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Cal More Profitable in 2009-10 Than Stanford In Football, Vice-Versa In Basketball

8-5 season with a loaded home slate. Heisman trophy-caliber running back. The hottest football coach in America. And despite all this, the Stanford Cardinal finished with one of the most anemic profit margins in Division I football, toppling only the tiny Washington State Cougars in the former Pac-10 (they were apparently also ahead of Utah, who weren't listed, although this might be an oversight of mid-major schools, of which none are listed here).

According to Business by College Sports, Stanford football was the 82nd most profitable college sports program in 2009-10 netting $4,073,004. Cal football finished ahead of their rivals with higher revenue and profits, netting $5,901,914, although it was only good for eighth in the Pac-10.

It's a good possibility that Stanford football (strongest season in a few decades) catches up to Cal (weakest season in nearly a decade) in next year's financial reports, and pulls ahead this year while the Bears are in transition and Andrew Luck returns for his curtain call. You never know though; the Furd makes these contests more interesting than they should be.

The trees (110th, 5th in Pac-10) did get the best of Cal basketball (122nd, 7th in Pac-10), a little embarrassing because the Bears won the Pac-10 for the first time in fifty years; even though the Bears netted higher revenues than the Cardinal, operating costs for Cardinal hoops this season appear to be way lower. Needless to say, both programs could use some significant boosting in upcoming years.

Other random thoughts:

  • For stadiums/arenas that always seem to be half-empty, ASU does quite well for themselves. Oregon State turned out alright in both sports.
  • Three Pac-10 basketball programs made more money than Cal football. Arizona makes sense (and to a lesser extent, UW), but UCLA stunk last year. Weird.
  • Oregon basketball was deep in the red. Too bad they don't have a big-time donor that can pay off those debts or offset those operational costs.
  • Arizona hoops is an underrated cash-cow. No wonder they were able to build those new facilities in no-time.
  • No one cares about USC basketball.
  • The SAHPC costs don't figure into this as far as I know.

Here are the overall results for Pac-10 schools. Numbers indicate most profitable program.

College football 
27. Washington Huskies  $14,712,079
32. Colorado Buffaloes $13,675,426
37. Arizona St. Sun Devils $11,609,249
39. Oregon Ducks $11,434,894
40. Arizona Wildcats $10,712,322
48. USC Trojans $8,259,649
53. Oregon St. Beavers $7,075,211
55. UCLA Bruins $7,037,175
66. California Golden Bears $5,901,914
82. Stanford Cardinal $4,073,004
86. Washington St. Cougars $3,573,046

College basketball
33. Arizona $13,478,503
64. Washington $6,108,996
65. UCLA $6,076,399
92. ASU $3,063,572
110. Furd $1,810,605
119. OSU $1,263,359
122. Cal $1,150,529
125. WSU $386,567
138. USC -$1,012,736
139. Oregon -$2,251,696

Most combined profits
Arizona: $24 mil+
Washington: $20 mil+
ASU: $14-15 mil
UCLA: $13 mil+
Oregon: $9 mil+
OSU: $8 mil+
USC: $7 mil+
Cal: $7 mil+
Furd: Just under $6 mil
Washington St.: Just under $4 mil