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It’s hard for me to put much stock in the Forbes ranking. It seems to simply equate to an annual revenue figure. Some of the components involved include:
Gate revenue, which obviously correlates to attendance and arena size
Parking and concession sales, also correlated to attendance and arena
NCAA and conference distributions
Clearly, the majority of that revenue is generated by fans of the program, and that means fan attitudes toward the program will directly affect that revenue. But it is not solely about that.
The athletic department also plays an important role in negotiating many of those agreements. The conference negotiates deals that result in conference distributions. The performance of other ACC programs in the NCAA tournament may also influences the conference distribution, not sure about that. I assume gate revenue is shared with road teams, so total revenue is also influenced to some degree by the attendance at road games.
To me, it seems difficult to quantify the direct correlation of head coach performance to this revenue ranking. I mean, it’s obvious that better performance would generate more revenue. But I’m not sure what level/range should be expected and where we fall in comparison to that.