Colleges and universities, later to the licensing game than pro sports, are making up for lost time. Sporting logos and names on everything from T-shirts to credit cards has blossomed into a $2.5 billion business. According to industry consultant John Bevilaqua, being a perennial powerhouse such as Notre Dame--which had top royalties despite a so-so football season--doesn't hurt. Winning the national football title helped Nebraska break into the top five.

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