings.

The Crimson Tide won 35 of 40 games the past three years, highlighted by the national championships that capped its 2011 and 2012 seasons. It ranked among the nation's top 17 teams in all 48 weekly polls conducted by the Associated Press during that span, including 39 weeks within the top five.

But Alabama is also a powerhouse on the business side of college football. It generated $230.7 million in football-related revenues in three years, while drawing an average of 101,788 fans to each home game.

Texas was the only FBS team to post higher revenues during that span, while Michigan and Ohio State were the only colleges with stronger attendance.

The following are the top 10 teams in the overall college football rankings. Click on any school's name to see its full statistical profile.

1.Alabama
2.Louisiana State
3.Ohio State
4.Oklahoma
5.Oregon
6.Texas
7.Georgia
8.Michigan
9.South Carolina
10.Florida

Five of these 10 leaders, including Alabama, play in the Southeastern Conference, generally acknowledged to be the strongest football conference in Division I. (The other Southeastern entries in the top 10 are Louisiana State, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida.)

The Big Ten (Ohio State and Michigan) and the Big 12 (Oklahoma and Texas) have two teams apiece within this elite group. The final conference in the top 10 is the Pacific-12, which is represented by Oregon.

Half of each team's score in the On Numbers rankings was determined by its success on the field, based on its win-loss record and performance in AP's weekly polls. The other half was tied to each team's relative success in business, based on per-game attendance and football-related revenues.

On Numbers has supplemented the overall rankings with separate field and business ratings, using the statistics cited in the previous paragraph. Alabama and Texas are the respective leaders.

These are the top 10 FBS schools in the field rankings:

1.Alabama
2.Oregon
3.Louisiana State
4.Stanford
5.Boise State
6.Oklahoma
7.Ohio State
8.South Carolina
9.Texas Christian
10.Oklahoma State

And these are the top 10 colleges in the business rankings:

1.Texas
2.Michigan
3.Alabama
4.Penn State
5.Georgia
6.Ohio State
7.Florida
8.Louisiana State
9.Auburn
10.Notre Dame

The complete rankings for 120 schools can be found at:
http://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/on-numbers/scott-thomas/2013/08/alabama-is-the-best-at-attaining.html?surround=etf&ana=e_article

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