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CFB 24 43 Forbes' 2012 college football program valuations 31491278 Big money Big+money CFB

The BCS national championship is college football’s biggest prize, and the Southeastern Conference has ruled that roost. Alabama gave the SEC its sixth consecutive national title last season, and the Crimson Tide will try to make that seven — and defend their crown — on Jan. 7 against Notre Dame (full bowl schedule).


There’s no doubt, however, that college football is big business, and Forbes Magazine on Wednesday released its 2012 college football program valuations based on financial data from the 2011-12 fiscal year.


While SEC teams certainly dominate the list, which program stands above the pack? Click through and find out.

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CFB 24 43 Forbes' 2012 college football program valuations 31491279 Texas Texas CFB

Still the one! The Longhorns, who face Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29 (full bowl schedule), are worth $133 million — up from $129 million last year. Although the ’Horns played one fewer home game last season, Forbes says increased Big 12 contributions and the Longhorn Network helped keep Texas atop this list.


More: Forbes’ full list and a complete explanation of the valuations.

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CFB 24 43 Forbes' 2012 college football program valuations 31491294 Michigan Michigan CFB

An extra home game last season helps the Wolverines take the No. 2 spot from Notre Dame, according to the Forbes report. Michigan — which takes on South Carolina in the Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day (full bowl schedule) — comes in at $120 million, up a whopping 28 percent from the last valuation.

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CFB 24 43 Forbes' 2012 college football program valuations 31486795 Notre Dame Notre+Dame CFB

The Irish are worth $103 million, down 8 percent mainly because they had one fewer home game last season. Forbes notes that the team’s independent status also hurts its value, but the run to the BCS title game against Alabama on Jan. 7 (full bowl schedule) will boost Notre Dame next year.

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CFB 24 43 Forbes' 2012 college football program valuations 31491292 LSU LSU CFB

The Tigers, who take on Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on Dec. 31 (full bowl schedule) are the top SEC program with a valuation of $102 million, up 6 percent. LSU’s run to the BCS title game last season earned the conference more than $22 million, helping boost the Tigers’ value, Forbes reports.


If the SEC run ends here, which are the top three schools?

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CFB 24 43 Forbes' 2012 college football program valuations 31491291 Georgia Georgia CFB

Georgia certainly isn't 'Dawg-ing' it! The Bulldogs' valuation increased 10 percent to $99 million, helped in part by playing in the Outback Bowl last season. Forbes reports that reaching the SEC title game could be a boost in next year’s list for Georgia, which takes on Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl on Jan. 1 (full bowl schedule).

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CFB 24 43 Forbes' 2012 college football program valuations 31485832 Alabama Alabama CFB

The Crimson Tide won the national title, but they came in sixth on this list with a valuation of $95 million, up 3 percent. Coach Nick Saban, however, did finish No. 1 in Forbes’ list of most powerful coaches. Saban and ’Bama will try to defend their national title Jan. 7 against Notre Dame (full bowl schedule).

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CFB 24 43 Forbes' 2012 college football program valuations 31485833 Florida Florida CFB

The Gators, who take on Louisville in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2 (full bowl schedule), jumped 9 percent from last year’s valuation to $93 million. An interesting note from the Forbes report: Florida’s athletic department directed more revenue to university spending (academic funding and scholarships) than any other public university on the list.

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CFB 24 43 Forbes' 2012 college football program valuations 31485835 Auburn Auburn CFB

The Tigers dropped 4 percent to $85 million, which Forbes says can be attributed to lost bowl-game revenue after Auburn won the national title game in January 2011. The Tigers, who fired coach Gene Chizik after finishing the season 3-9 — including 0-8 in the SEC — are likely to take another hit in Forbes' valuation next year.

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CFB 24 43 Forbes' 2012 college football program valuations 31485834 Tennessee Tennessee CFB

The football program is suffering on the field, culminating with the firing of Derek Dooley at the tail end of a 5-7 season, but the Volunteers stay in the top 10 at $84 million, up 2 percent. Tennessee likely will need to return to bowl prominence to stay among the big boys on this list.

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CFB 24 43 Forbes' 2012 college football program valuations 31491300 Arkansas Arkansas CFB

The Razorbacks start the run of SEC teams in the top 10 with a valuation of $83 million. That’s down 7 percent, and Forbes says the Hogs’ horrible 2012 season is likely to bring another decrease next year.

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