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Interactive look at USA Today's NCAA revenue numbers

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How did WSU compare to their Power 5 and Pac-12 brethren?

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

USA Today released the NCAA finance numbers last week and two story lines popped up when looking at the national picture, both related to the Pac-12: Oregon blew every other school away in total revenue and net money, and WSU finished last among Power 5 schools.

The Ducks brought in $196 million in revenue for 2014 and netted $85.6 million. Texas was closest in revenue at $161 million and Alabama was second in net money to Oregon at $33 million. Washington State came in at 50th among Power 5 teams that reported and 54th overall with $54.4 in annual revenue and was one of four teams that lost money when factoring in subsidies, losing $13.7 million.

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While the revenue numbers for Oregon are very impressive (even if they got a big year over year bump from a rumored large gift from Phil Knight), the expense numbers show that Oregon isn't going anywhere anytime soon. They're the only Pac-12 school in the top 15 in expenses and one of two (Arizona being the other) in the top 20 of schools that report.

Oregon is spending like a blue blood and at least in football, with two national title trips in 5 years, are getting blue blood results.  They're already an established power and with a war chest of that size, they'll most likely continue to put down roots as a consistent top 5 national program.

Oregon's rise may not have a big direct impact on WSU as we're not consistently competing for the same caliber of recruit.  One of my biggest concerns is how far off the Pac-12 average we are in revenue and expenses.  Even if you exclude Oregon (which you can do by selecting their bar, hover over it and choose "exclude") we're still $22 million below the average revenue brought in and about $8 million off the expenses average.

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Even though we're not spending as much as the other Pac-12 schools, we've spent big recently on facilities that do match up with most of the schools we're going to be competing with for recruits. The Ducks are again an outlier when looking at the entire country and the Pac-12.  The interesting thing when looking at revenue and net money is that while Utah has very similar revenue money as WSU with $56 million vs $54 million, they netted the third highest amount in the Pac-12 and 18th highest in the country at $5.4 million.  They were aided by a $9.8 million subsidy that made up 17% of their revenue, but without that subsidy they still end up in the black end up losing about $3 million, which is a far cry from the $23 million WSU would have lost without a subsidy.

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As the facilities arms race continues to heat up Bill Moos will need to continue to find revenue for WSU to keep up. The Cougs are outspending regional competition Boise State by about $23 million, but are only outspending Utah and Colorado when it comes to the Pac-12.  We all expected the Pac-12 Network revenues to be better than they've turned out, but hopefully some more notches in the W column and the hope of Direct TV carrying the Pac-12 Network can see WSU start to challenge more of the Power 5 in revenue and expenses.