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College Football Playoff Payouts for 2019

How much will each conference take home from the College Football Playoff this year?

College Football Playoff Payouts

Regardless of who wins the semifinal games today, each of the four teams playing will bring home $6 million for its respective conference. From a financial perspective it doesn’t matter who wins, as no additional monies are paid out by the College Football Playoff for the national championship game.

However, those aren’t the only teams and conferences cashing in from the College Football Playoff. Penn State and Memphis will each bring home $4 million for their appearance in the Cotton Bowl, which is one of the three “access bowls” under the College Football Playoff. The Peach and Fiesta Bowls are the other two access bowls in years in which they aren’t hosting semifinals.

The Orange, Rose and Sugar Bowls are “contract bowls,” and teams playing in those games will also receive substantial payouts according to contracts with their respective conferences since those bowls aren’t hosting semifinals this year.

Each conference handles distributions a little differently. Most divide all bowl revenue equally between members. Others, however, like the SEC and Big 12, give additional monies to the participating teams before dividing equally between member institutions.

Here’s a conference-by-conference breakdown of the payouts this year associated with the College Football Playoff:

ACC

$66 million base payout

$6 million for Clemson’s semifinal berth in the Fiesta Bowl

$27.5 million for Virginia’s berth in the Orange Bowl (average annual payout pursuant to a contract between the ACC and the Orange Bowl)

Big 12

$66 million base payout

$6 million for Oklahoma’s semifinal berth in the Peach Bowl

$40 million for Baylor’s berth in the Sugar Bowl (average annual payout pursuant to a contract between the Big 12 and the Sugar Bowl)

Note: The Big 12 awards its participating team in the semifinals a $2 million participation subsidy.

Big Ten

$66 million base payout

$6 million for Ohio State’s semifinal berth in the Fiesta Bowl

$4 million for Penn State’s berth in the Cotton Bowl

$40 million for Wisconsin’s berth in the Rose Bowl (average annual payout pursuant to a contract between the Big Ten and the Rose Bowl)

Pac-12

$66 million base payout

$40 million for Oregon’s berth in the Rose Bowl (average annual payout pursuant to a contract between the Pac-12 and the Rose Bowl)

SEC

$66 million base payout

$6 million for LSU’s semifinal berth in the Peach Bowl

$40 million for Georgia’s berth in the Sugar Bowl (average annual payout pursuant to a contract between the SEC and the Sugar Bowl)

$27.5 million for Florida’s berth in the Orange Bowl (average annual payout pursuant to a contract between the SEC and the Orange Bowl)

Note: The SEC allows the school participating in the semifinals to keep $2.05 million, with an additional $2.15 million if the team makes it to the championship game. Georgia and Florida will also each receive the $2.05 million participation bonus for the Sugar and Orange Bowls.

The American

$4 million for Memphis’ berth in the Cotton Bowl

Group of 5

$90 million collective pool

The “Group of 5” (the American Athletic Conference, Conference USA, Mid-American Conference, Mountain West Conference and Sun Belt Conference) divide their collective pool pursuant to an agreement and formula devised by those conferences. Although that formula has not been formally disclosed to the public, reports have the majority shared equally, with a small portion set aside to be distributed based on performance.

Notre Dame

Notre Dame receives a base amount each year from the College Football Playoff regardless of its ranking or berth in a bowl game. This year, Notre Dame will receive a payout of $3.19 million.

Independents

Army, BYU and UMass share a collective pool of $1.56 million.

FCS

FCS conferences that provide the full NCAA-allowable complement of scholarships receive $2.43 million as a collective pool, which includes the Big Sky, Big South, Colonial, Mid-Eastern, Missouri Valley, Ohio Valley, Southern, Southland, and SWAC.

This piece originally appeared on Forbes on December 28, 2019.

About Kristi Dosh

Kristi A. Dosh is the founder of BusinessofCollegeSports.com and has served as a sports business analyst and contributor for outlets such as Forbes, ESPN, SportsBusiness Journal, Bleacher Report, SB Nation and more. She is also the author of a book on the business of college football, Saturday Millionaires. Kristi is a sought-after consultant and speaker on topics related to the business of college sports and a former practicing attorney. Click to learn more
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