It’s no surprise that the athletic budgets for schools associated with a Bowl Championship Series conference are quite large. There is a recent SBJ article which shows the athletic budgets for these schools from 2010 to 2012.
As I anticipated, some of the schools with the biggest increases over this period are predictable. For example, Utah comes in at a 25.9% increase during that time period. It makes sense as the school moves into the Pac-12 conference. A large increase might even make sense for a school like South Florida (23.5%) which is trying to up its level of competitiveness in the Big East.
Take a look at the rest of the top 10 largest increases from 2010 to 2012:
The first one that sticks out is Michigan. A 29.8% increase is massive when you are talking about a 2010 fiscal year budget of $84.6 million. That one wasn’t so predicable in my mind. That said, it makes sense. They are trying desperately to correct the direction of their athletic department in Ann Arbor. If those millions of dollars don’t help, what is going on in Columbus, OH might do the trick.
Louisville coming in at number one is interesting. Recently home to a perennially good hoops program, but the Cardinals are a struggling bottom feeder in Big East football. I would imagine this increase in spend has a lot of to with that latter point.
Also interesting to look at; the largest athletic budgets:
First, I want to point out that Alabama’s 2012 budget will likely be in the top 5. However, it was not made available to the SBJ for their report. The top 5 above, plus ‘Bama, is probably about as predictable as it gets. The entire top 15 doesn’t have much in the way of surprises. It is indeed amazing just how much more money Texas has than every other team. The budget for UT is just about equal to that of South Florida, Mississippi State, Washington State and Utah combined. And those are BCS schools, not some Atlantic Sun or 1AA football members.
Speaking of the “little guys”; lets look at what BCS schools complete the bottom 10:
As you would guess, a lot of state schools at the bottom of the list. Those schools athletic budgets are subject to approval processes.
Only three schools have budgets that are projected to decrease from 2010 to 2012. Those schools are Texas Tech, Illinois and Florida. UF has a top 5 budget, yet while other top tier athletic departments increase their spend, the Gators are holding steady.
It should be noted that some budgets were not available when the SBJ went looking. In the ACC, budgets for Boston College, Duke, Miami and Wake Forest were not available. In the pac-12, budgets for Southern California and Stanford were not available. In the BigTen, budgets for Northwestern were not available. In the SEC, budgets for Vanderbilt were not available. In the Big East, budgets for Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and TCU were not available. Lastly, Rutgers and Alabama’s 2012 budgets were also unavailable.
Editor’s Note: Updated the section about Louisville to correctly state Big East not SEC.