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BYU is well positioned to eventually rank in the top half of the Big 12 in revenue

Each year, the U.S. Department of Education releases the financial information for every athletic department in the United States. The annual income for the 2021 calendar year was recently made public. In 2021, two years before BYU officially joined the Big 12, the Cougars earned a total of $106.4 million in revenue. That was good enough for 10th place among the 16 teams that will make up the new Big 12.

Below are the 2021 revenues for the 16 teams that make up the new Big 12.

  1. Kansas – $205.7 million
  2. TCU-149.3 million
  3. Arizona – $138.8
  4. Baylor-$137.5
  5. Colorado – $136.1
  6. State of Arizona – $128.3 million
  7. Texas Tech – $123.6 million
  8. State of Oklahoma – $119.2 million
  9. Utah – $111.5 million
  10. BYU – $106.4 million
  11. West Virginia – $103.1 million
  12. State of Kansas – $102.3 million
  13. State of Iowa – $93.0 million
  14. UCF – $88.2 million
  15. Houston – $84.0 million
  16. Cincinnati – $77.4 million

Kansas led by a wide margin. Cincinnati, Houston and UCF were last in the conference, each generating less than $90 million in revenue. That’s not surprising given their G5 affiliation with the AAC at the time. BYU, despite not having a P5 TV contract, generated more revenue than West Virginia, Kansas State and Iowa State.

Going forward, BYU will be well-positioned to be among the top half of revenue-generating schools in the Big 12. The Cougars will get a big pay bump if they get a full share of the Big 12’s media deal in 2025. To be clear, everyone in the conference will get a raise with the new deal, but BYU’s increase will be greater than that of the schools that were already enjoying the benefits of a P5 media deal. The Cougars will also get a big increase in College Football Playoff payout, NCAA Basketball Tournament units and bowl payouts. BYU’s CFP payout was minimal in the independence era.

Using reported numbers on the new media deal, the old media deal, BYU’s rumored Independence TV deal, CFP payouts and other data, we projected future revenue growth for every team in the Big 12. In our projections, BYU has leapfrogged Texas Tech. , the state of Oklahoma and Utah.

Projected Big 12 revenues (2025 and beyond)

  1. Kansas – $215.4 million
  2. TCU – $159.0 million
  3. Arizona – $150.7 million
  4. Colorado – $148.0 million
  5. Baylor – $147.2 million
  6. State of Arizona – $140.2 million
  7. BYU – $137.1 million
  8. Texas Tech – $133.3 million
  9. State of Oklahoma – $128.9 million
  10. UCF – $124.9 million
  11. Utah – $123.4 million
  12. Houston – $120.7 million
  13. Cincinnati – $114.1 million
  14. West Virginia – $112.8 million
  15. State of Kansas – $112.0 million
  16. State of Iowa – $102.7 million

This excludes additional revenue that BYU would generate from things like recent ticket price increases and increased interest in basketball.

In a few years, BYU will have more resources than ever before. They need to make the right investments and prepare for a future where revenue sharing with college athletes can be allowed.

Financially, the Independence era was a good thing for BYU’s athletic department. BYU doubled its revenue during that decade. For example, in 2010, BYU earned $45.5 million in total revenue. Tom Holmoe has made decisions that have increased BYU’s financial profile – and as a result, BYU is well-positioned for the future in the Big 12.