Razorback football program valued at $83 million

With an estimated value of $83 million, the University of Arkansas earned its second-consecutive top-10 ranking among the nation’s most valuable college football teams, according to a study by Forbes Magazine.

The newest estimate is $6 million less than the previous year.

The publication ranked the University of Arkansas 10th based on numbers from the 2011-12 academic year.

The Razorbacks earned a top-10 ranking for 2010-11 when Arkansas was No. 8 with an estimated value of $89 million. Arkansas was ranked 15th ($53 million) in the initial Forbes report released in 2007, while the Razorbacks ranked 17th ($56 million) in 2009. Forbes did not publish rankings in 2008 and 2010.

“We are pleased to once again be recognized as one of college football’s most valuable football programs,” Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long said in a statement. “By working to expand revenue opportunities, through conference affiliation, television, multi-media rights and other initiatives, we have been able to grow support for the development and success of more than 460 Razorback student-athletes. While operating as one of the nation’s few financially self-supporting athletic programs, we have also been able to provide vital funding for campus academic programs. We are grateful for the passionate support of Razorback Foundation members and all of our fans in helping establish the University of Arkansas among the nation’s elite programs.”

Forbes’ college football rankings are based on the evaluation of the program’s financial impact in four areas. The two most important areas evaluated are a team’s value to its university, or the revenue directed toward university programs and spending (including football scholarships), and its athletic value, which is the football revenue used to support other athletic programs.

Also included, but weighted less in the scoring system, are the distribution of bowl revenues among conference teams and the economic impact of visiting fans for home games.