OK, let's talk Top 25 "brand value" schools

Here is the current Top 25 in brand value.


I did a breakdown by conference. For the purposes of this list, UT and OU are being included in the SEC, rather than the Future Big 12. I’ll explain why later:

SEC: 12 (Texas, aTm, Bama, OU, Georgia, Florida, Auburn, LSU, Tennessee, South Carolina, Arkansas, Ole Miss)
B1G: 7 (Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Nebraska, Iowa, Mich St, Wisconsin)
PAC: 3 (USC, Oregon, Washington)
ACC: 2 (Clemson and Florida State)
Indy: 1 (Notre Dame)
Big 12 (Future): 0

OK, as you can see, the biggest value brands are top heavy, especially in the SEC, but to a lesser extent in the B1G.

Of course, you can see why the SEC chose OU and UT. They were the biggest value brands out there NOT already in the B1G or SEC.

So take a look at the ACC. What are its only two really “big value” brands? Well duh! As I’ve said before…CLEMSON AND FLORIDA STATE!!! And which conference will likely be coming for them next? Well duh!!! Just like with OU and UT…the SEC!!!

If the SEC wanted to become the undisputed “brand value” champion, those are going to be the next two schools they’ll “poach.”

Makes sense. Geographically, they’d be a perfect fit as well, and have tremendous in-state conference rivalries with existing SEC members.

So what can the B1G do?

Well, let’s think. Obviously, they can’t take Clemson or Florida State, because they aren’t either AAU or Notre Dame.

OK, so let’s say they take Notre Dame. Now there are no independent “big brand value” schools.

At that point, they won’t make up the difference with the SEC…BUT, there are two other ACC teams that would be AAU, have solid brands, and be adjacent to their existing geographical footprint: UVA and UNC!!! If they wanted to make a longer than normal stretch, maybe GaTech. Pittsburgh, another ACC AAU member already within the B1G’s geographical footprint, might be drawn in as well.

At this point the ACC would be completely GUTTED. If it survives at all, it’ll likely have less overall brand value than the Big 12; perhaps FAR less. In football, you’d be looking at Miami being in the same conference with…Wake Forest, Duke, etc. Perhaps Miami would move to the SEC as well. Perhaps some would want to move to the Big 12, or perhaps they’d simply drive on together. But if they are still a conference, they’ll be diminished.

So you may ask, what about the three PAC-12 schools that are big brands?

Well…I understand that a lot of people here would say, aren’t they also AAU? Well, yeah. So why can’t the B1G just take them and call it a day? I keep hearing lots of talking heads, and a few people on this board imagine a B1G “raid” to that effect.

Well, to be honest, I doubt any conference wants to travel that far. For the B1G, that would be literally an East Coast to West Coast trip dozens of times per year for non-revenue sports. I don’t see it. Those three big value PAC schools are likely to stay put for that very reason. They’ll be their own little exclusive “monopoly” zone out west.

What about the Big 12? Well, there aren’t any big value brands there that either the B1G or SEC want. They’ve made that clear. Only one school, Kansas, is even AAU, and the B1G has definitely made it clear that that’s NOT a sucky football brand that they want. The PAC-12 said no to adding Big 12 schools when they could have had their pick. The SEC picked the big value brands that it wanted.

So I would imagine that the Big 12 will indeed survive. They won’t get raided the way that the ACC will, and while they won’t have any “big value” brands, neither will the ACC once all is said and done.

As for the PAC-12 taking Big 12 schools, possibly even UH…don’t put money on it. For the same reason the B1G won’t take PAC-12 schools (travel), don’t bet on the PAC-12 taking anyone outside their monopoly zone.


For a zillion reasons we landed exactly where we want and need to be.

Regarding B1G revenue, these guys aren’t bloggers:


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It would be in the B12’s best interest to decide what teams they want to be their “brand” teams and help build those brands. I’m not saying this lies solely with the conference. The school/team has to pull their own weight.

To say that Notre Dame and BYU are not value brands is puzzling. Both schools have national appeal; ND with history and the large segment of the Catholic Church following and BYU has the Mormon following.


Anybody ever heard of UNC…? I find it hard to believe FSU has more brand value than UNC.


ND is definitely a big value brand.

BYU isn’t in the Top 25, but in terms of attendance would be up there. They’d be a close #2 in attendance if they were in the PAC-12.

I think the biggest issue in your analyses is that you rule out realignment options by outdated(or soon to be) restrictions. Meaning by location/distance, and by school “fit”.

Money is going to/is making those things obsolete in the big scheme of things. With a billion dollar tv contracts, tradition, distance, and culture fits don’t really matter (as much) anymore. It’s all about the money. That’s why so many rivalries have been lost to the TV contracts.

