Alabama returns to the College Football Playoff for the second time in as many years, meaning once again the Crimson Tide and the SEC also will be marching to bank with a hefty deposit when the financial institutions open up after the first of the year.
All told, the SEC and its teams stand to haul in more than $160 million in bowl payouts during the 2015-16 campaign. The conference is sending Alabama to the College Football Playoff, Ole Miss to a New Year’s Six bowl game and another eight schools to postseason contests.
Here’s a detailed look at how the College Football Playoff will pay out the SEC, starting with a $51 million base fee awarded from the playoff revenue pool to each of the Power 5 conferences, whether or not it qualifies a team for the playoffs.
- $51 million base to the SEC
- $6 million to the conference for Alabama (Cotton Bowl — CFP semifinal)
- $4 million to the conference for Ole Miss (Sugar Bowl)
- $2.08 million per CFP game to cover expenses
Alabama is entered into the Playoff Revenue Pool with the other teams competing in the New Year’s Six bowl games. The SEC and Big 12 have a contract with the Sugar Bowl in non-playoff years will reportedly allow the two leagues to split $80 million in payouts for each conference, though the SEC doesn’t release that contract information, according to Chuck Dunlap, SEC Director of Communications. Ole Miss and Oklahoma State are playing in the Sugar Bowl. That money would be shared by the league and its 14 members.
Ole Miss’ cut comes from the $4 million, which is $1.475 million plus some travel expenses. Alabama gets $2 million plus travel.
The remaining SEC schools will collect a combined $60.5 million for their bowl games, according to collegefootballpoll.com. The schools below keep anywhere from $1 million to $1,475 million, with the rest going to the league and then disbursed back out in 15 equal shares, one share for the league and each of the 14 league members.
SEC schools and their payouts:
- Florida Gators – Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl vs. Michigan: $4.25 million
- Tennessee Volunteers – Outback Bowl vs. Northwestern: $3.50 million
- LSU Tigers – Advocare V100 Texas Bowl vs. Texas Tech: $3.0 million
- Georgia Bulldogs – Taxslayer Bowl vs. Penn State: $2.75 million
- Texas A&M Aggies – Music City Bowl vs. Louisville: $2.75 million
- Mississippi State Bulldogs – Belk Bowl vs. NC State: $1.7 million
- Arkansas Razorbacks – Autozone Liberty Bowl vs. Kansas State: $1.437 million
- Auburn Tigers – Birmingham Bowl vs. Memphis: $1.1 million
Last year’s 39 bowl games paid conferences a record $505.9 million to offset the $100.2 million that schools combined to spend on postseason overhead.
The payout increased by roughly $200 million in the first year of the College Football Playoffs from the final season under the BCS format, which ended with the 2013 season.