Props to Fanblogs.com for unearthing this list of top revenue-producing football programs from 2003-2004.
1) Texas $47,556,281
2) Tennessee $46,704,719
3) Ohio State $46,242,355
4) Florida $42,710,967
5) Georgia $42,104,214
6) Alabama $39,848,836
7) Notre Dame $38,596,090
8) Michigan $38,547,937
9) LSU $38,381,625
10) Auburn $37,173,943
Interesting that six of the 10 are the SEC schools that are NOT traditional bottom feeders in that conference. Clearly, their money-making focus has paid off–the extra home games, the weak non-conference schedules resulting in better records and better rankings, hence bringing about more games on TV and better bowls for the conference.
Interesting, too, that there are teams on that list that found ways to make money WITHOUT scheduling tricks, namely Texas, Notre Dame and Michigan.
So, you see, it is now established that it is POSSIBLE to make money in college football while still maintaining your respectability as a program by not bringing Northeastern Rhodesia, Eastern Norway and the Western Deleware in for automatic wins.
Apparently, a team like Georgia realizes this now and, hence, will venture outside of the geographic South for a regular season game for the first time since 1965 (starting in 2010, I believe). Bully for them!