ORLANDO, Fla. - Only two college football programs in the country are more valuable than Penn State, which Forbes magazine estimates raked in $50 million in profits in 2009.
Forbes released its annual list of the biggest moneymakers last week, with Texas taking the top spot and Notre Dame coming in at No. 2 ahead of PSU.
The magazine, using an assortment of economic data, concluded Penn State's team value is $99 million. The Nittany Lions made a big leap in the rankings, up from 13th in the country in 2008.
The calculations were based on what the magazine called "dividend" money. Forbes described that as: "What's left for the team's university (for academic purposes) ... and athletic department ... after the cost of running the football operation in question."
Everything from bowl game revenue to business relationships the school has with sponsors to the impact on the local economy was taken into consideration.
Penn State's opponent in the Capital One Bowl, LSU, came in at No. 7 on the list, with a value of $86 million.
The top 20 most valuable college football programs, according to Forbes magazine. Numbers are in millions of dollars:
Team Total value 2009 profit
1. Texas 119 59
2. Notre Dame 108 38
3. Penn State 99 50
4. Nebraska 93 49
5. Alabama 92 38
6. Florida 88 41
7. LSU 86 39
8. Ohio State 85 36
9. Georgia 84 45
10. Oklahoma 83 40
11. Michigan 81 34
12. South Carolina 80 37
13. Tennessee 78 29
14. Auburn 70 30
15. USC 68 33
16. Michigan State 57 28
17. Arkansas 56 20
18. Texas A&M 52 22
19. Wisconsin 48 17
20. Oklahoma State 47 18
Four other Big Ten schools - Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin - rank in the top 20. The SEC leads with eight schools in the top 20, while the Big 12 has five.
Only two schools outside of the SEC, Big Ten and Big 12 made the top 20: Notre Dame and USC.
As part of their bowl reward, Penn State's players will get to go on a shopping spree this afternoon at a local Best Buy.
Their gift? Each player gets to purchase up to $420 worth of merchandise, and it will be shipped to them at home for no charge. LSU's players also receive the same gift.
Another perk of the trip occurred after practice Monday when several Penn State players visited Universal Studios.
Reserve defensive tackles Brandon Ware and James Terry will not get to go on a shopping spree or participate in any other bowl festivities since they were not allowed to make the trip.
Ware and Terry violated an undisclosed team rule, a school spokesman said.
Ware, a 341-pound redshirt freshman, has been in Joe Paterno's doghouse for much of his brief career at PSU. The coach has stated repeatedly that Ware needs to lose weight and get in better shape.
Terry also is a redshirt freshman.
Nearly sold out
A Capital One Bowl official said Monday he expects Friday's game to be sold out. Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium seats 65,438, and bowl spokesman Greg Creese said 61,000 tickets were sold as of last week.
There have been reports that Penn State has had trouble selling all of its allotted tickets, but Creese said he knew nothing of that. He would not give a specific number, but Creese noted Penn State requested an additional allotment of tickets to sell on the day it found out it was heading to Orlando earlier this month.
Creese said he "would be surprised" if Penn State had yet to sell its allotment.
There are still cheap tickets available. They are going as low as $27 apiece at stubhub.com.
Cory Giger can be reached at 949-7031 and firstname.lastname@example.org.