Conferences Cashing In on College Football Playoff Payouts

    • Each school that participates in a post-season football game will contribute $300,000 to its conference.
    • Conferences receive $6 million for each team in the semifinal games.

Today's Action

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Matchups for the College Football Playoffs were decided over the weekend, and conferences are looking ahead to their payouts — and bringing home some hardware.

Both CFP semifinals will be played on New Year’s Eve. Alabama will take on Cincinnati in the Cotton Bowl, and Michigan will face Georgia in the Orange Bowl. The National Championship Game will be played Jan. 10.

Conferences receive $6 million for each team in the semifinal games, and $4 million for each non-playoff bowl appearance under the College Football Playoff. The selection committee also determines who plays in the Peach, Fiesta, Sugar, and Cotton bowls.

  • Each conference whose teams participate in the Cotton, Fiesta, or Peach Bowl, or in the national championship, receives $2.63 million for expenses — an increase from $2.43 million last season.
  • The Sugar, Rose, and Orange bowls have pre-existing contracts with conferences. Semifinal playoff games rotate between the six bowls.

Meanwhile, a potential new playoff format is looming.

The CFP proposed a 12-team format in June that wouldn’t go into effect until at least the 2026-27 season, when ESPN’s broadcasting deal ends. An eight-team format has also been considered.

A 12-team model could bring in a projected $1.9 billion annually for TV rights but would need to be approved by all 11 conference commissioners.