Date of Publication

Spring 5-5-2017

Document Type

Undergraduate Project

Professor's Name

Dr. Dane-Staples


Since college athletic departments are considered non-profit organizations and it’s expected they spend revenue in support of their overall mission which can be considered as achieving on-field success. Previous literature has uncovered multiple relationships between expenditures and revenue in comparison to on-field success. The common theory is that athletic programs must increase spending to increase wins, and increase wins to increase revenue. The purpose of our research is to explore financial trends within the rank based competition structure of NCAA Division I college football’s top 25 football teams in the 2012-2015 seasons. We will also acknowledge the effects of the transition from the former Bowl Championship Series (BCS) post season structure in 2012 and 2013 in comparison to the 2014 and 2015 seasons under the playoff structure that allows the top four teams to compete for the spotlight in an additional national championship bowl game. Results from our study indicate that total expenditures are the strongest indicator of on-field success, or the final rank of an institution and supports findings in our literature that explores the financial trends within the highest level of competition within Division I College football's rank based design.