The OUT move proved that. Nobody saw it really coming because everyone thought they were content being the big fish in the pond. But the money came calling, and their egos followed.

USC may have a lot of money, but they will want more just like UT did. Ego’s will get in the way, and will continue to change the landscape.

The BIG may hold onto the AAU card, but I don’t think it will for long.

Notes Dame will hold onto independence, but not when a big pay day comes calling.

Pay for Play is making college football an arms race for money, and for brands. Money is all that matters now. Especially to Disney and Fox that control the viewer market.

Now I’m not going to tell you I’m right, I could be wrong. I hope I am.

But money is, and will continue, to ruin college football.

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I assume they must be talking football only where UNC has no big draw. Basketball is a whole different story.

Who said ND isn’t a value brand?

It must have been Harvey Schwartz, or maybe I just messed up on that one. :blush:

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Football brand. FSU’s is much bigger.

I can’t take a list that has Ole Miss, South Carolina and Nebraska as top 25 brands. Sorry, but no one cares about Ole Miss, the State of Mississippi, food from Mississippi, or anything related thereto.

The only things interesting about Mississippi involves traitors and racists (Jefferson Davis, Battle of Vicksburg, killing of the three Freedom Riders in Philadelphia, MS and assassination of Medgar Evers).

NE is losing people as fast as its losing interest. Name a good football player from NE in the last ten years NOT named Ndamukong Suh.

South Carolina? When is the last time they were relevant? When the old ball coach was there. That was a while ago.

It is a faulty list which is why you see the Mississippi and S Carolina on it. It is skewed based on current conference affiliation as it only considers current revenues. If your in the SEC or Big 10 and already have the nigher conference TV contracts it assumes you must be a big brand. It is faulty as it does not take into account individual schools but associations.

A better way to judge brand would probably have to include TV ratings per time slot and channel, individual school type revenues, and local and national name recognition. The general conference revenue would be a factor, but it is not good on its own.

I agree with this. I would like to see a list just based on merchandise sales to offset the
conference affiliation and schools that have strong booster programs that donate 10-25
million annually to the schools “profit”.

The clients of Collegiate Licensing Company include just about every major University.

And, Monday, the company released the top schools in royalties received for the sale of their merchandise.

And the winner, for the eighth straight year is the University of Texas.
Alabama was second, followed by Notre Dame, Michigan and Kentucky. LSU was sixth, with Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Arkansas rounding out the top ten.

College merchandise sales generate $4.6 billion dollars in revenue.

Ohio State, Michigan State, Southern Cal and Oregon are the major schools that are not clients of Collegiate Licensing…

Read More: What School Sells the Most College Merchandise? | https://espnlafayette.com/what-school-sells-the-most-college-merchandise/?utm_source=tsmclip&utm_medium=referral

Nebraska has certainly been a sucky TEAM in recent years, but that doesn’t make them a small brand.

They are still a Top Ten team in attendance with over 80K per game. UH, despite being a far better TEAM, is a much smaller brand. We only averaged just over 20K or so for games at TDECU last year.

In military and professional life, I’ve met many Nebraska grads, and they all follow their team religiously no matter where they are.

The same thing could be said for FSU. Sucky team, but HUGE brand.

As for South Carolina, again, mediocre program historically, but still a huge brand with 70K+ per game and loyal following.

As for TV ratings, in today’s era of streaming media, they are not as important as they once were.

So stadium size equals brand ranking?

Not necessarily size, per se, but selling tickets and FILLING IT.

ATTENDANCE and TICKET SALES are definitely major factors in brand size.

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Once in the big 12, what do y’all think the attendance will average? I’m thinking some sell outs and 35k range average.

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Probably about right.

If we can regularly sell out, then expansion may be in order.

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I am still not buying this.

If attendance is the key driver of brand, then of course Big Ten and SEC schools will tend to dominate because those schools are located in areas where all they have is College Football. I mean, what they heck else is there to do in Lincoln, NE, Columbia, SC or Oxford, MS? Add Clemson, SC and Tuscaloosa, AL to the list too. Of the Big Ten and SEC schools, only Michigan, OSU, OU and UT are located in large metro areas, although Madison, WI is growing rapidly.

I live in SEC country (Atlanta); while UGA is obviously the top dawg, the Atlanta metro is the key job market for the Southeast so we have people from all over. I have seen bumper stickers and license plate holders from schools as diverse as UGA, Ga Tech, Auburn, Bama, UT, UH (not just me), Iowa (not just me), Harvard, FSU, Miami, Michigan, OSU, Clemson, and Penn State. I have never seen any bumper stickers for Nebraska. I have seen a few for Ole Miss and especially South Carolina, likely due to proximity. When I lived in DC it was the same, but more ACC and Big Ten (few SEC teams outside of Vanderbilt).