As both Michigan and Washington ready themselves for the national championship decider on January 9th, we delve deeper into what both teams stand to win in terms of college football prize money.
College Football Prize Money
First and foremost, it is interesting to note that neither Michigan, nor Washington, stand to earn any further renumeration for winning the college football national championship final this month.
Although the game is one of the most-watched sporting events of the year in the US, and serves as a worthy auditor for those finalists looking to get drafted to the NFL, college football by nature remains an amateur sport.
Instead, money is distributed to the conferences, who are then free to distribute the funds as the wish.
$6 million is awarded to each conference for each team selected for a semifinal game, and $4 million for every team that features in a non-playoff bowl.
There will also be $300,000 awarded to conferences whose schools meet the NCAA’s APR for participation in a post-season game. Institutions themselves will also receive the same amount when their team meets that standard.
How is the College Football Prize Money Distributed?
Although the exact distribution of college football prize money is yet to be divulged for the current season, we can make a pretty accurate estimation for 2023-24.
All of the conferences will have received a base amount last year, but for those who have schools participating in the ‘Power Five’ Bowls, around $79.41 million was paid out to each conference when totalling base amounts and performance add-ons.
However, for the remaining five conferences that do not have teams participating in those bowls, their renumeration was actually higher ($102.77 million each) on account of receiving aggregate payments.
As mentioned previously, conferences are free to distribute these amounts as they see fit. According to Business of College Sport, these are how some of the conferences choose to pay out the money.
ACC: Although this is still to be officially confirmed participating bonuses have not been given to teams in years gone by.
Big 12: College football teams who reach the playoffs receive a participation Subsidy of $2,532,395
Big Ten: No participation bonus
Pac-12: no participation bonus
SEC: The SEC hands out $2.05 million for each semifinalist and a further $2.15 million for the championship game.