What's Buzzing:

Dr. Saturday

Top 20 most valuable football programs all made at least $24 million in profit last year, according to Forbes

Frank Schwab
Dr. Saturday

View photo

.

(USA Today Sports Images)

Earlier this month, Michigan announced it is increasing its "seat donation" requirement. The term is laughable, and the thought behind it is too.

Wolverines fans have to "donate" between $4,000-$75 to keep their season tickets. According to MLive.com that's not out of line with other Big Ten schools (and other schools around the country) that charge seat license -- sorry, seat "donation" -- fees. All non-student seats in massive Michigan Stadium have a fee attached now.

When those Wolverines season-ticket holders in the Maize seats sign that seat-fee check for $375, up from $275 last year, keep this in mind: Michigan's football program made $85 million last year, and $62 million of that was profit, according to Forbes' report valuing college football programs.

Slideshow: 2012 College Football Team Valuations

So, when you pay that seat fee, or if you wonder why conferences like the Big Ten are adding Maryland or Rutgers to squeeze out a little bit more extra TV revenue even though no fan seems to want it and it doesn't make the conference's football product any better, it's because tens of millions of dollars in profit just isn't enough in amateur athletics these days.

Texas had the largest profit among college football teams last fiscal year, with a staggering $78 million. Forbes used figures from the 2011-12 fiscal year. The Longhorns' football program is worth $133 million, according to the report. Thank you, Longhorn Network.

Forbes listed the top 20 most valuable programs in the nation, and all 20 made at least $24 million in profit last year. It's easier to make that kind of money when you don't have to pay the players, of course.

Texas, Michigan, Notre Dame and LSU are the programs valued at over $100 million by Forbes. Michigan is worth $120 million (did we mention the folks sitting in the end zone seats at Michigan Stadium saw a $25 hike in seat fees?), Notre Dame is worth $103 million, LSU is worth $102 million and Georgia barely missed the cut at $99 million.

The entire article is a good look at the business of college football, such as explaining how the number of home games are such a huge factor in a program's value and profit from year to year.

Then you'll know why your alma mater is bleeding you for a few extra hundred bucks to keep those tickets, before you pay for the tickets themselves. After all, $62 million in profit just doesn't go as far as it used to.

- - -
Got a tip for Dr. Saturday? Email us at dr.saturday@ymail.com . You can also connect with us via Twitter @YahooDrSaturday and be sure to "Like" Dr. Saturday on Facebook for football conversations and stuff you won't see on the blog.

View Comments (278)
  • Tennis-Serena survives Mladenovic test

    Holder Serena Williams survived her toughest challenge yet at this year's French Open as she battled into the fourth round with a 6-4 7-6(10) win over Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic in a rain-disrupted match on Saturday. The American's victory … More »

    Reuters - 5 minutes ago
  • The Latest: Ferrer into 4th round at French Open

    The Latest: Ferrer into 4th round at French Open

    Former French Open runner-up David Ferrer will play in the fourth round at the clay-court Grand Slam tournament for a sixth consecutive year. The 11th-seeded Ferrer came out on top from an all-Spanish match with Feliciano Lopez on Saturday, winning … More »

    AP - Sports - 5 minutes ago
  • Stanley Cup Final Preview: Stunning Numbers for Penguins, Sharks

    Stanley Cup Final Preview: Stunning Numbers for Penguins, Sharks

    Stunning Numbers is an occasional look at stats and figures from around the NHL … More »

    Puck Daddy - 5 minutes ago
  • 8 Russian athletes test positive in 2012 doping retests

    Russia's Olympic Committee said Saturday that eight of the country's athletes have registered positive in doping retests for the 2012 London Games. The International Olympic Committee stores Olympic doping samples for 10 years to reanalyze them … More »

    The Canadian Press - 7 minutes ago
  • Patience pays off for Polish-born kayaker competing for US

    Patience pays off for Polish-born kayaker competing for US

    Rather than chasing gold, silver or bronze at the last Olympics, Michal Smolen decided he'd rather wait for the red, white and blue. Born in Poland but living in the United States, the kayaker could've gone back to his native country for a chance … More »

    AP - Sports - 7 minutes ago