As TV deals have exploded to the point where Power 5 schools now have money pouring out of their ears, schools have started investing that money in two complimentary but opposite ways. On the one hand, they’re building space-age training facilities to go on top of the other, slightly older space-age training facilities, gearing up in the never-ending arms race.
And then on the other, schools have applied a renewed, intense focus on the most basic of human needs: food and sleep.
Simply put, if everyone has the latest and greatest weight rooms, the coolest locker rooms, the most high-tech training rooms, then the advantages lie in getting better sleep than your opponent and consuming a better diet. Obviously, the better an athlete recovers from Monday’s workout — through the sleep he gets and the food he eats — the harder he’ll be able to go on Tuesday. Stack those days on top of each other and you’ve got a completely different football player. Multiply that by 85 and you’ve got a completely different football team.
Forbes has studied financial disclosures from 2016-17 — the most recent years on record — to find the schools that spent the most feeding their athletes over that time frame.
1. Arkansas — $3.5 million
2. Ohio State — $3.1 million
3. Michigan — $2.8 million
4. Iowa — $2.8 million
5. Texas A&M — $2.7 million
6. Texas — $2.6 million
7. Minnesota — $2.5 million
8. Kansas — $2.2 million
9. Tennessee — $1.9 million
10. Washington — $1.9 million
You can head over to Forbes for the full piece, including the amusing anecdote that Iowa athletes consumed 1,504,512 cherries — and not 1,504,511 — over the past year.