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College Football Playoff Payouts 2021-22

Updated: January 4, 2022

Revenue for the College Football Playoff is distributed annually according to a pre-determined formula, which is subject to adjustments each year. We update this page annually, so be sure and bookmark it. The current year’s distribution plan is below.

Two important things to know about bowl game payouts . . .

#1 Be aware that funds are distributed directly to conferences (with the exception of Independents), which each have their own rules for distribution to individual member institutions. For example, some conferences distribute evenly between all members while others grant bonuses to the participating team.

See here for an explanation of how College Football Playoff revenue flowed down to the four semifinal teams for the 2018-2019 season.

#2 These amounts do not include payouts from individual bowls that have direct contracts with conferences.

How much does a team get for making the College Football Playoff?

Each conference receives $6 million from the College Football Playoff for each team selected for a semifinal game and $4 million for each team that plays in a non-playoff bowl under the College Football Playoff. There is no additional payout for the National Championship Game, only additional expenses covered.

Where does the College Football Playoff money go?

2021-2022 College Football Playoff Revenue Distribution Plan

According to the College Football Playoff, the following estimates of the CFP revenue distribution are based on preliminary calculations for the 2021-22 season and are only approximate projections of potential revenue distribution from each component:

  1. Each conference will receive $300,000 for each of its schools when the school’s football team meets the NCAA’s APR for participation in a post-season football game. Each independent institution will also receive $300,000 when its football team meets that standard.
  2. A conference will receive $6 million for each team that is selected for the semifinal games. There will be no additional distribution to conferences whose teams qualify for the national championship game. A conference will receive $4 million for each team that plays in a non-playoff bowl under the arrangement.
  3. Each conference whose team participates in a playoff semifinal, Cotton, Fiesta, or Peach Bowl, or in the national championship game will receive $2.63 million to cover expenses for each game. (This is up from $2.43 million in 2020-21.)
  4. Additionally, certain conferences in the Football Championship Subdivision will receive $2.85 million in aggregate. (This is up from $2.7 million in 2020-21.)

Based on calculations from the 2020-21 season, the following distributions were made in the spring of 2021 (the strikeout amount is the amount that was originally projected for 2020-21 in the CFP’s media guide before adjustments following the season):

Each of the 10 conferences received a base amount. For conferences that have contracts for their champions to participate in the Orange, Rose, or Sugar bowls, the base combined with the full academic performance pool was approximately $66 $57 million for each conference. The five conferences that do not have contacts for their champions to participate in the Orange, Rose or Sugar bowls received approximately $90 $83 million in aggregate (full academic pool plus base). The conferences distribute these funds as they choose. Notre Dame received a payment of $3.19 $2.5 million by meeting the APR standard; the other three independents shared $1.56 $1.85 million.

Calculations for 2021-22 will be made following the 2022 National Championship Game.

Conference Distribution Policies for College Football Playoff Payouts

Conferences differ on exactly how they distribute College Football Playoff payouts to their members. Some conferences give participation bonuses–for lack of a better term–to the teams that participate in semifinal and national championship games, while others divide CFP money evenly between members as with all other revenue. The information below was last confirmed January 4, 2022.

ACC: no participation bonus for participating teams.

Big 12: CFP participants receive the higher of Formula A or B.

FORMULA A:

College Football Playoff (CFP) Championship, Semifinal

  • Participation Subsidy: $2,387,025
  • Travel Subsidy: $424/one-way mile

FORMULA B:

College Football Playoff (CFP) Championship, Semifinal

  • Participation Subsidy: $2,015,710
  • Travel Subsidy: $849/one-way mile

Big Ten: [waiting on confirmation]

Pac-12: no participation bonus for participating teams.

SEC: The SEC gives $2.05 million for each team participating in the semifinals and another $2.15 million for the championship game.

Bowl Payouts 2020

I’ve detailed the conference-by-conference payouts from the College Football Playoff for 2020-21 here.

Historical Bowl Game Payouts by Year

2019-20 College Football Playoff Payouts (actual payouts)

2018-19 College Football Playoff Payouts (actual payouts)

2017-18 College Football Playoff Payouts (actual payouts)

2016-17 College Football Playoff Payouts (actual payouts)

2015-16 College Football Playoff Payouts (actual payouts)

2014-15 College Football Playoff Payouts (actual payouts)

Bowl Championship Series vs. College Football Playoff Payouts