Last Updated on January 4, 2023
Team participating in the College Football Playoffs each earn a $6 million payout for their conferences when they make the semifinals (with no additional sums for making the national championship game). However, what happens from there varies by conference.
Some conferences give “participation awards” or “participation subsidies” to the teams participating in the games, while others do not. Luckily for both TCU and UGA, they’re in conferences that do award such bonuses to the participating teams.
SEC College Football Playoff Payouts
The SEC allows the school participating in the semifinals to keep $2,050,000, with an additional $2,150,000 if the team makes it to the championship game. The remainder of the CFP revenue is divided 15 ways (along with all other revenue from bowls and other sources), one share for each member institution and one share for the conference.
The SEC also provides a travel allowance, as determined by the SEC Executive Committee. Teams participating in a College Football Playoff game may also request additional travel expenses, which may be granted at the Commissioner’s discretion.
Big 12 College Football Playoff Payouts
The Big 12 uses all revenue (from bowls and other sources) to first pay the operating and other expenses incurred by the conference, or to fund reserves established by the Board of Directors of the Conference.
However, the conference does has two formulas for College Football Playoff participants to award an additional amount, and the institution receives the higher of the two:
Formula A awards a participation subsidy of $2,458,636 and a travel subsidy of $437/one-way mile. Formula B awards a participation subsidy of $2,076,181 and a travel subsidy of $874/one-way mile.
According to Google Maps, TCU’s campus is 1,416 miles from SoFi Stadium, the site of the 2022-23 College Football Playoff National Championship. Under Formula A, that puts my calculation at $3,077,515, and Formula B at $3,313,940. So, Formula B would be used for the championship game.
The Big 12 awards the higher of these formulas for each of the College Football Playoff games, so TCU should also be receiving around $2,992,308 for its participation subsidy and travel for playing in the semifinal game at the Fiesta Bowl.
If you want to try and compare apples to apples and take the travel subsidies out, UGA will receive $4.2 million and TCU $4.15 million.