Today Andy Bitter posted a blog recapping the USA Today's publication of athletic departments total revenues and expenses. VT had revenues of 66.9MM and expenditures of 62.6MM in 2011. Andy then went on to compare those numbers to the ACC (led by FSU in revenue of 78.6MM) and the rest of football (led by Texas 150.3MM in revenue). He then went on to make this statement:

"For the Hokies-should-go-to-the-SEC crowd, keep in mind that Virginia Tech would have ranked 10th in total revenue of the SEC teams last year and would drop to 11th once Texas A&M joins the league. That's in a virtual tie with Missouri ($64.1 million in revenues) and only higher than Mississippi State ($58.9 million) and Ole Miss ($49.2 million), two schools that struggle to compete on and off the field with the SEC's big boys on a regular basis."

It is true that VT would have ranked 10th this past year, but that is a product of being associated with the ACC rather than the SEC. He neglects to look at the history which you can do by expanding each school. The USA Today publication shows every schools data back until 2006. This provides the evidence that it makes too much financial sense to join the SEC.
Let's take a look at the evidence:

2006 SEC team revenues/2011
Bama 67.7/124.5
Ark 49.5/91.8
Auburn 66.6/104.0
Fla 82.9/123.5
GA 79.2/92.3
UK 57.0/84.9
LSU 67.4/107.3
OleMiss 29.4/49.2
MSU 29.8/59.0
USC 52.0/83.8
Tenn 73.8/104.4
Ave 59.6/93.2

2006 ACC team revenues/2011
Clem 46.4/61.2
FSU 67.0/78.6
GT 45.5/54.4
MD 53.6/61.6
UNC 60.0/75.6
NCST 45.8/51.0
UVA 52.9/78.4
VT 48.7/66.9
Ave 52.5/66.0

During the past 6 years the SEC has enjoyed a 56% increase in revenue compared to just a 26% by the ACC. If VT would have had just average success in the SEC, their revenue would have been 76MM this past year, over 9MM more then we rest currently. However, I think Arkansas or USC would be better models for how our future would have turned out. Especially given our increase in ticket sales revenue in 2007 would have put us above both of them (65.6MM v. 65.4 & 60.5). With our recent success in football, it is easy for me to imagine our revenue approaching 90MM this past year.

Given the economic priorities of our state and the continuing rise of tuition, it would have been irresponsible for our administration to turn down a serious inquiry by the SEC. We ask over 7.5MM combined from student fees and school funds. The highest in the SEC was Alabama at 5.2MM. Some ask for none (LSU) and many for less than 2MM (UK, Tenn, Ark). I really hope if the SEC is ever an option presented to VT, that we gladly accept. It is clearly demonstrated to be the right decision economically and, as seen from recent events, for stability.

If VT were to join the SEC, I have no doubt we would be able to succeed both on the field and with regard to revenue. Unfortunately, the longer we wait to make a move, the further we will find ourselves behind the other teams. And the more strain we will put on the students and the academics of our university.

*The private universities were not included in the data.