It was something that I used to think about a lot as well because I am such a big sports fan and mostly applied to colleges that had great athletic programs such as Stanford, UNC-Chapel Hill and Texas A&M among others.
It has been confirmed by a paper that was published by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Football wins do great things for colleges by increasing donations, applications, enrollment by in-state students and even test scores of incoming students. But these football wins actually had the biggest effects in the most important football conferences.
Take the Longhorns, for instance, data from the Office of Information Management and Analysis shows that there was a 14 percent increase in applications for the freshman class in 2006 after the Longhorns beat USC to win the BCS National Championship earlier that year.
Everything is relative, however. For the University of Texas, even a 10-win season that would be seen as awesome among lesser schools would not be much of a draw for the Longhorns and their fans.
Football wins aside, The Center for World University Rankings has put the Longhorns at number 30 in its first ever ranking of the world’s best 100 universities. The University of Texas boasts some pretty impressive faculty members with physicist Steven Weinberg, mathematician Luis Caffarelli and computer scientist E. Allen Emerson being some of the fine Longhorns that were responsible for the University of Texas achieving such a high ranking among the top universities across the globe.
Go Longhorns! Hook 'em Horns!