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How much does the winner of the College Football Playoff National Championship earn?

Though it might surprise you, there’s actually no payout for winning the College Football Championship Game, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a lot of cash involved.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - DECEMBER 31: Stetson Bennett #13 of the Georgia Bulldogs celebrates after defeating the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 31, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia.   Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Kevin C. Cox / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

While the there is indeed a fair share of cash in the college football game, the way in which that revenue is distributed annually - according to a pre-determined formula - may yet surprise you, as it is more conference focused as opposed to team.

Two Governing Factors in College Football payouts

Before we get into quantities and who gets what, there are two important things that you should know about how bowl game payouts work:

  • Unlike how things work in the NFL, when it comes to College Football, funds are distributed directly to conferences (with the exception of Independents), which each have their own rules for distribution to individual member institutions. This can be seen in the way that some conferences distribute evenly between all members, while others will award bonuses to the team that participates.
  • Some bowls have direct contracts with conferences, which is to say the above-mentioned funds do not include the payouts which come from them.

How much do teams get for making the College Football Playoff?

As of 2021-22, each conference receives $6 million from the College Football Playoff for each team selected for a semifinal game and a further $4 million for each team that plays in a non-playoff bowl under the College Football Playoff. Where the National Championship Game itself is concerned, it’s important to know that there is no additional payout, only additional expenses such as travel, accommodation and food are covered.

Where does the College Football Playoff money go?

2022-2023 College Football Playoff Revenue Distribution Plan

According to the Business College Sports’ report on the College Football Playoff, the following estimates of the CFP revenue distribution are based on preliminary calculations for the 2022-23 season. That’s to say, these are rough estimates of what the revenue distribution could look like:

  • Each conference receives $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.
  • The conference receives $6 million for each team that is selected for the semifinal games. There is no additional distribution of funds to conferences whose teams qualify for the national championship game. Additionally, conferences receive $4 million for each team that plays in a non-playoff bowl under the arrangement.
  • Each conference whose team participates in a playoff semifinal, Cotton, Fiesta, or Peach Bowl, or in the national championship game will receive $2.74 million to cover expenses for each game. It’s worth noting that this amount has actually increased from the $2.63 million that it was in the 2021-22 season.
  • Lastly, certain conferences in the Football Championship Subdivision will receive $2.96 million in aggregate. Again, there has been an increase from the 2021-22 campaign which saw that figure stand at $2.85 million.

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