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Syracuse Football: What is the Orange Program Worth? More Than You Might Think

An interesting study yields some solid results for Syracuse...

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse football is a valuable commodity. That may sound ridiculous right about now, coming off a 3-9 season in which we pretty much hated the product on the field and USA Today was happy to give us a (deserved) D-minus grade. But believe it or not, the Orange are actually worth something -- if they could be bought, that is.

The Wall Street Journal published the interesting work late Monday, detailing Indiana University-Purdue University assistant professor Ryan Brewer's study of what college football programs are "worth" on the open market. Obviously this isn't a system that truly exists -- you can't buy or sell football programs the way you can franchises -- however, it's still fun to see where each school stacks up so you can do some nonsensical shouting about "bragging rights." Don't worry, we'll get there...

But first, Syracuse. The Orange finished 48th overall in the rankings, with an estimated program revenue of $39,447,454 to go along with an intrinsic value of $137,570,000 (rankings are based on that second number). Brewer defines that second figure as estimated using fundamental analysis -- including on-field performance, stadium size, state-by-state growth rates, cash flow, revenues and NFL programs' financial information. So these are long-term investment evaluations, basically.

And now to the "bragging rights" portion. Where did the other ACC programs finish in terms of their projected "worth" on the open market?

21. Florida State Seminoles

23. Virginia Tech Hokies

29. Clemson Tigers

37. Miami Hurricanes

40. NC State Wolfpack

42. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

44. Virginia Cavaliers

48. Syracuse Orange

50. North Carolina Tar Heels

62. Boston College Eagles

64. Pittsburgh Panthers

65. Louisville Cardinals

71. Duke Blue Devils

72. Wake Forest Demon Deacons


Not bad, right? Syracuse is eighth out of the ACC's full members (ninth if you count Notre Dame), and one of just 58 programs in the country to have a valuation of over $100 million. While the gap between SU (48th) and UNC (50th) is just $4 million, the gulf increases quite a bit when you get past that top 50. The next ACC team in line, Boston College, is nearly $50 million behind Syracuse. Same goes for some of our other ACC "peer" programs like Pitt, Duke and Wake, the last two being $90 million below our Orange.

So sure, these numbers mean nothing because these programs can't be bought and sold on a free market or otherwise. But we're in a bit of a bourgey conference, right? So why not trumpet nonsense like this a bit?

Reminder: It's officially the college football offseason. Things are going to be rough. Bear with us for what will be countless articles just like this one.