Desirability Ratings: Measuring Each Power 5 School’s Conference Value – Sports Illustrated

Since the afternoon of June 30, when the college sports landscape abruptly lurched and shifted again beneath our feet, everyone has stewed over what the future will hold. When the realignment tremors subside, how consolidated will the elite level be? How many schools, in how many conferences, will command the highest revenue shares and (at least in theory) the best chance to win national championships?
The only certainty at this point is that the Big Ten and Southeastern Conference are the biggest and richest, pumping up their membership to 16 each in the coming years with the additions of USC and UCLA in the Big Ten and Texas and Oklahoma in the SEC. The question is how serious they are about continuing to get bigger and richer, and which acquisitions might further their power grab. Everyone is weighing options, as the 37 Power 5 schools remaining in the Atlantic Coast, Big 12 and Pac-12 jockey for position.
So this latest existential crisis in college sports seemed like a good inflection point for examining who really brings what to the table among the 69 schools currently in the Power 5, or ticketed to arrive in 2023. If you were to blow up every league and hold a draft to redistribute the balance of power, what does your draft board look like?
Maybe it would look like Sports Illustrated’s Power 5 Desirability Ratings—sure to infuriate, possibly to educate. Regardless, this is an attempt to apply some metrics to the debate. We ranked all 69 schools (see below for full list) against one another in five areas, some of which we know move the needle in terms of adding value to a conference, and some of which get a lot of lip service by leaders.
The categories:
The overall top pick in a blow-it-up-and-start-over iteration of big-time college athletics would be Ohio State. The Buckeyes check all boxes: football excellence, quality academics, all-sports success and a massive alumni base/fan following that fills the stadium and watches the broadcasts. They narrowly outscore Big Ten counterpart Michigan.
Ohio State leads SI’s Desirability Ratings.
Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch/USA TODAY NETWORK
Including future members, the Big Ten and SEC claim 13 of the top 14 spots. That’s why they’re making the big bucks and on the cusp of making much more. Notre Dame, a football independent and member of the Atlantic Coast Conference in most other sports, is the only school breaking up the Power 2 cartel at the top.
Outside of Notre Dame, Washington is slightly ahead of Clemson for the highest-rated school from outside the Big Ten and SEC. The Huskies have slid recently in football but are respectable across the board. Clemson obviously has had a superior football program but lags in all-sports ranking. (Which, ultimately, is the most disposable of the metrics here.)
The SEC’s additions of No. 4 Texas and No. 8 Oklahoma outshine the Big Ten’s additions of No. 9 USC and No. 18 UCLA, but both leagues made high-impact acquisitions that simultaneously gutted the Big 12 and Pac-12. The most valuable remaining schools in the Big 12 are Oklahoma State at No. 25 and Iowa State at No. 27, while the Pac-12’s new leaders are Washington at No. 15 and Oregon tied for 22nd.
The average school ranking for each Power 5 conference, using future membership: SEC 25.1, Big Ten 25.8, ACC 39.6, Pac-12 41.4, Big 12 49.3.
If the SEC and Big Ten were to expand to 18 apiece and had their choice of all the rest of the Power 5, the Desirability Ratings would suggest the following moves: Notre Dame and Washington to the Big Ten, Clemson and Florida State to the SEC. If they then went to 20, the Big Ten adds Stanford (with Notre Dame’s approval) and Oregon, while the SEC tacks on North Carolina and Miami. (The Hurricanes would face stiff resistance from some in the SEC who are not in love with The U’s current NIL recruiting philosophy.)
There could well be a fierce battle at some point over North Carolina. School and conference administrators and TV execs like the Tar Heels more than these rankings do. Former Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany long theorized about bringing his alma mater into that league, and the SEC likely would also covet Carolina. Its academic profile, stature in the 10th-most populous state and appeal as a power in men’s basketball and Olympic sports would be an attractive commodity in realignment.
If schools could be kicked out of swanky leagues for failing to add much to the bottom line, these would be your most endangered members according to the Desirability Ratings: No. 65 Rutgers and No. 59 Illinois in the Big Ten, No. 63 Vanderbilt and No. 53 Missouri in the SEC. Could it ever come to that? Who knows? But nothing is inconceivable in a world where USC, UCLA, Rutgers and Maryland are conference brethren.
The best thing for everyone in the Power 5 would be a continuation of the Power 5. A viable, coast-to-coast college sports landscape would enhance the overall health of football and everything else. So here’s to hoping we see many more years of the ACC, Big 12 and Pac-12 as vibrant entities.
But if we’ve learned anything the past two summers, it’s this: Everyone is always looking out for their own best move and biggest pile of cash. Stay tuned, and keep the Desirability Ratings handy if the college athletics plates begin to shift again.
1.
Ohio State
2
20(t)
4
3
2(t)
31
2.
Michigan
16
8
3
1
5(t)
33
3.
Notre Dame
6
5
8
16
2(t)
37
4.
Texas
12(t)
14
1
7
7(t)
41
5.
Georgia
3
19
18
8
5(t)
53
6. 
Florida
18
11(t)
5
12
12(t)
58
7.
Wisconsin
8
17
23
15
12(t)
75
8.
Oklahoma
5
52(t)
10
13
1
81
9.
USC
30
10
12
23(t)
9
84
10.
Alabama
1
55(t)
21
4
4
85
11.
Penn State
7
28(t)
41
2
10
88
12.
Texas A&M
12(t)
30(t)
24
5
18(t)
89
13.
Auburn
11
41(t)
31
11
12(t)
106
14.
LSU
14
62
16
6
11
109
15.
Washington
25
24(t)
27
19
16(t)
111
16.
Clemson
4
33(t)
58
14
7(t)
116
17.
Stanford
46(t)
1
2
54
24(t)
127
18.
UCLA
43
6
15
40(t)
28(t)
132
19.
Florida State
56
22(t)
14
21(t)
21(t)
134
20.
Michigan State
27
38(t)
39
18
15
137
21.
Iowa 
9
38(t)
52
20
21(t)
140
22.
(tie) N. Carolina
48(t)
11(t)
6
39
41(t)
145
22.
(tie) Oregon
20
41(t)
30
36
18(t)
145
24.
Tennessee
54
45(t)
13
9
28(t)
149
25.
(tie) Oklahoma St.
10
65(t)
22
30
24(t)
151
25.
(tie) Miami
23(t)
22(t)
48
34
24(t)
151
27.
Iowa State
15
48(t)
40
23(t)
35
161
28.
Mississippi
35
55(t)
19
31
23
163
29.
Northwestern
38
2(t)
35
58
32(t)
165
30.
(tie) NC State
37
36(t)
17
26(t)
53(t)
169
30.
(tie) Arizona St.
23(t)
47(t)
25
38
36(t)
169
32.
Virginia
48(t)
9
11
51
52
171
33.
Nebraska
46(t)
54
47
10
16(t)
173
34.
Arkansas
60
59(t)
7
25
24(t)
175
35.
(tie) Virginia Tech
41
33(t)
32
21(t)
49(t)
176
35.
(tie) Utah
17
41(t)
42
42
34
176
37.
TCU
22
38(t)
38
49
31
178
38.
Minnesota
28
30(t)
27
45
49(t)
179
39.
Kentucky
26
52(t)
9
32
61(t)
180
40.
BYU
50
36(t)
28
26(t)
41(t)
181
41.
Purdue
36
20(t)
51
35
45(t)
187
42.
S. Carolina
52
47(t)
36
17
36(t)
188
43.
Mississippi St.
21
67
63
28
20
199
44.
Baylor
39(t)
33(t)
45
47
36(t)
200
45.
California
55
7
26
55
58(t)
201
46.
Pittsburgh
33
24(t)
62
52
36(t)
207
47.
Wake Forest
32
11(t)
43
66
58(t)
210
48.
West Virginia
29
69
56
29
28(t)
211
49.
Indiana
42
30(t)
57
48
36(t)
213
50.
Duke
63
2(t)
20
69
67(t)
221
51.
Texas Tech
44(t)
68
37
33
41(t)
223
52.
Maryland
58
24(t)
44
57
41(t)
224
53.
Missouri
44(t)
49(t)
53
37
53(t)
236
54.
Georgia Tech
62
16
60
46
53(t)
237
55.
(tie) Louisville
53
65(t)
33
44
45(t)
240
55.
(tie) UCF
19
55(t)
67
50
49(t)
240
57.
Colorado
61
41(t)
54
43
45(t)
244
58.
Kansas State
31
59(t)
64
40(t)
53(t)
247
59.
Illinois
66
18
50
59
58(t)
251
60.
Syracuse
59
24(t)
61
60
53(t)
257
61.
Arizona
65
45(t)
34
53
61(t)
258
62.
Boston College
51
15
66
61
66
259
63.
 Vanderbilt
68
4
59
67
63(t)
261
64.
Washington St.
39(t)
63(t)
65
64
32(t)
263
65.
Rutgers
67
28(t)
46
56
67(t)
264
66.
Cincinnati
34
55(t)
69
62
45(t)
265
67.
Oregon State
64
59(t)
41
63
67(t)
294
68.
Kansas
69
49(t)
55
68
63(t)
304
69.
Houston
57
63(t)
68
65
63(t)
316
Watch NCAA football with fuboTV: Start a 7-day trial today.
More College Football Coverage:
• Big 12 2022 Futures Betting Breakdown
NIL Year 1 Brought Curveballs and Chaos. Now What?
Notre Dame Will Play the Waiting Game—Because It Can
• Heisman Odds: Stroud Is New Betting Favorite

source

More To Explore

Education Template